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Spend & Save

Money alert: Zapp mobile payments service

A new mobile payments service – in effect an electronic wallet – has been backed by five of our major financial institutions. Zapp will launch this autumn with the backing of HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank.

The service will be integrated into whichever mobile banking app you use and it will give you the opportunity to see your account balance before you pay. That could help avoid going inadvertently into the red.

Many shops will accept Zapp, allowing you to use your phone to pay in real time. It's all about making it easier to pay for goods, with the phone at the heart of your banking. Those worried about the security of so-called e-wallets should be reassured that payments made using Zapp will be covered by similar protections applied to those made using debit cards.

On top of that, because the new service is built into your existing banking app, only your own financial institution will know the account details.