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VocaLink Creates Zapp Mobile M-payments for UK FIs and retailers

VocaLink is creating a new company, called Zapp, to bring a new mobile m-payment system to the UK. It will give consumers direct access to the money in their existing bank accounts by linking it with their mobile phone number and provide access to real-time payment services when it launches next year.

The UK payment processor, which is already building the central mobile proxy database on behalf of the UK Payments Council that will form the basis of the mobile m-payment service due to start in 2014 and built the same-day Faster Payments Service infrastructure in the UK, is working to get UK financial institutions (FIs) and retailers signed up. VocaLink insists that Zapp is a totally separate service, however, that will compete for customers in an open marketplace, with customers at smaller banks and building societies likely to be offered the chance to join as their institutions are unlikely to be able to fund such as service themselves, as Barclays has with Pingit and its recent Buyit launch aimed at retailers.

The Zapp mobile m-commerce, loyalty, payment, online and in-store offering will let customers pay for goods however they want to. It will be ready for those FIs that want to integrate Zapp into their mobile apps and invite customers to opt in, by year end, prior to the consumer launch in 2014.

A Zapp PIN code will authorise m-payments online or at the terminal, and doing away with the need for cards in the payment process

VocaLink says it is already collaborating closely with a significant - but unnamed - group of stakeholders including FIs, merchants, merchant acquirers, billers and telcos, to set up, build and deliver the new framework for Zapp mobile payments.

According to David Yates, chief executive officer (CEO) of VocaLink, the company is proud to be collaborating with financial institutions and retailers to spearhead the creation of a new payment system, which gives all of us easy access to the money in our bank accounts by using secure technology through the mobile phone. “The UK financial system has a rich history of speeding up the movement of money and Zapp is the next evolution,” he concluded.