Barclays has lost the brains behind its hugely successful Pingit platform to a new mobile payments company.
Zapp, the mobile brand for multinational payment company VocaLink, is taking on Ian Sayers, previously head of mobile and digital architecture at Barclays. Sayers, who had been at Barclays for 12 years, will become the company's inaugural CTO. The new brand, which will launch in earnest in 2014, also sees former HSBC and Currys managing director Peter Keenan join as CEO.
Founder and chairman of Zapp David Yates said of Sayers' appointment: "Ian has a wealth of experience of challenging the status quo, building new mobile and web technologies and delivering bank-scale implementations. The opportunity to create a new payments ecosystem comes along once in a generation."
It was revealed in June that Barclays' roster of mobile applications had transferred more than £10bn since launch. "In 18 months we've gone through an astronomical rate of growth, and fundamentally changed how people interact with the institution," Sayers said at Cloud World Forum.
He cited a 12-fold increase in activity among mobile bankers versus customers who only bank in branch. Sayers is currently on gardening leave until starting his new post in October. Barclays declined to comment on Sayers' departure.
Zapp joins an immensely competitive mobile payments industry, with companies such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, WorldPay and PayLeven all making major pushes into becoming the go-to provider of smartphone-based transactions for both businesses and consumers.
Despite the challenges ahead, the firm's new chief marketing officer Justin Basini, formerly of Capital One, told V3 that there are plenty of opportunities for the service, which he says will integrate with existing banking apps. "There's no doubt it's going to be a land grab with loads of innovation and lots of things launching. But I think it's all to play for," he said.
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