Zong, the leading mobile payment service used by online gaming and social networking web sites, today announced that is has launched Zong+, the first online mobile payment platform combining carrier billing with credit, debit and prepaid cards.
Now, in addition to making online purchases through their cell phone bill, Zong customers will also be able to link any type of payment card to their Zong account through a one-time entry process and continue to purchase goods by simply entering their mobile number and confirming the security transaction code sent to their phone.
Zong+ increases the convenience and security of online payments while allowing for larger purchase amounts within a seamless user experience. Customers will be incentivized to complete the one-time card registration and will receive automatically redeemable rewards for every dollar spent through the Zong service. This new release enables Zong to address new market segments, win additional merchants and accelerate its end-user adoption rate which benefits all involved parties, including wireless carriers that will experience a significant increase in transaction volume. Merchants who may have previously been unable to leverage the higher conversion rate of mobile payments due to accompanying fees or limited price points, will now find themselves able to enjoy greater transaction completion at the typical card rates.
"We view mobile transactions through payment cards as a win-win-win for merchants, wireless carriers and consumers alike and we`re excited to offer this latest addition to our service," said David Marcus, founder and CEO, Zong. "Our ability to provide payment card billing through the mobile phone marks our commitment to increasing the ease through which users can make purchases and to providing them with more merchants to choose from as they securely pay online using their mobile phone."
"The promise of mobile payments can be realized by employing a smooth and flexible payment mechanism," said Vikrant Gandhi, Senior Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Zong's innovative Zong+ offering delivers significant flexibility to the merchants and the end-user and can be an industry growth driver."
Zong`s frictionless payment experience, featured in top applications on Facebook, MySpace, and hi5 and integrated with popular virtual worlds and gaming sites like Gaia Online, IMVU, Mochi Media and Outspark, converts "shoppers" into "buyers" at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional payment methods such as typical credit card purchases. Zong`s underlying transaction platform has processed payments for more than 10 million unique users in 2009 and 25 million total unique users since 2000.
"As one of the first merchants utilizing the new Zong+ payment service, hi5 will benefit from a more flexible and frictionless payment process. The ability for our customers to bill purchases to either their mobile bills or their payment card of choice will be essential for driving transaction completion," said Rajat Kongovi, director of business development at hi5. "With this new functionality we`ll be able to offer a wider variety of goods at more varied price points, increase our revenues from direct user payments, and most importantly, give our users greater freedom of choice for how they purchase virtual goods and games on hi5."