Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Zapp bags big retail brands for push on UK m-payments market

AUSTRALIA: According to Eden Zoller, principal analyst, Consumer, Ovum, Zapp is building up impressive support across the payments ecosystem in readiness for the launch of its m-payments service in the UK next year, starting with financial institutions and now adding retailers to the mix.

The retail line-up includes high street brands with heavy footfall like Asda and Sainsbury’s and also popular online players such as the Shop Direct group. This is a good start but Zapp will need to get more retailers behind it. For mobile proximity payments to be successful, widespread merchant acceptance is critical – until this is in place consumer uptake and usage of mobile proximity payments will remain low.

One of the appealing things about the Zapp solution is that it is technology agnostic, so merchants and other parties are not locked into NFC and can instead opt for lower cost alternatives such as QR codes or Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, which are typically a more favored option among retailers.

Zapp has yet to make its business model public but it is promising that transaction fees will be less than cards and other payment methods, which is another crowd pleaser for merchants. Zapp will have to deliver on this promise or risk retailer disappointment.

Zapp is doing its best to ensure it launches with a solid foundation in place, which is wise as the UK mobile payments market is increasingly crowded with recent initiatives including Paym while the prospect of Apple Pay hangs heavy on the horizon.

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