Zapp signs up five banks for mobile payments

The idea of paying for goods with your phone isn't new, but it is fair to say that the idea has yet to genuinely take hold of the British buying public. Zapp is looking to change all of that.

In fact, the app-based payment system has just taken a big step forward, signing up five banks to work with the service. So if you happen to be bank with HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander or Metro Bank, you'll be able to use the service first later this year, which is likely to be the autumn.

On the face of it, Zapp sounds like the others that have tried and not quite succeeded. But Zapp is different because it works directly with your bank account, avoiding having to share information with a third party. This, it claims, makes the service more secure. It also works both instore via NFC or online, with the app launching at checkout from your phone or tablet. It can even work with your bills by post too. Just scan a QR code and the app will open up and offer you a means to pay.

Working with your bank account directly also allows you to access an up to date account balance too, so you can have a quick check to see if you can actually afford what you are planning to buy.

It sounds like a well thought out service and one that the competition (some of which is already in place) might well be wary of. Alternatively, like PayPal, they might welcome it as a way of changing the mindset of consumers.

Rob Skinner, head of public relations at PayPal UK and Ireland, said: 'Money’s digital switchover is underway. By 2016, we predict that you won’t need a physical wallet to shop on the British high street - our vision is that the digital wallet doesn’t just replace a physical wallet but is something that will include offers and loyalty schemes as well as bank accounts, credit and debit cards. That's why we welcome new players such as Zapp to the market, to join us on the road to realising the future of money.'

If the idea grabs you, a website is already up and running to explain the service in more detail.

Source: Daily Telegraph

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