Roqqett, the UK’s first socially distanced way to pay, is piloting in Bristol todoay ahead of a nationwide launch in November. Using FCA regulated open-banking technology, powered by Open Finance provider Moneyhub, the platform works on any device, and with any bank, and promises to support the UK’s high streets in a post-COVID world.

Just a third of adults feel comfortable going into shops amid the Coronavirus pandemic and, with cases beginning to rise again, footfall has fallen by almost 50 per cent. Roqqett, available as a downloadable iOS or Android app, is designed to help restore consumer confidence, offering the ability for customers to pay for goods at a safe distance (at least 2-metres), with no £45 contactless limit. Using the cloud-based Roqqett technology, people can easily and securely pay shops, friends and family, and transfer funds between their bank accounts.

Roqqett is headed up by Glenn Smith, a serial entrepreneur with more than 25 years in the financial services industry. Having built businesses and technology for UBS, Tradeweb, and Barclays, Glenn is launching Roqqett to deliver a new way to shop and pay which will benefit customers and retailers alike.

Made for COVID-times, the Roqqett app is designed to support the high street retailers who are hurting most. Small shops have struggled to stay afloat over the lockdown period, and, as they reopen, are being hit hard by transaction charges on card payments. Frequently, 1.75 per cent of every card payment is lost to the companies who process transactions, with three profit takers along the way. Roqqett reduces this to just 0.5 per cent by cutting out these middlemen.

Using Roqqett, small and medium-size retailers could potentially save nearly £3,000 a year – representing a boost of 16 per cent to profits, given the small profit margins retailers operate with. This saving will only grow as card payments become more common due to the impact of the pandemic. And unlike Visa and Mastercard based payments, the money is delivered instantly so businesses don’t need to wait days to be paid.

The Open Banking system is powered by market-leading Open Finance data, intelligence and payments provider Moneyhub. Moneyhub’s simple and secure open banking Payment API powers Roqqett’s bank account payments, a faster and safer alternative to traditional contact and contactless card-based payments.

Traditional retailers are not only the business owners who can expect to benefit from this technology, with Roqqett enabling safe, contactless payment transactions for sole traders and service providers across the country. Downloading Roqqett allows anyone to take a payment, meaning consumers can transfer payment to their mechanic, plumber or yoga teacher quickly, easily and socially distanced.

Glenn Smith, CEO and Founder at Roqqett says: “Made for COVID times, Roqqett is the UK’s first socially distanced ‘way to pay’. It’s also the best way for retailers to get paid – with the lowest transaction rates on the market. So, people can feel more confident when shopping, and they also get to help the local businesses they love and depend on to get back on their feet.”

Sam Seaton, CEO at Moneyhub says: “Open Banking enables a fairer and more transparent deal for consumers. Glenn and his team absolutely share our vision to enhance the lifetime financial wellness of people, their communities and business. We are delighted to be working with them on this innovative, first of its kind proposition, and continuing to support them all the way.”

Bristolians will be able to trial the latest tech with Bristol’s independent artisan coffee barista Rolling Italy, which will offer its £2.50 coffee for 10p to consumers using Roqqett, beginning on the 8th October.

Geraint Evans