Consumers will be able to use a smartphone app to pay for purchases this year!
Known as Zapp, the app launches in autumn and will be available to 18 million UK current account holders.
The mobile payment system will only work for online purchases initially, but Peter Keenan, chief executive of Zapp, said he expects it to be enabled for at least one in five store payments from late 2015, meaning that consumers can “leave their wallets at home”.
By using a code sent to a customer’s smartphone when they touch the ‘Pay by Zapp’ button on a self-checkout touchscreen or tell the cashier at a till that they wish to pay this way. Alternatively, customers will be able to scan a code into the handset from a paper bill or the screen on a modern card machine.
The code will contain all the information needed to complete the transaction, including the price, and the retailer’s details and information about the goods being bought, which will appear on your mobile screen, testing by Zapp suggests the whole process will take12 seconds.
Keenan claims Zapp is more secure than current card payments as it does not require users to share their card numbers with third parties. “It is engineered so that it doesn’t have to share any information with the retailer,” he said. Banks also claim the technology will be safer, as the unique code for that purchase will expire after three minutes.
“For those worried about the security issues of paying from your mobile, Zapp’s use of ‘digital tokens’ – which mean consumers don’t need to reveal any of their details to merchants – as well as offering the same level of protection as debit cards, should give many consumers the peace of mind they need to embrace this technology and revolutionise how they shop and manage their money.”