Asda and Sainsbury's to launch mobile payments in 2015

Mobile payments might be the next big thing for retailers, but we've still not reached the point where we can go out shopping and leave the wallet at home. Apple Pay may one day solve that problem, but it's not yet launched in the US and there's no UK release date in sight. Zapp, however, has quietly been working on its own platform, and it could change the way millions of Brits pay for their shopping. Today, the company announced that it's teamed up with some of the UK's biggest retailers, including Asda, Sainsbury's, Littlewoods, House of Fraser, Thomas Cook and Clarks, to let customers whip out their phones and pay for groceries, clothing and even holidays via its app.

The app connects itself to your account, instead of requiring you to top up, acting as the go-between your bank and the retailer. Stores can then embed payment buttons on their websites, get you to scan a QR code on a bill, or even use NFC to pay for items. Because it's contactless, you may even be able to tap your phone to complete payment (if the purchase falls under £20). Zapp is currently piloting its mobile payment tech, but already has agreements with major banks to support the platform. Retailers are set to spend "tens of millions of pounds" promoting mobile payments ahead of its launch, which is expected early next year.