back to article Five UK banks sign up to hook up customers' ACCOUNTS to their MOBILE DEVICES

British banks HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank have all signed up to Zapp's mobile payment system, allowing their customers to pay using a tablet or smartphone. The announcement comes just days after O2 snapped shut its Wallet service. The five banking firms together provide services to around 18 …


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  1. linicks


    Maybe I am getting old, but I don't like this.

    Barclays online uses a card reader to generate codes for you to login. Halifax uses a (sort of) two password system that uses dropdown boxes to login (so no key presses.

    With this, what happens when your phone is nicked?

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: Dodgy

      I don't really see how it'll be less secure than your debit or credit card. In fact, I don't really see how it can't be more secure.

      Get phone out. Unlock phone (PIN or face or pattern or TouchID etc). Open banking app. Log in to banking app (however needed for your bank). Pay.

      At least two levels of security there. There's no way that they will release it in such a way as you can just start up the app with no authentication and pay money out of the account.

      Compare to card. Get card out. Swipe and sign or insert and input PIN.

      Just the one level.

      Or worse if you have an RFID enabled card where many transactions do in fact need no security.

      1. F0rdPrefect

        Re: Dodgy

        Except that, from what I have seen, most people don't have/use any security on their mobiles, and even if they do they seem to leave bluetooth and wifi on and unsecured.

        RFID can be disabled, if the banking numpties won't give you a normal card.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dodgy

      HSBC Android App requires memorable location and 3 random digits from your Banking App Password, and they have to be entered whenever you Login in....

      Soooo unless you leave your App running all the time then your pretty safe.....

      But if you do I guess you deserve it

    3. Richard Jones 1

      Re: Dodgy

      I'm not sure how old you are but this also stinks for me. A smart phone is about the most useless thing I have ever seen. It goes flat, does not do what I need and now can be a spigot to flow money out of an account.

      Except that since the damned thing is useless I will not be subscribing.

      None of my banks have been stupid enough to sign up, phew!

      1. DF118

        Re: Dodgy

        Ahem... None of my banks HAS been stupid enough.

  2. Amorous Cowherder


    ...sounds like lots of fun for those bleeding-edge types willing to take a chance on this!

    Direct linkage to my accounts? Think I'll give this a miss thanks!

    1. FartingHippo

      Re: Hmmm...


      1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...


        Yes, but a wuss with money...

    2. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: Hmmm...

      Direct linkage to your accounts?

      Unlike your debit card?

  3. YetAnotherPasswordToRemeber

    I won't use this as I simply don't trust the security on the platforms at the moment, not to mention the what happens if the phones nicked issue.

  4. Bryn Evans

    Count me out!

    I claim refuge as I don't have a 'phone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until Nationwide bring out a Windows Phone app

    I'm safe too.

  6. Scott Broukell

    Age realated Dislike Disorder here too.

    Whilst there was enough of an uproar to reverse, at least for the moment, the recent proposal to do away with cheques, I fear that this is the thin of the wedge with regard to the demise of cash altogether. Cash is apparently expensive to print, distribute and count, so banks would love us to give it up all together and embrace entirely digital transactions. Although cash might 'cost' the banks something it appears to have no affect whatsoever on their beloved bonuses etc, so it can't cost them that much can it. Apart from the security issues, which will probably end up costing the banks a lot more than cash ever did, despite counterfeiting etc, it is a worrisome thing indeed.

    1. linicks

      Re: Age realated Dislike Disorder here too.

      Well, the debit card destroyed the cheque system, and anybody under the age of 35(ish) I doubt has ever written a cheque. But they all use PHONES to do other stupid things than make a telephone call.

      Makes sense now for the less intelligent population.

      1. Scott Broukell

        Re: Age realated Dislike Disorder here too.

        Now, now, we probably have ourselves to blame for any broad swathes of poorly educated masses 'sexting' with their mobile devices by letting blooming hippie teachers start rearranging the desks into little 'groups' in the 70's.

        That aside, digital transactions of this type will most probably be lapped up by younger generations and that is to be expected after all. All we can do is remind them of the 'old ways' and encourage the brighter ones to absorb a wider range of historical knowledge such that they might come up with new, and improved, 'ways' compared to our old ones. I just hope they keep cash around for a few more years.

        Got to go, my smart-home, I.O.T., app says my slippers are at optimum temperature are are to be removed from atop the wood burner forthwith ;)

      2. <shakes head>

        Re: Age realated Dislike Disorder here too.

        nope i am and i have, loads, and as a contractor the Ltd company has used loads as well.

    2. JohnG

      Re: Age realated Dislike Disorder here too.

      "I fear that this is the thin of the wedge with regard to the demise of cash altogether."

      Whilst the banks, HMRC and others with some self interest keep predicting the demise of cash, it hasn't happened and it won't happen. If the government of the day decides to stop printing notes and minting coins, people will simply use other currencies for cash transactions - they might even invent their own currencies or swap commodities.

      My cash works when my phone is lost, stolen, has a flat battery or is otherwise incapacitated.

      When I buy stuff for cash, HMRC, the banks and "their selected marketing partners" have no idea what I have bought.

      Bank payment systems have to be paid for, which is why some traders offer a discount for cash.

    3. DanceMan
      Thumb Up

      Re: Age realated Dislike Disorder here too.

      Age related Dislike Disorder

      Thanks Scott. I'm going to use that, since it applies to me frequently now.

  7. Semtex451 Silver badge

    I'm all for this, I have nothing to steal.

    Except my phone

  8. GarethB


    I get cashback if I pay via a credit card so there is a definite benefit to continuing to use a credit card compared to Zapp

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: Cashback

      Agreed, and that's why I use credit cards too, but this is targeting debit cards rather than credit cards. And I definitely don't get cashback on my debit card.

  9. Red Bren

    That special £50 feeling

    Is that the feeling you get when the shop refuses to accept your £50 note?

    I prefer that special £5 feeling I get when the cashier/bus driver thanks me for not using up their entire float to make change for a £20, as that's all that cash machines dish out these days.

    1. Ol'Peculier

      Re: That special £50 feeling

      The Halifax on our main street dishes out £5 notes.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Just think how much more special a £50 note feels than three £20 notes."

    Just think how special it will feel when those green measures your overlords love so much really start having the intended effect and your economy goes so far down the shitter that the only thing that you'll be able to do with your money is wipe your arses with it. That's gonna feel really special!

    1. FartingHippo
      Thumb Down

      Re: £50

      Congrats. Must have been challenging to crowbar a rant about green taxes/subsidies into an article about payment systems.

      I bet you feel all warm and special now.

    2. Old Tom

      Re: £50

      I don't recall ever having a £50 note, but gimme 3 £20 notes over one £50 note any day.

      In fact, I'll get some £50 notes just to swap them with you for your batches of 3 £20 notes.

  11. spudmasterflex

    Sounds like a whole lot of hoops to jump through to pay for something.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      "...a lot of hoops to jump through...."

      Interesting biometric. I guess it would work. It would definitely have a positive effect on general health. But I don't see the public carrying around a lot hoops just so they can pay for a latte. Even cutting it down to repeatedly jumping through one hoop is unlikely to win them over.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "...a lot of hoops to jump through...."

        Duh!! The shop/cafe/taxi/lady of ill repute provide the hoops!! You provide the "jumping through" part...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The two things banks really hate are customers and cash.

    And the only two things customers really hate are banks and banks.

  13. Arachnoid

    How long before........

    Such devices are no longer on our mobile but under our skin or even implanted in our DNA @ birth.

    Resistance is futile ........your account is over credit.Please walk to your nearest Police station for reeducation classes.

  14. Al fazed

    More incompatability

    Ever heard of it ?

    Since moving to Dorset I can no longer do much of the Internet Banking I used to do when I lived in a city. Why is this, you say ?

    Well, since my bank decided it would be more secure to send a 4 digit pin to my mobile phone I can no longer set up a new payment or cancel an old one on-line, simply because my mobile doesn't work when I am at home, there is no signal ! I have to travel about a quarter of a mile to get a signal. I bet they never thought of this one.

    Also, if my mobile phone is nicked and the perps try hacking into my bank account, Santander very kindly send them the 4 digit pin, making the process easier for them and harder for me, as the bank still insists on sending my mobile a PIN, even if I am doing telephone banking from my landline !

    Fucking smart arses..........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More incompatability

      Santander's online banking is generally a crock of s**t anyway... possibly the most user unfriendly system anyway and awful to try and set up.

      I must have tried a dozen times to set up my online access and in the end I gave up and we both used my wife's access (it was a joint account).

      The piss poor online service was one of the reasons we upped sticks and moved our account to First Direct, far more user friendly.

      That aside I wouldn't use this system as to be honest it seems a real faff compared to just swiping a card or entering payment details.

  15. nuked

    Security concerns are quite a side issue. The mass fraud that the banks have to underwrite pales into insignificance compared with something that enables slightly more indebted retail spending.

  16. Ian 62

    Great.. More people fannying around a the front of the queue

    For a quick transaction it sounds like a PITA.

    'Oh hang on, I know I left my phone in my handbag SOMEWHERE'

    'Oh here it is'

    Unlock code.

    Find and launch the app.

    No 3G. Error

    Wait for 3G to lock.

    Still Error

    Quit and Re-launch App

    User ID

    Secret code (8 characters long, but characters 4, 3, 7 please)

    Wrong Try Again

    Wrong Try Again

    'So sorry, I get flustered when I'm in a rush'

    Correct code

    'How much was it again?'

    QR code generated, trying to get it in frame and photographed.

    Insufficient Funds

    'Oh, wrong bank account, hang on, I need to launch my current account App'

  17. Someone Else Silver badge

    Finally! A reason to be happy being a 'Murican

    Yes, I do realize that that warm, fuzzy feeling is transitory and will be short lived, and what 'Murican corporate oligarchs will come up with to fill this space will make this seem positively quaint, and even desirable. But still....

  18. Someone Else Silver badge

    Truer words were never spoken!

    The two things banks really hate are customers and cash.

    Which just goes to show you how far the banking "business" has degraded. Fuck 'em!

  19. Blitheringeejit
    Thumb Up

    >The two things banks really hate are customers and cash.

    So as well as being quicker and more convenient than cards, phone apps, or other high-tech payment mechanisms, using cash also has the added bonus of annoying the banks - result!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Upvoted to balance out the w^hbanker who downvoted you.

  20. MatsSvensson

    "If you are working on a PC, when you get to the checkout it will launch the app on your phone to verify payment"

    That sounds F stupid.

    So Im sitting at one computer, and suddenly i have to go fetch a second computer (the phone),


    Sounds lite shitty code, to me.

  21. Syntax Error

    Another way to get hacked into with no benefit for the user.

  22. earl grey Silver badge

    i'm too old school

    I don't do any banking online; sure as H not going to get a mobe just so i can do more of what i don't do already.

  23. P. Lee Silver badge

    So its like paywave (NFC debit cards)

    except with a bulky, battery-limited phone, and passwords and stuff.

    I"m not saying paywave is good, I'm just thinking of the competition.

  24. Dominion

    So banks are whinging that cash is expensive? And in what way is this NOT expensive? I don't have a mobile phone of any description, yet it seems more and more that we're heading into a situation where life will be difficult if not impossible without one.

    Mobile phones are simply not the answer to everything.

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