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Mobile purchases of digital, physical goods to reach $200B by 2012

Zong’s top executive cited his company’s four newest hires as an indication of the robust growth of the mobile payments space.

The company has appointed Elena Krasnoperova as vice president of analytics and fraud management, Stephane Kasriel as vice president of sales and business development, Sandy Taylor as vice president of finance and Tim Armandpour as vice president of engineering. The positions have been created to support Zong’s global expansion and its expectations for revenue growth.

“We are currently at a fantastic place of growth and opportunity in the mobile payments industry,” said David Marcus, founder/CEO of Zong, Menlo Park, CA.

“A new study by Juniper Research, Mobile Payments for Digital & Physical Goods,  forecasts that the value of digital and physical goods that people buy with their mobiles will reach $200 billion globally by 2012, and Zong is at the forefront of this growth,” he said.

“It’s because of the current state of the industry and the incredible potential that we have attracted such talented management in the payments and mobile space to join our team.”

Zong has direct connections with carriers worldwide to provide a payment platform that combines carrier billing with payment card networks.

Zong is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits and also works with sites such as Gaia Online, IMVU and Playdom.

New hires to further growth
The new hires follow Zong’s most recent $15 million funding round with Matrix Partners and the addition of Dana Stalder, general partner of Matrix Partners, to Zong’s board of directors.

Ms. Krasnoperova joins Zong with more than 15 years of analytics, fraud and risk management experience, including stints at eBay and PayPal.

Recognizing the critical importance of fraud management, Zong has added Ms. Krasnoperova to lead a growing team focused on security and privacy as Zong continues to expand and develop products.

“Elena is responsible for developing and refining fraud risk detection algorithms, fraud risk management analytics and operations teams whose charter is to maximize total payment volume while minimizing charge-backs and business analytics to help make better business decisions across the entire organization,” Mr. Marcus said.

Mr. Kasriel has more than six years of strategy, business and new product development experience at PayPal, most recently running its consumer products division.

“Stephane is responsible for growing our merchant network, growing our carrier network and managing our global sales force and account management teams,” Mr. Marcus said.

Ms. Taylor was previously director of strategy and business performance management for premium mobile experiences at Microsoft, and also worked at Sidekick developer Danger Inc. and Oracle Corp.

“Sandy is responsible for all financial strategy and operations, financial performance forecasting and budgeting, as well as administration and compliance activities,” Mr. Marcus said.

Prior to joining Zong, Mr. Armandpour was vice president of engineering at mobile entertainment content provider SendMe Inc. and also worked at Yodlee Inc.

“Tim is responsible for leading all engineering activities across the company, managing development teams in the U.S. and Europe and maintaining high quality and high availability software and systems,” Mr. Marcus said.

Final take
Dan Butcher, Mobile Commerce Daily