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Zapp Eyes 2015 as Year for U.K. Mobile Payments Boom

U.K. consumers seem poised to ditch their traditional banks in favor of mobile payments, and Zapp is gearing up for the rising digital wallet demand.

The U.K. mobile payment operator released a survey that shows 21 million British consumers are willing to leave their current banks in favor of competitors with more advanced mobile payment options. And with Zapp looking to launch widespread operations at the start of the new year, the company believes 2015 is the year mobile payments will take off in the U.K.

“I’m confident 2015 will prove a tipping point,” Zapp CEO Peter Keenan said, “as simple, secure mobile payments like Zapp become a reality for millions of British consumers.”

Zapp’s research, conducted through a poll, found that consumers ages 35-44 are most likely to adapt mobile payments, and that 46 percent of respondents are already making purchases through their smartphones. The numbers are encouraging for new market entrants looking to grab a piece of the mobile payments customer base; Zapp says the findings suggest that the success of existing competitors “has clearly whetted consumers’ appetites” for the technology, Keenan said.

Now, it’s up to innovators like Zapp to take advantage of consumer interest by improving the mobile payments experience. Zapp’s study found that about 71 percent of the poll’s participants said they would be more likely to start paying through their smartphones if setting up the service was faster and easier. Further, while more than half of participants were willing to purchase food, electronics, tickets and gas through their smartphones, only about 20 percent said they would feel comfortable buying a house with a mobile device.

The data, Keenan said, proves there is significant room for growth in payments technology, and an opportunity for innovators to capture significant market share. “This research shows that anticipation levels are running high,” he said, “and it suggests banks and retailers stand to gain significant competitive advantage from offering and accepting mobile payments early.”

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