Barclays Pingit will allow consumers of all banks to send and receive money via app by linking their mobile number with their bank account
Barclays has launched a new service allowing its customers to send money to any UK bank account using a mobile phone number.
The free service links a customers mobile phone number with their bank account allowing payments to be sent without a bank account number being disclosed.
To send money, customers must download the free Barclays Pingit app which is available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
In order to receive payments, customers must register their details online via the Pingit website.
Barclays claims the transfers are as safe as normal internet banking transfers, with each one protected by a five digit security code set by the user.
In the coming months customers of other UK banks will also be able to register to send money via the app.
Barclays says it expects the service to be most popular amongst friends and family sending money as well as sole traders receiving payment for their services.
Barclays Retail and Business Banking CEO Antony Jenkins said: “Barclays Pingit could revolutionise the way people send and receive money.
“For friends splitting the cost of dinner, repaying a borrowed £10 or people sending money to a son or daughter at university, it’s free, quick, convenient, secure and easy to use.You can send and receive money in seconds, without having to enter account details.
“We’re committed to making customers’ lives much easier, giving them more choice in how they manage their money and Barclays Pingit absolutely does that. But it is not just Barclays customers who benefit as it’s available to current account holders of all the other UK banks too.”
Industry analysts believe Barclays entry into the market will be followed up by the introduction of similar payment solutions from other banks as well as retailers and big brands.
Greenwich consulting managing director Fred Huet says it also remains to be seen whether such mobile payments will become part of consumers everyday lives or just one of payment solutions.
“Barclays is ahead of the curve currently but brands generally look set to dominate the space,” he said.
“Once the appetite for these technologies are proven, brands and retailers will act swiftly to position themselves in this emerging ecosystem but operators need to embed themselves in the transaction process and own the customer relationship to defend against further marginilisation.
However, it will be interesting to see how quickly, or indeed if customers take this up consistently for larger payments, rather than just for the occasional split bill.
Equally interesting is whether smaller merchants will adopt this for large payments, which would have bigger implications for the industry.”