UK start-up CloudZync launches mobile wallet

UK start-up CloudZync launches mobile wallet

British m-commerce firm CloudZync has signed up 280 merchants for the launch of its mobile wallet, which will let customers pay for items straight from their phones, as well as integrate loyalty cards and access special offers.

Once they have downloaded the free app (initially for iOS and Windows phones, with Android to follow) and loaded it with funds from their bank account, customers can open the wallet with a PIN and select the 'make payments' option at participating retailers.

The app automatically generates a unique QR code which the customer then presents to the shop assistant to scan. The assistant then verifies the customer is who they claim to be by approving the photo ID, and payment goes through. If the customer has added a loyalty card scheme for that store, or claimed a voucher, Zync Wallet will automatically add any reward points and discounts.

CloudZync says that, unlike many card schemes, it does not charge its merchants any set up fees or administration costs to make payment - and no additional hardware is required.

Firms can run a pay-as-you-go model, meaning rates are between one pence and five pence per transaction. Alternatively they can sign up to 'business services tools', starting at £40 a month, and giving them access to help with the set-up, branding and management their own loyalty and CRM schemes.

Andrew Smith, co-Founder and CTO, CloudZync, says: "There's no denying that the mobile payments industry has grown dramatically in recent years, with consumers being offered a range of new ways to pay using their smartphone or NFC 'quick pay' solutions. However, none of these payment options truly take advantage of the mobile technology that most consumers now carry in their hands, with most just offering another way to pay by card.

"It's this lack of true innovation in how consumers make mobile payments that has resulted in a lukewarm reception thus far. That's why we created Zync Wallet, to provide merchants with a way to send customers special offers and loyalty schemes through a mobile wallet - as well as providing them with a simple and secure way to pay using just their phones."

Comments: (7)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 August, 2013, 11:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

not yet on iTunes?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 August, 2013, 12:26Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Sounds pretty cool. I'm guessing the wallet is funds held by CloudZync, so there needs to be a top-up of some form (debit/credit card more than likely?). One big question though regarding user experience - why show your picture ID? Not really displacing cash with that. If I generate a QR with an app that is secured through a PIN surely that is secure enough? I mean, steal my PIN for my card and you can just go to an ATM.......

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 August, 2013, 19:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

"no additional hardware is required" is a tall claim when (a) Existing POS terminals can't read QR codes off of consumers' smartphone screens, and (b) the company's website says that a smartphone or tablet is required to run its mobile app.

As with Dwolla and other payment methods not using card rails, the value proposition of CloudZync to consumers is not clear. According to this TechCrunch post, CloudZync is expecting merchants to push consumers to adopt CloudZync. Not sure why consumers should forego deferred payment and rewards, two benefits they enjoy with their existing credit cards, and start using CloudZync just because their merchant nudges them towards it.    

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 August, 2013, 07:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The apps should be available in the Apple iStore any day. The apps (both busienss and consumer) are available on Windows Phone 8 right now and the Android Zync Wallet will be available in the coming month or so...

The Wallet in its current release does need to have funds added to it, and this is done via a bank account. An update is coming soon that allows users to use the "Zync Tab" feature (if they are applicable) which allows the user to defer payments to the end of the month, allowing them to use the wallet much like a credit card

One of the reasons a photo id is shown to the business is because its something that the businesses that helped us understand their requirements basically requested. It provides the merchant with 2 form authentication while at the same time an added security layer for the consumer. It takes no extra time at the point of sale. Security and confidence is something that can always be improved, so this was an improvement that didnt detract from the user experience and added to the merchant.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 August, 2013, 07:50Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi @Ketharaman. There is no additional hardware required in order to run the mobile app, and thats from both the business and consumer point of view. I agree, you do need a mobile phone. You are also right that not all POS systems have the right QR code readers, and if a business doesnt want to use our business mobile app, nor use QR code readers, we provide them with a web page portal that allows them to process a transaction by using the customers mobile phone number. This enables the business to therefore take mobile payments through any sales channel, in-store, over the phone, online.

The value proposition for the consumer is that they get instant access to personalised deals, vouchers and loyalty schemes directly from their fav merchants. They can also communicate and engage fully with their fav stores, deciding what data they want to share with them in order for the store to be able to use the wallet to better engage with customers, incentivise them and ultimately retain them.

Also, launching soon a Zync Tab feature, which will provide those who are applicable with the option of deferred payments. All of this is done at a fraction of the cost for businesses and deferred payments far far cheaper for the consumer.

I am running a Q&A on twitter at 12-1 UK time if you wish to engage with me further...

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 14 August, 2013, 09:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes


  1. TY for clarifying that a web portal can be used in the absence of QR code reader or smartphone. Not sure if the ensuing manifold increase in transaction processing time will be acceptable in an in-store checkout environment, though.  
  2. Since CloudZync doesn't seem to require any hardware addon to the smartphone, I guess a merchant who already accepts SQUARE / iZettle - and hence uses up a port on the smartphone for their dongle - can still accept CloudZync, which is good.
  3. I know that stores want to engage with consumers but, if you believe that there are enough consumers wanting to engage with stores, that's great for CloudZync.
  4. I agree that deferred payment could be a powerful value proposition for consumers who are used to enjoying it with credit cards.
  5. Apart from enabling consumers to "sign up to loyalty schemes" as stated on your website, if CloudZync also lets them scan their existing loyalty cards to CloudZync (a la iOS Passbook, KeyRing, etc.), that would enhance its value proposition to consumers.
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 August, 2013, 10:13Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes


Thanks. Agreed using the portal at the point of sale is not great for in-store experiences, but over the phone transactions, its perfect and very easy for the merchant and the consumer. You're right, Zync Wallet doesnt stop merchants using any other form of payment, its all about providing additional choices to the consumer from the business.

Your 5th point is spot on, and hopefully the release that includes our first look at this will be available in app stores in the next few weeks.