Barclays is the latest UK bank to sign up for Zapp, which will enable m-commerce and point-of-sale transactions in competition with Apple Pay.
In fact, Barclays said it will be the first UK financial institution to offer Zapp’s Pay by Bank app to its users in October this year. The bank will integrate Zapp’s payments capability with its popular Pingit app, which enables P2P money transfer between users.
But the Barclays’ launch will be three months behind rival Apple Pay which is due later this month (July). Zapp’s debut was expected to be in the first half of 2015 but its plans slipped, so handing the initiative to Apple.
Also, Zapp will only initially work for m-commerce transactions. In-store payments become available in early 2016. Apple Pay can do both from the start.
Zapp was developed by UK payment processor VocaLink. In addition to Barclays, it is supported by HSBC, first direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank. None of them have yet announced their launch dates.
However, some big names are still holding back from supporting Pay by Bank, including Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Apple Pay is supported by first direct, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. Barclays is not among supporters of Apple Pay.
Zapp does have some advantages, not least the support of Barclays whose popular Pingit app runs on both Android and iOS devices.
Barclays will also offer the Pay by Bank app to hundreds of its corporate banking clients that currently accept Pingit payments, for instance in retail or transport. And the bank will add the app to their existing mobile banking app later this year.