Barclays has become the latest bank to announce its support for Zapp, a mobile payments startup formed by payments infrastructure operator VocaLink that will work via an integration with existing mobile banking apps for online payments initially, with in-store payments based on NFC to be launched at a later date. The announcement follows reports that Apple Pay is set to launch in the UK on July 14.
Five UK banks — HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide and Santander which, unlike Barclays, are also signed up to offer Apple Pay to their customers, alongside Metro Bank — announced their support for Zapp in January 2014. The service is expected to launch in the autumn of this year and will operate under the ‘Pay by Bank app’ paymark.
As one of the UK’s “big four” banks and an NFC mobile payments pioneer, Barclays was a notable absence from the list of supporting banks when Apple announced it would be expanding its mobile payments service into the UK. Barclays told NFC World at the time that it remained in “constructive” talks with Apple to support Apple Pay, before launching its own range of contactless-enabled bPay devices this month. It has also operated its own Pingit P2P mobile payments service since February 2012.
NFC World has asked Barclays to comment on whether the bank has any plans to support Apple Pay alongside Zapp, but is yet to receive a response.
“Customers choosing ‘Pay by Bank app’ will be offered the market-leading Barclays Pingit app as one way to pay and millions of Pingit customers will be able to make mobile payments at major retailers across the country from launch,” Zapp says.
“Because Pingit is available for anyone to download as an app, whether or not they bank with Barclays, all consumers will be able to make ‘Pay by Bank app’ payments from October 2015, as long as they have a UK bank or building society account and a smartphone with a UK-registered number.
“The addition of payments via the Pingit app makes Zapp’s ‘Pay by Bank app’ the UK’s first total market mobile payment solution, available to all consumers regardless of who they bank with or which smartphone brand they use.
“Barclays plans to extend ‘Pay by Bank app’ to hundreds of corporate banking clients that currently accept Pingit payments, providing even more ways to increase sales from mobile phones and tablets. Barclays also plans to offer ‘Pay by Bank app’ payments to customers via their existing mobile banking app later this year.”
“Our customers have taken to mobile banking in their millions,” says Darren Foulds, managing director of mobile payments at Barclays.
“We’re now able to build on the success of Pingit and meet the growing demand from our customers to use their mobiles to pay for goods and services swiftly and securely. We expected to see rapid take up of ‘Pay by Bank app’ payments.”
Peter Keenan, CEO of Zapp, adds: “This is a shining example of the financial and retail communities working together for the benefit of UK consumers.”