UK shoppers to get zapped

Peter Keenan hails the upcoming arrival of Zapp as the biggest change in UK payments since the introduction of the Switch card in the mid-1980s. Mr Keenan is hardly neutral – he’s the Zapp chief executive after all – but the service he enthuses about may indeed rank alongside Switch (which ushered in the debit card revolution) as one of the major retail breakthroughs in recent decades.

Unlike other mobile payment services that have struggled to take off, Zapp has managed to get a number of big-name retailers on board. Two of the UK’s biggest grocers – Asda and Sainsbury’s – were unveiled as Zapp partners last month, as were other well-known brands, including House of Fraser, Thomas Cook and Shop Direct. They join a slew of other outlets that have committed to accepting payments from smartphones carrying the Zapp app, which is slated to go live next year. Mr Keenan says it’s the largest coalition of retailer support for a new payment method ever announced in the UK. (more…)