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Rob Sussman

The new African-born facebook payment app, ZunguZ, will be more secure than credit cards for online payment, say its creators.

With its patented algorithms to confirm social networking identity in milliseconds, ZunguZ, described as the world’s first facebook payment app, promises to be more secure than credit cards, says ZunguZ co-founder Rob Sussman.

ZunguZ founders Robert Sussman and Lance Fanaroff have now officially launched the payment platform, following a Beta phase that started at the end of 2011.

The platform allows facebook users to buy goods from social media stores or transfer money to their facebook friends, securely and at no charge. The built-in security includes user authentication and a pin code sent to a user’s phone. The biggest benefit of the system is that it operates within facebook, allowing users to buy or send money without having to leave the network.

This is a first, he says, and has become necessary as merchants start taking their stores into the social media realm. Sussman says the tool will allow for instant buying on the social networking site, without having to leave the page or use a credit card.

The new ZunguZ cardSussman explains that the funds being transferred will be held in a ZunguZ account, so the platform does not need to link to a user’s bank account during the payment process. Currently the service allows users to buy goods online and transfer money to recipients within South Africa. A ZunguZ card now coming to market will allow recipients to shop anywhere with the money they have been sent.

Expanding the transfer service across borders is more complex, but talks are underway to expand this service soon, says Sussman. “We are working with cross border payment firm Earthport and Mastercard Mexico on international money transfers. We hope to go live with these in the first half of next year,” he says.

Although the service is new, it is already seeing strong uptake says Sussman. “It’s going particularly well internationally,” he says. “We are aiming to have 15 million users within the next three years.”

The uses for the payment platform are endless, Sussman points out. ZunguZ is particularly useful for the purchase of airtime or data bundles, or for redeeming loyalty points. “There’s a massive roadmap for where we are going,” he says.

ZunguZ can be activated here www.facebookpayments.co.za

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