The development of mobile payment platforms and their convergence with global social networks represents a powerful, high growth area that businesses cannot afford to ignore – particularly given the fact that social media giant Facebook is now a listed company.
Facebook is focusing on the payment business in a big way. The company made global headlines earlier this year when it filed its IPO at $38 a share. Even though the share has recently settled at around $19 per share, analysts now predict that online payment represents an attractive business avenue for Facebook.
Robert Sussman, co-founder and joint CEO of ZunguZ, the global multi-tier mobile payment platform integrated that is tightly integrated into Facebook, says that this is one of the fastest growing market segments within the broader ICT space.
“An article posted on Forbes.com specified that 15% of Facebook’s revenue last year – or almost $600 million – was generated from payments. That is a very interesting statistic because it confirms that more consumers connected to social networks are taking mobile payments seriously and more are looking to leverage off credible service providers. We expect the figure of social payments to double every year for the next five years,” Sussman explains.
ZunguZ is positioned to add value as the facilitator and service provider linking the consumer with the finance institution leveraging off social networks and social media.
Facebook has officially reached the 1-billion user mark, globally, and Sussman believes as the social network gains further ground, there is a definite opportunity to add value to consumers and provide an offering that can leverage off consumer behaviour and patterns.
“Service providers are aware of the opportunity that exists in this rapid growth sector. There will be no shortage of solutions and providers being established, and the consumer will have to be aware of what these “providers” are actually providing, at what charge and on what terms – these aspects need to be understood in order to make an informed decision,” he continues.
Research suggests that South Africa has 6,8 million Internet users and nearly 5 million Facebook users. “Our offering connects banking systems to the social graph and offers consumers a cost-free, instant and secure way to manage their finances. It is built with advanced architecture and has the level of security consumers would require to have confidence to engage online payment platforms,” says Sussman.
“While South Africa has been a pretty easy engagement for us, we are now spending time on larger markets such as South America, with 175million Internet users, 370million Mobile users and 125million Facebook users”, comments Sussman
ZunguZ is a US-Delaware registered company, with offices in Palo Alto USA and Cape Town South Africa. The global business shares its name with its flagship platform, ZunguZ®, a multi-tiered cloud platform that has deep integration into social networks and financial services.
Following a successful proof of concept and extensive closed Beta launch, the first version of the platform (version 1.0) was released to the social network Facebook in December 2011.
The company does not serve as a financial institution or similar regulatory body, but acts as a platform for global financial service providers, merchants and customers to connect at the point of transaction.
By placing people at the centre and using analytics to understand the unique behaviour of people across diverse economies, ZunguZ is able to influence the purchasing decisions of approximately a billion users globally.
ZunguZ can be activated through www.facebookpayments.co.za