Sage Pay comes out on top in ZappHack

Sage Pay has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winner of the ZappHack Revive Retail hackathon.

Sage Pay has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winner of the ZappHack Revive Retail hackathon.

The three-person team designed and coded an app that detects when users are in or near a registered event and then presents the opportunity for the customer to purchase a ticket using Zapp. The entire transaction can be completed on the mobile device.

The judge’s decision on the winner of the 36 hour event was unanimous for the location-aware ticketing app. The judges felt that that the app could well be used as a marketing tool beyond its intended use as a payments app and was the most fully realised and mature product demoed at the event.

The judging panel was made up of Ben Green, head of mobile payments at Santander; Paul Haberer, programme manager for digital payments at Tesco; Liz Lumley, special projects and multimedia editor at Finextra; Peter Keenan, CEO at Zapp, and Ian Sayers CTO at Zapp.

The Sage Pay development team, comprising Rik Blacow; Jianfang Bladen-Hovell, and Matthew Sant, claimed the product design was inspired by Blacow’s nine-year-old daughter’s frustration at not being able to get tickets for an event they were near to.

He said: “I remember attending the concert with my daughter but I wasn’t able to access the premium area ahead of me. It was restricted to those who had pre-paid for tickets – I thought it would be great if I could somehow pay the extra for the ticket just by being in the right place – and that’s how the idea for our product was borne.”

The Sage Pay development team picked up the all expenses paid trip to South Korea as the prize for first place, where they will learn about the advancements in payments that are being made in the technologically advanced country.

The second place prize went to UK banking technology company Intelligent Environments (IE), a UK-based provider of mobile and online banking technology who created and demoed an app that allows customers to all order and pay for a meal separately in a restaurant, using Zapp. ‘Zapp the Tab’ uses Apple backed beacon technology.

IE perhaps secured the better prize for a company in their position and will be featured as a ‘preferred partner’ during Zapp’s upcoming launch.

Beacons can be used in stores to allow phones to send and receive payment and marketing information using Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with the phone over much greater distances than HCE and NFC.

Third place prize went to Deloitte’s digital agency arm whose personal finance management tool, Pow aimed to further integrate personal finance into the daily retail experience.

An honourable mention was also given to Youstice, whose team made an online application that allows customers to resolve shopping issues. The judges praised the team’s simple approach to complaint management and its integration with Zapp.

Zapp, a division of Vocalink, made waves in the mobile payments scene when it announced it had signed up five UK highstreet banks that will intergrate it’s online and mobile app.

HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank have agreed to adopt Zapp ahead of its launch, which is planned for autumn 2014 for online payments and 2015 for mobile.

While not all UK banks are signed up with Zapp, parent company Vocalink has managed to get all significant current account providers on to its Paym network running off the same infrastructure.

Paym is a person to person mobile payments system allowing users to send money to any UK bank account with just a phone number. Its launch in April was met with wide media attention but has so far failed to spark serious interest for consumers.