New Index Shows Strong Growth in Mobile Payments

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 31 Mar, 2011

Mobile payments provider Zong has released the first installment of a new monthly report called the Zong Payment Index (ZPI), which tracks the spending patterns of the platform's global user base and is broken down by its top 40 markets worldwide.

The ZPI is designed to reflect consumers' willingness to use mobile phones to buy digital goods online, their ability to use mobile phones to make purchases and the cost of mobile payments as determined by mobile operators' fees.

"The ZPI helps us understand how our customers are using Zong and how we can improve the experience for them," says CEO David Marcus. "We are dissecting how the different factors such as merchant availability and operator policies have a huge and direct effect on consumer behavior."

The first installment of the ZPI introduces data and analysis up to February 2011. A summary of the key findings includes the following:

  • The global aggregate index shows that the average monthly spend per Zong user is up 37 percent in the last 12 months. This growth is attributed to an increase in available merchant locations, lower transaction fees and the introduction of higher spending limits set by mobile operators.
  • Total spend per Zong customer increased more than 50 percent in the last 12 months in Canada, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany and The Netherlands. Growth in user spend is primarily a result of operators changing spending limits and allowing customers to spend more per transaction.
  • The monthly spend per user in the U.S. decreased 8 percent from January 2011 to February 2011. This was primarily driven by a top-tier carrier temporarily decreasing the monthly spending limit from $100 to $25. The limit has since increased back to $100, allowing for an expected growth in monthly spend per customer.

Zong, which is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits and is accepted at over a thousand digital merchant sites, will continue to release the ZPI on a monthly basis.