UK bank Barclays has launched Europe’s first person-to-person service for sending and receiving money using mobile phone numbers. Barclays Pingit allows users to receive and send money, for free, to anyone with a UK current account and UK mobile phone number, simply by using that mobile number, without the need to share bank details.
The Barclays Pingit service will be available to current account customers of all UK banks and building societies, not just those with Barclays current accounts. At launch, only Barclays current account customers will be able to send money via the app, but all current account customers (UK residents and over 18), will be able to register online to receive money. The app will be available to all by early March.
The service, which is free to use, links the user’s current account with their mobile phone number. This enables payments to be sent directly to that account but without the sender needing to know anything more than the recipient’s mobile phone number. Money is sent using the Faster Payments service.
To send money, customers can use the free Barclays Pingit app available on iOS, Android and Blackberry, or they can register online to receive payments. Transfers are as safe as any other banking transaction and the app is protected by a five-digit passcode, set by the user.
It is expected that this will prove particularly popular for friends and family sending money to each other. Barclays Pingit can also be used by some small business customers of Barclays and other banks, for example sole traders such as window cleaners or plumbers, meaning customers can pay them quickly, easily and securely.
Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive, Barclays Retail and Business Banking 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 customers of all the other UK banks too. I’m sure we’ll soon be wondering what we did before it.”
The Barclays Pingit app can be downloaded for free now from the Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World and Android Market. Currently only Barclays current account customers can use the app to send money, but a second release of the app, available soon, will enable non-Barclays current account customers with smartphones to register via the app and send money. UK current account customers of any bank can register to receive payments with a UK mobile phone number at www.barclays.co.uk/pingit regardless of what type of mobile phone they use.