Exclusive: Utilities firms to roll out mobile payments via bank app Zapp

Tim Wallace
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MAJOR utilities firms will this month announce plans for consumers to pay bills using new mobile app Zapp, City A.M. understands, in a new drive to consolidate a fragmented industry.

From next summer customers will receive bills with QR codes attached, which they can scan to pay the bills with the app.

Zapp, set up by bank-owned payment infrastructure firm Vocalink, is designed to make payments to and from all banks and building societies.

Set to be launched next year it will integrate with existing banking apps as well as working as a standalone app for those whose banks do not have one in place.

Barclays has taken the lead on mobile and contactless payments so far. But Zapp’s boss Peter Keenan argues one system established for all banks should make the process of rolling out mobile payments faster and more efficient.

And he claims the system is more secure even than debit and credit card payments. A survey by ICM found 60 per cent of bank customers are put off using mobile payments because of security fears, which Keenan said has pushed Zapp to invest more in security systems.

“In a card payment all sorts of information like the card number, start date and expiry date are handed over, which is useful to fraudsters,” Keenan said. “The sector has it under control, but with mobile payments the data is just not transferred.”