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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 7/14/2011

PayPal To Enter Mobile Payment Arena With Zong Acquisition

Emily Jed
mobile payments, cashless vending, PayPal eBay, Zong, cellphone payment, smart phone, AT&T, Verizon, vending machine business, retail trends, payment technology, Google Wallet

SAN JOSE, CA -- E-commerce giant eBay announced plans to buy mobile-payment company Zong Inc. for $240 million. The deal, which complements eBay's PayPal service, paves the way for users to make purchases with their cellphones.

Zong's system, which could have future applications in vending, allows cellphone users to pay for products and services using their mobile phones. To make a purchase, a user clicks on a button on the Zong website and enters his or her mobile number on the payment screen. The Menlo, CA, company then sends the user a PIN code to the phone. Once the user enters the code online, the purchase is complete.

Zong has partnerships with major wireless carriers, including AT&T and Verizon, allowing customers of those networks to use its service.

EBay's PayPal service allows payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. A PayPal account can be funded with an electronic debit from a bank account or by a credit card. The recipient of a PayPal transfer can either request a check from PayPal, establish a PayPal deposit account or request a transfer to his or her bank account.

News of eBay's pending move into the mobile payments space comes on the heels of Google's Wallet, a mobile payment concept unveiled by the Internet giant in late May. Google Wallet allows consumers to make a purchase through an NFC-enabled Google Android phone. In June, the Coca-Cola Co. announced a partnership with Google to test the new mobile payment system in vending machines. | SEE STORY

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