Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Zong's David Marcus Talks About the Next Big Thing in Mobile Payments

There’s no question that mobile is the way an increasing number of payments are made for a variety of virtual goods.

Recently, BoomTown visited San Francisco-based Boku, one of the players in the race to win in this competitive space.

And, earlier this week, I motored on down to Menlo Park, Calif., to visit Zong.

While I would like to know why these services require such odd names, it’s clear Zong is good enough for Facebook to make it the mobile payment option for its Facebook Credits.

Zong is a spin-off from a company called Echovox, based in Switzerland. Zong garnered $15 million in funding from Matrix Partners earlier this year.

That investment was made by Dana Stalder, who was the former exec of PayPal, the pioneering online payment company that was bought by eBay.

Still, even with help, Zong has a complex business to run, which requires maintaining relationships with wireless companies around the world.

Sort of like herding cats, I would imagine.

Here’s my video interview with CEO David Marcus, who talks about where the business is headed:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus