Are eBay And Zong A Dangerous Couple?

Mobile shopping is quickly becoming the next big thing. According to Juniper Research, mobile payments are expected to reach $650 billion by 2015.

Looking for a bigger piece of the action, eBay today acquired mobile payments company Zong for $240 million. While eBay in itself is a shopping destination, the company owns PayPal, a leading payments tool for both online and mobile. With the addition of Zong, eBay is now positioning itself to give consumers another choice for purchasing from a mobile device.

TechCrunch takes a deeper dive on how a mobile payment will work with Zong:

“When a user wants to purchase an item, he can enters his cell phone number on a site, the site sends a text message to the phone, the user confirms the transaction with a short reply, and all the charges show up on his phone bill. Zong powers this entire transaction. The company has partnered with over 250 carriers worldwide to offer the technology to mobile phone users.”

So why would eBay acquiring Zong create a dangerous couple? By being able to charge directly to your carrier account, you’re basically treating it like a credit card – with no limit. With a mobile purchase being as simple as entering your mobile number, people may quickly find themselves amassing a lot of charges, which then show up at the end of the month.

I’m going to go out on a limb and state now that mobile carriers might be the next ones that need a government bailout.

Do you think eBay and Zong are a dangerous couple?