High street retailers to accept mobile payments next year

A number of high street retailers are to accept mobile payments next year, following the announcement of a partnership between Zapp and payments processing services firm WorldPay.

WH Smith, Lidl, Superdrug and McDonald's are some of the retailers currently using WorldPay card processing systems, and will accept the mobile payment system from Zapp when it launches in 2014.

Zapp is an independent company that will go up against competing mobile payment solutions from other providers, such as banks, in future, having been setup earlier this year with a £16 million investment from Vocalink, the firm responsible for providing payment systems such as Link for ATMs.

The partnership with WorldPay will mean Zapp software can be integrated into particpating merchant's checkouts. This will enable point of sale payments by sending a code containing payment information to the customer's mobile when they are at a till, which is then used to confirm the transaction. Purchases can also be made by scanning a QR code.

The payment system will also connect with a user's mobile banking accounts, so customers will be able to check their balance before making a purchase.

Commenting on the deal Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman of WorldPay, said: “WorldPay is focused on providing our customers with access to as many different payment types as possible. It’s vital for businesses in the UK to have access to a range of robust, secure and fast payment services, so mobile payments with Zapp will be another great option for our customers.”

Peter Keenan, chief executive of Zapp, added: “I am delighted to announce this partnership between Zapp and WorldPay to roll out Zapp mobile payments in 2014. WorldPay is a crucial partner in the establishment of the Zapp payment eco-system that will deliver benefit for financial institutions, retailers and customers alike.”

Others are moving to introduce rival mobile payment systems, with Visa, IBM and Monitise also announcing a partnership earlier this month. Barclays' Pingit app already enables person to person payments, for example, but does not currently support retail transactions.

UK regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority, recently highlighted a number of potential risks that must be addressed by companies offering mobile payments services, with an interim report raising concerns around the security of payments and the strength of the underlying infrastructure.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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