The mobile payment space is set to hot up with the imminent launch next month of Paym, a new payment service devised by the non-partisan Payments Council that links users banking apps to their phone number.
Final testing for Paym is on track and the launch date will be announced in April, when participating banks and building societies will be able to use the logo. The industry-wide collaborative project is the first service with the potential to link up every current account in the country with a mobile number.
Paym will be integrated into customers’ existing mobile banking or payment apps as an additional way to pay, making it possible to send and receive payments using just a mobile number. At launch, customers of nine bank and building society brands - Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB Bank - will be able to use the new service.
The nine launch brands will offer their customers the opportunity to register their mobile number and select the current account they want payments made into before the service goes live.
From launch in spring, Paym will be the most wide-ranging payment service capable of moving funds directly from account to account, without the need for sort codes or account numbers.
Paym will expand further still later in 2014 – Clydesdale Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, RBS International trading as NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Yorkshire Bank have committed to join, meaning Paym will be available on more than nine out of ten current accounts.
Nationwide Building Society have also confirmed their intention to join in early 2015, while Metro Bank and Ulster Bank head up the list of other interested parties who are finalising their launch plans.
Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council, says: “We’re all used to the idea of a ‘mobile update’ to improve our apps - Paym is a mobile update for payments that means you can pay securely using just a mobile number. Paym will make it easier to repay a friend for cinema tickets, split a restaurant bill or settle up for a colleague’s birthday collection. Paym is a great example of industry-wide collaboration that delivers tangible benefits for customers. The service has the potential to link up every bank account in the country with a mobile number - millions of people will be able to use it this year and we look forward to expanding Paym even further, so everyone can benefit from this easy, secure new way to pay.”