Others in development
Alternative tap-to-phone apps are on the market, notably for charities looking at simple ways to receive donations. Other options are typically:
- Not for UK users
- Rarely updated (essential for app performance and security)
- Have very small user bases
- Only offers the backend technology, i.e. lacks a merchant-facing app
Many of these are listed by Visa. For example, MagicCube’s i-Accept technology is ready to implement in existing banking or payment apps, but cannot be downloaded as a standalone tap-on-phone app for merchants.
As a rule of thumb, you should go for an app that is regularly updated and has a proven track record of successful transactions. The Viva Terminal App has over 1 million downloads (albeit across Europe) which is good, but the average user rating is only just above 3 stars (not great). In comparison, Pomelo Pay was last updated many months ago and only has a thousand or so downloads, meaning it’s not taken off.
Then there are all the many options not yet launched on the British market saying that a tap-on-phone feature is “coming soon”.
It’s hard to tell what is meant by “soon” when someone like the big acquirer Worldpay has been trialling this feature since 2017. We have yet to see this app launched for more than a small group of merchants.