Blog Post

Boku and Zong Launch In-App Android Payments

Zong and Boku, the mobile payments competitors, have found a new place to go head-to-head: the Android (s GOOG) platform. Both companies are today announcing trials of support for in-app transactions on Android, billed to users’ mobile carriers securely.

What’s cool about how both Zong and Boku do this is if you want to buy something within an app, you can make the full transaction without ever leaving the app or logging in, unlike on the iPhone (s AAPL) platform, where Apple controls the process. Both companies have relationships with carriers across the globe to enable the (admittedly somewhat kludgy) process of charging mobile purchases using premium SMS.

The Boku purchase flow on Android

Both Boku and Zong are providing access to Android app developers by application. If you want to get started, go to or (they’re even in sync on the URLs!).

PayPal (s EBAY) announced Android in-app billing in April. Android also allows developers to charge for their full apps using Google Checkout or direct billing on T-Mobile.

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9 Responses to “Boku and Zong Launch In-App Android Payments”

  1. Didn’t Google Checkout just die?

    I see payment options being successful only if security is paramount – including fraud prevention. Saying that it simplifies things for users if their purchases are just added to their bill. Shame it can’t be trusted…

  2. steve

    The two companies have a very similar approach, very easy to use interface that only asks for your mobile number. But it seems like Zong is the first out of the gate with their beta Android app and has the advantage.

  3. @eyal, I disagree! Yes there are some shady companies out there that try to bill you via premium SMS, but also there are very legit companies doing this as well. The US is one of the only countries that DON’T offer consumable goods to be purchased via cell phone billing but I can see this changing very soon. And as the mobile industry grows and transitions into the mobile payment option you can bet payment services companies will also grow.

  4. SMS payments are high cost high fraud alternatives, solutions have been offering it for many years, I have no idea why these two will make any difference to this failed payment option. They will make noise for a while and dissapear….