13 February 2014
Five UK banks have announced that they intend to adopt the Zapp payment mobile app in the autumn in order to give customers the option of paying for goods bought online or in shops without using credit, debit cards or cash. This revolution in how we pay for goods or services will mean that we will be able to pay for something with our mobile phone or tablet. We will be able to make m-payments or mobile payments, in fact.
It really is very simple and banks claim that it is a safer way to pay than chip and pin. When you reach the checkout, either in a store or online, a code is sent to your mobile phone or tablet. Alternatively, you can scan a code into your phone or tablet that is on a restaurant bill, for example, or a card machine. The code contains all you need to know about the item you are buying or the bill you are paying and all that information will appear on your phone’s screen. You will also be able to see your balance at the same time and, if you have more than one bank account, balances of all your accounts. All you have to do is choose the account you wish to use, confirm that you accept the payment by tapping on your screen, and, hey presto, you’ve paid. It is quick, easy and safe. In fact, banks say that it is safer than any other method. Perhaps its chief bonus as a method of payment is that sensitive information such as expiry dates, card numbers and security codes are not involved and so cannot be hacked into by fraudsters. No information is revealed to a third party. The process of paying should take about 12 seconds, Zapp claims, while the unique code sent to your mobile for each purchase expires after three minutes as an extra safety precaution. In addition, only those businesses that have registered with Zapp will be able to generate the unique codes. You will even be able to use the Zapp app to pay bills that arrive by post because they may also have codes which can be scanned by the camera on your phone or tablet.
Banks signing up
Five banks have so far said that they will be adopting the Zapp app this autumn when the app launches. They are First Direct, Nationwide, HSBC, Metro Bank and Santander. Between them these five banks have 18 million customers, that’s one third of all bank account holding adults and 60 per cent of businesses. Barclays will not be joining them but it does have its own similar service called Pingit. Paypal and Orange also have systems running along the same lines.
Some experts are predicting that by 2016 we will not need wallets or purses when we shop on the high street, just our phones and phone accessories. The digital revolution is well and truly here.
Rahima Aktar on Thursday, February 13, 2014 · Leave a Comment