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Apple Pay given thumbs up by Zapp, the UK’s own CurrentC

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Apple Pay

There’s a tech-flavoured fiasco happening over in the US right now, after a group of retailers were found to be shutting out Apple Pay in place of their own partner payment system, CurrentC.

This side of the Atlantic however, there’s a very similar project called Zapp that’s looking to tap into the mobile payment market, sans declaring corporate warfare on Apple.

While a selection of CurrentC’s partners –Best Buy, CVS, and Rite Aid, to name a few – have been modifying or disabling their NFC readers to stop Apple’s NFC payment system, Zapp has confirmed to TrustedReviews that it’s not looking to block Apple Pay.

Terms of a Zapp partnership won’t conflict with a partner choosing to use Apple Pay,” an official Zapp spokesperson told us. “The two technologies can easily run together.”

Zapp even went as far as suggesting that Apple Pay might be a boon to its own services, telling us: “If anything, Apple Pay will help promote the benefits of mobile payments to consumers which is a good thing.”

“We think there will be three or four trusted mobile payments providers in the UK. Apple may be one of those, Zapp certainly will be.”

Zapp already has a raft of partners on board, including Sainsbury’s, House of Fraser, and ASDA. The latter supermarket is actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart, one of the US retailers currently embroiled in the on-going blockade of Apple Pay.

We also spoke to Raja Ray, Director of Products and Solutions at Verifone, the UK’s top electronic sale solutions firm and another Zapp partner.

Ray also reckons Apple Pay is good for everyone, even payment competitors, telling TrustedReviews: “Apple Pay has huge potential to drive uptake of NFC payment by consumers and we are pleased to be working with Apple on this project in the US.”

“Similarly with Zapp, we see an exciting opportunity for its approach to drive alternative payment methods,” continued Ray.

There’s room for everyone as payments options grow and commerce becomes more connected.

Both Zapp and Apple Pay are set to launch here in the UK sometime next year and, thankfully, horn-locking seems unlikely.

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Stephen Middlehurst

October 30, 2014, 8:47 am

Really wish the tech web sites would report this accurately. Yes, it's Apple Pay that's caused the ruckus but only really because it's a mobile payment system that looks like it might actually get some momentum. Those merchants that turned their systems off turned off NFC in general so it hits Google Wallet as well.

As far as CurrentC is concerned the enemy is the credit card companies. They don't care who's providing the platform if they've still got to pay the credit card charge (though, granted, Apple Pay basically anonymising customer data probably didn't help). From a retailer point of view I can understand it, unfortunately the system they're backing is clunky, requires a ridiculous amount of personal data and is generally consumer hostile. To add to the fun for CurrentC to work the POS reader MUST have an active Internet connection to the service which introduces a significant number of failure points and is likely to be slower than, say, using chip and pin.

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