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October 8, 2014

Asda and Sainsbury’s to accept mobile payments

Zapp partners with UK retailers to allow shopper smartphone payments.

By Ben Sullivan

Some of the UK’s major supermarkets and retailers, including Asda, Sainsbury’s and House of Fraser, will be introducing mobile payment services in 2015.

Mobile payment platform Zapp, developed by a cash machine manufacturer, will be supplying the retailers with the technology to accept mobile payments from shoppers. The technology will allows shoppers to pay with their smartphones.

Other retailers to start using Zapp include Spar, Clarks, and Bravissimo.

Consumers will also be able to use Zapp technology to pay for household bills with utility providers such as Anglian Water and Bristol and Wessex Water.

Additionally, many payment providers in the UK including Verifone, Klarna, Touch Go, and Siemens are announcing that they will work with Zapp to bring mobile payments to market.

Peter Keenan, Zapp CEO, said: "Today is a hugely significant milestone in the history of money in the UK. At last the promise of a truly mobile and digital payment method will become a reality, meaning easier and more secure checkouts for millions. It’s amazing to have the support of such well known retailers. Together with our other partners this means millions of consumers will be able to shop at tens of thousands of merchants up and down the UK at launch."

Zapp said that its core technology has been successfully built and delivered, but the firm iscurrently working with banks and retailers to integrate the technology into their systems and provide a great customer experience. Pilots are now being planned ahead of a launch of Zapp.

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David Lowrence, retail client engagement manager at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: "Given the proliferation in smartphone use, it is no surprise that mobile payments have seen such a huge surge.

"By adopting new payment technologies, organisations have the opportunity to offer a more exclusive customer experience, creating new possibilities helping to drive increased revenue and excellent customer service."

From launch, the customers of participating retailers will be able to pay for goods and services using just their existing bank account, a smartphone and a mobile banking app. Customers will be able to see their account balances at the point of purchase and choose different accounts to pay from.

James Frost, CMO at Worldpay UK, one of Zapp’s partners, said: "The high street is leading the charge for mobile payments as more retailers bank on smartphones for fast and easy sales. One in three people in the UK are already using cashless apps and nearly half of UK shoppers are using their phone in-store to check prices, with Zapp’s latest partnerships likely only to accelerate this trend.

"We’re not yet at the stage where shoppers will walk out the door if they can’t pay via an app, however with consumers now so inseparable from their phones, retailers are clearly realising that mobile payments will make a sound commercial investment for the future."


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