eBay Buys Zong for $240m

eBay, which owns PayPal, is buying Zong, which provides  payments through mobile carrier billing, for $240m (£150m) in cash.

Zong leverages connections with more than 250 mobile network operators around the world, offering localized, secure and easy-to-use payments capabilities for digital goods and services in 21 languages and 45 countries. eBay says that Zong will add complementary technology and talent to help strengthen PayPal’s position in mobile payments and digital goods.

Zong allows consumers to easily pay for good and services from their mobile phone  or PC through direct carrier billing. Consumers enter their mobile phone number. Zong then verifies the number in a few seconds and clears the payment on the customer’s existing wireless service account.

“Commerce is changing,” says PayPal president, Scott Thompson. “With mobile phones, we walk around with a mall in our pockets. PayPal helps to make money work better for customers in this new commerce reality – no matter how they want to pay or what device they’re using. We believe that Zong will strengthen this value by helping us reach the more than 4bn people who have mobile phones, giving them more choice and security when they pay.”