Barclays has taken a leap into the world of person-to-person mobile payments by launching Pingit, a smartphone application that links a person’s mobile phone number to their current account.
The service is currently only available to Barclays customers, but the app will be rolled out to all UK current account holders by March.
The bank has previously pioneered contactless phone payments between consumers and retailers with Orange, but this latest move aims to transform transfers between individuals.
“Barclays’ Pingit could revolutionise the way people send and receive money,” said Antony Jenkins, Barclays’ chief executive of retail and business banking, in a statement. “For friends splitting the cost of dinner, repaying a borrowed £10 or people sending money to a son or daughter at university, it is free, quick, convenient, secure, and easy to use. You can send and receive money in seconds without having to enter account details. I’m sure we’ll soon be wondering what we did before it.”
Customers who want to send money through Pingit must register their mobile and account details and download the app for iOS, Android or BlackBerry. Transactions are protected by a 5-digit code set by the user but people looking to just receive payments need only link their account to their mobile number.
Barclays will hope that their early adoption of the service in the UK will help them land new customers. Speaking to Bloomberg, Jenkins said: “Once people start to use the service they’ll like it, they’ll become very happy to do business with Barclays and the next time they think about getting a mortgage, savings account or credit card they’ll think of Barclays.”
“Once you’ve got people in the system, they’ve got no incentive to go anywhere else, so why use another service?”