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Sainsbury's and Asda become the latest companies to accept Zapp mobile payments.

8 October 2014

Customers of major retailers including Asda, Sainsbury's and House of Fraser will be able to leave their wallets at home and use their mobile phones to pay at the checkout when a new payments service is launched next year.

Zapp was announced earlier this year that highstreet banks HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank have already signed up to offer Zapp mobile payments to 18 million customers across the UK.

Mobile payment innovation Zapp, which has been developed by the company behind Link cash machines, has unveiled a string of firms where customers will be able to use the payment technology, which also includes Thomas Cook, Clarks, Oxfam, Spar, Clarks, Dune, Best Western, Siemens, Thomas Cook, Bravissimo as well as Shop Direct - the group behind Littlewoods,, and Isme.

The companies which have agreed to support Zapp have a base of more than 35 million customers between them.

Zapp says the retailers' commitment is proof that the mobile payment revolution is taking off and will deliver improvements in security, convenience and speed, while ‘checking out’ both online and in-store for both customer and retailer.

The technology is the latest in a wave of innovations which mean that transferring cash using just the mobile phone in your pocket is rapidly becoming more convenient - for everything from paying back a friend to even buying a house while "on the go".

Zapp will compete with other payment systems including PayPal, Pingit and Apple Pay – the forthcoming wallet service from Apple that is embedded in iPhones and the Apple Watch.

Rob Harper, Head of Retail Services at PayPal UK, said Paypal handled $27 billion in mobile payments globally in 2013 both online and on the high street.

'PayPal has been accepted on the British high street for over three years. You can use PayPal’s smartphone app to pay at over 2,000 UK high street shops and restaurants, including GBK, Prezzo and wagamama alongside the likes of Oasis, Coast and JD Sports.

'The PayPal app is more than a replacement for your wallet – not only can you shop on the high street but you can use it to check your spending, send money to a friend, order ahead for food or pay the bill at your table as well as take advantage of special offers at retailers,' he added.

Barclays launched its pioneering Pingit app in 2012, which is available to both Barclays and non-Barclays customers and was billed as "the UK's first person-to-person mobile payments service".

Pingit allows people to transfer money as easily as texting and since launch, the service has had 3.2 million downloads and has been used to send £680 million worth of payments, demonstrating demand for an alternative way to make payments.

According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) 20 million adults will use their mobiles to pay for goods and services by the end of the decade, with the value of purchases tripling from current levels to £14.2bn ($22.8bn) in 2018.

Zapp claims its app will be the biggest change in mobile payments since the introduction of the Switch card in 1988.

Customers will be able to see their account balances at the point of purchase and choose different accounts to pay from, thereby staying more in control of their finances.

Paying with Zapp will be more secure and simple than existing methods, the company claims, because customers won’t have to reveal any of their financial details to retailers when they are shopping.

Zapp transactions will be a fraction of the cost of cards or other alternative payment methods.

Jon Rudoe, Digital and Technology Director at Sainsbury’s, said: ‘We know that the way that our customers shop is changing and we’re always looking at new and innovative ways to improve the experience.

‘We’re one of the first retailers to sign up to Zapp to give our customers a quick, secure and convenient option to pay – both online and at the till.’

Paul Fielding, Group Treasurer of Asda said: ‘Zapp supports our long standing commitment to innovation. Our customers want to have choice, not only of what they buy but how they buy it, and Zapp will represent a fantastic addition to our payment options.’



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