Exclusive: Local entrepreneurs launch P2P payments app inside of Facebook

As more and more popular Internet verticals move into Facebook – like gaming (Zynga), instant messaging/email (Facebook Titan), music (Spotify) and shopping – the next logical step is payments.
Two South African entrepreneurs have done just that. Rob Sussman and Lance Fanaroff, founders of Integr8 – the largest privately owned ICT Company in Africa, have launched ZunguZ.
By connecting banking systems to the social graph, ZunguZ simplifies the process of transferring money and is the fastest and simplest way for users to transfer money to their friends. The social graph confirms the relationship between contacts in order to simplify money transfer. Users no longer need to use cumbersome banking applications to load their contact‘s banking details. Instead they simply load the ZunguZ application within their social network, click on their contacts and send money. The recipient does not even need to have an account, as they can create one as soon as they wish to access their new funds. This allows the ZunguZ user base to grow virally via the Facebook social graph.

Rob Sussman says of the service that “ZunguZ has the potential to influence the purchasing decisions of over 850 million users across the world. And while we gear for the release of the second tier of the platform, we are intercepting the unbanked and low banked population at the point of purchase. We have been overwhelmed with requests from some of the largest banks in the world, as well as the most prominent SA banks, to leverage our platform to deliver their services.”
The concept has evolved over a few years, and led to the commencement of development of the platform over a year ago. After numerous meetings with Facebook to understand their strategy in the payment space, as well as some of the largest financial services and banking institutions, from Silicon Valley to New York, their release of the closed beta caught the eye of prominent tech names in the valley.
After a successful proof of concept and closed beta, they opened up with a soft launch to South African users a few days ago. USA, Mexico and India are currently in negotiations and end point of presence for withdrawals will be available in these regions from the first quarter of next year.

ZunguZ is essentially a multi-tiered platform that has deep integration into the social graph and a host of financial services. While there are a host of diverse P2P, P2B, B2B payment systems in the market, even though ZunguZ is the first platform that allows a Facebook user to pay another Facebook user (with no requirement for a user to have a bank account or email address), ZunguZ does not compete with the likes of PayPal. It is the intelligence that exists in the level 2 and 3 layers where the core ZunguZ business model exists, allowing the referred distribution of purchases to your network. After all, people trust their “œfriends“.
They have setup ZunguZ offices in the heart of Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, not far from Facebook.
Watch how ZunguZ works in the video below: