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IRX2014 INTERVIEW Zapp’s Richard Newland on m-payments

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Richard Newland, commercial director, Zapp, is keynoting in the Mobile and Mobility Theatre at IRX 2014 on Thursday 27 March, on the business imperative topic du jour, Navigating Your Way Through Payment Technologies. Paul Skeldon met up with him ahead of his appearance to find out more about why retailers need to take heed of mobile payments.

Mobile payments are set to be incredibly important for retailers. The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) estimates that 20 million adults will use their mobiles to pay for goods and services by the end of the decade, with the value of purchases tripling from current levels to £14.2bn in 2018.

“There can be no doubt that the market has huge potential and there are real benefits to adopting mobile payments for retailers,” says Newland. “Moving away from cards and cash, which are inherently insecure and costly to process, to solutions like Zapp means retailers will benefit from instant settlement, quicker checkouts and less payment friction.”

More specifically, with Zapp, believes Newland, money moves instantly from a customer account to a retailer account through real-time payments and fewer intermediaries means lower fees. Zapp is priced competitively, charging a transaction fee that is a fraction of the cost of credit cards or other alternative payment methods.

Also, Zapp payments are secure and work through digital “tokens”, which mean customers don’t reveal any of their financial details (including bank account details) to retailers when they are shopping. All Zapp payments will be covered by similar protections that already exist for debit card payments, ensuring that in the event of goods not being delivered or an issue with a payment the consumer will be covered.

So what should retailers be doing right now to prepare for the inevitable arrival of mobile payments? According to Zapp’s Newland, the marketplace is filled with different mobile payment solutions, so the key for retailers now is working out which ones are viable, can get to scale and have the potential to gain consumer trust.

“It’s crucial that retailers understand what their consumers want from payment technologies and also understand the benefits that mobile payments can bring compared with operating in a cash/card environment,” he explains.

“At Zapp, our strategy has been to only talk to retailers when we had a workable idea. That meant getting the partners the retailers already trust on side with Zapp beforehand,” says Newland. “For example, the merchant acquirers (such as Worldpay) and the big high-street banks (such as HSBC and Santander) we now have on board. This has given us credibility when we walked into the retailers. The fact is that consumers will increasingly be using mobile devices to pay for things, and by ‘getting in there first’ retailers could gain a competitive advantage over those that don’t innovate. Therefore, it’s crucial that retailers explore the technology that’s out there, and events like IRX will help them do this. Come and talk to me on Stand #B55.”

At the show, Zapp will have some working prototypes of Zapp and Newland and his team are looking forward to demonstrating how it works at the point of sale online, as this is a question often asked by retailers.

“The Expo will also be an excellent opportunity to network with other players in the retail space, Zapp is all about collaboration, and I’m really excited to be giving a keynote talk, about what to look for in a new payment technology,” says Newland.



Richard Newland will be delivering the keynote address in the Mobile and Mobility Theatre at Internet Retailing Expo on 27 March at 1.15pm. He will cover the importance of mobile payments in retail and showing how Zapp, with its wide network of partners, can really make it work. Find out more about the Mobile and Mobility conference here and find out more about IRX 2014, and register for a free place, at

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