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Mobile payments to grow fast and furiously in 2010: Zong

The company’s mobile payment platform Zong+ was recently awarded Frost and Sullivan’s 2009 Best Practices Award for a new product innovation in the mobile payments category. Zong said the Zong+ platform will enhance the value proposition for its merchants and end users.

“We believe 2010 will hold another year of fast and furious growth for the entire mobile payment industry,” said Hill Ferguson, vice president of product and marketing at Zong, Palo Alto, CA.

“We expect mobile carriers in the United States to begin lowering their fees, which will certainly increase demand for bill-to-carrier payments online,” he said. “Payments is a scale game, so we expect some industry consolidation as players without scale get acquired or go out of business.”
Zong is a mobile payment service used by gaming and social networking Web sites. 

Security in convenience
The award-winning Zong+ lets consumers make online purchases through their mobile phone bill, and link any type of payment card to their Zong account through a one-time entry process.

The Zong+ platform launched in October (see story).

Zong+ lowers the transaction costs associated with mobile payments and provides added security and convenience for consumers. Security and convenience will drive transaction volumes in 2010.

In order to determine the recipients of the awards, analysts from research firm Frost and Sullivan conduct a rigorous selection process that includes evaluating industry challenges and rating companies’ abilities to address them by innovating elements of the product.

The company must also be leveraging leading edge technologies, adding value for key stakeholders and increasing customer value while further penetrating the market.

Homework time
Layering bill-to-card payments to its mobile platform lets Zong lower overall transaction costs, increase average ticket prices and quicken settlement times. Zong said all three are extremely important to its merchant customers.

For 2010 to be the robust year Zong predicts, Mr. Ferguson said consumers need to research mobile payment transaction companies.

Consumers should look for how long the company has been in business, who are the other customers, how secure are the services and make sure the privacy policy is clearly stated.

“Zong has been processing mobile payments for consumers for almost 10 years now, and processed mobile payments for well over 10 million consumers in 2009 alone,” Mr. Ferguson said. “We work with the largest online social networks and gaming sites, like Facebook, IMVU and Gaia.

“Once you’ve done a little homework on the company providing the service, we suggest completing a payment for a small amount in order to get comfortable with the system,” he said.