Zong strikes 10 million unique users

Ronny Kerr · August 6, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/9ca

Mobile payments system proves to be a growing market

ZongIf this company gets its way, customers will never again have to type out another 16 digits, expiration date, or security code.

And, looking at these latest numbers, it looks like it is starting to have its way.

Zong, changing the way people pay for virtual goods with what it calls “frictionless mobile payments,” announced yesterday that, year to date, the company has handled mobile payments for 10 million unique users.

This latest milestone is quite the accomplishment, considering that many are still questioning the business models of many of Zong’s very clients, which right now include mostly a handful of game publishers trying to make money through the sale of virtual goods.

Nevertheless, there must be something to it, as Zong says it is already available in 19 countries across 100 carriers. Yesterday the company also announced it would be adding new partners in Eastern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, and South America.

Zong coverage

With its expansion into new carrier territory, the company is likewise expanding its business partnerships, which already include big name game publishers on leading social networks like Facebook and Myspace.

Just two weeks ago, for example, Zong secured a deal with teen virtual world Gaia Online so that users can purchase the world's virtual currency, called Gaia Gold, through the mobile payments system. Basically, whenever a user decides to cash in real money for some Gaia Gold, Zong sends a short number code to the user’s cell phone. The user then types in the code into the platform, and the transaction is complete. When the user’s phone bill arrives, the game charges are simply tacked on.

Zong prides itself on turning seemingly silly, impulse purchases into a full-fledged business model.

“If you want to buy a virtual penguin for two bucks, you’re not going to go to your wallet, take your credit card out and type in 16 numbers,” says Zong CEO David Marcus. “These transactions are impulse purchases.”

Even though a company surviving on the power of customer impulse purchases alone may seem like a virtual fantasy, Zong’s attainment of 10 million visitors sure is a good sign.

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Zong is the leading mobile payments platform for sellers of digital goods and services. Its frictionless payment experience converts shoppers into buyers at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional payment methods. Zong leverages direct connections with mobile network operators around the world to provide a secure payment solution with unrivaled connectivity and service quality. Zong is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits and also works with hundreds of leading destination sites, such as Gaia Online, IMVU and Playdom. Reaching over 2 billion mobile users, Zong provides localized payment capabilities in over 30 countries in 16 languages. Zong is the only mobile payments platform that combines the high conversion rates of carrier billing with the low costs and flexibility of payment card networks. Zong is based in Menlo Park with offices in Paris and Geneva, and is backed by Matrix Partners, Advent Venture Partners and Newbury Ventures. For more information, please visit www.zong.com.


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