As a follow-up to the ZunguZ pioneers money transfers via Facebook article that was published in March, we catch up with co-founder Robert Sussman regarding the progress of ZunguZ.
Briefly tell us about ZunguZ.
ZunguZ is a technology platform; it’s the first platform in the world that is partially integrated into the Facebook social graph and financial service providers. ZunguZ allows Facebook banking to take place.
How safe and secure is this in terms of exposing customer accounts?
I would be concerned about any financial service provider that is offering banking services on facebook. ZunguZ is strong and we have been a global leader when it comes to fraud management. We don’t expose the bank accounts of our users to Facebook. We would only use the bank account for deposits or withdrawals once and we don’t store that kind of information. We don’t link your bank account to Facebook. Our platform sits in-between and your only risk would be the money sitting in your Facebook account (if someone hacks your page).
What is the registration process?
If you have a bank account and would like to send money to someone that doesn’t have one and they are your friend on Facebook, you can click on their profile and be able to set the amount that you’d like to send to them. Within minutes, ZunguZ will create an on-demand bank account for that person and notify them via Facebook, email or text. We are currently working on creating a Visa debit card, which will allow the user to withdraw the money anywhere in SA. The card will be available at major retailers.
In SA, how many banks are part of ZunguZ?
Any person with a bank account globally can use this service. We are currently signed with local banks and can only transfer to SA banks, but the technology allows you to transfer money globally. We haven’t concluded our money transfer licences for international transfers, but that is obviously on the cards.
What other transactions can be done via ZunguZ and Facebook?
We got contacted by various merchants all over the world who would like to be integrated into ZunguZ. We have the ability to do one-click payments, and we are the only platform on Facebook that allows you to see something, click and buy it without leaving the Facebook page and be redirected to another website. For the first time in SA, you can now buy airtime and can also buy American iTunes vouchers, without having an American address.
What does this mean for the banking industry?
The banking industry is built around money, whereas the ZunguZ platform is built around people. So it’s all about the person, what they like and what they want to buy. We don’t actually compete with banks, we work with banks. We just bridge social network and banking.
* For more information, visit: www.facebookpayments.co.za or www.zunguz.com