Barclays Bank has released a new app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones which allows you to send and receive money simply by using a phone number, so without the need to share bank details.
Barclays Pingit can currently be used by Barclays Current Account customers to transfer money to customers of any other UK bank, to a maximum of £300. Pingit uses Faster Payments, so the money should appear in the recipient account within a few seconds.
To send cash, users must download the free app and then register their phone number with Barclays, who will first verify the account before transfers can take place. To make a payment, the user must first enter a 5-digit PIN. To receive payments you do not need the app but will need to register your phone number with Barclays. Non-Barclays account holders can only receive payments, for the moment, but this is likely to change by early March.
Update 12th April 2012: non-Barclays account holders can now use PingIt to both send and receive payments via the app.
Barclays is pushing Pingit to both personal and business users. Business users are likely to incur charges for receiving payments, and they can also decide whether they wish to register just to receive payments, or to make and receive payments. Where this could be extremely useful is if Barclays can make mobile payments both simple and low-cost, to allow small businesses to receive payments from customers’ mobiles, doing away with the need for taking credit and debit cards (and cutting out the need for tools like Square and the soon to be lauched in the UK iZettle).
The system also doesn’t rely on NFC chips to be present in the phone, as with Google Wallet.
Whilst P2P (person to person) payments are not new, Barclays claims this is the first of its kind in Europe (although similar systems such as M-Pesa, have been in place in Africa and the Far East for a number of years), and Pingit has managed to generate a massive amount of publicity, from both tech and mainstream media, on its launch. Naturally, the focus has largely been on its security:
- The Guardian: Barclays Launches Pingit Money
- The Guardian: The Problem With Pingit
- TheNextWeb: Barclays Targets PayPal
- The Telegraph: Barclays Launches Mobile Phone Money Transfer App
- The Telegraph: Barclays Pingit: Should You Trust Your Mobile With Your Money?
- Donate To Comic Relief With Barclays Pingit (March 10, 2015)
- PayPal Launch PayPal.Me To Help Send & Receive Money (September 1, 2015)
- Send & Receive Money In GMail For Android (March 16, 2017)
- Collect Money With Ease With Monzo.Me (December 8, 2016)
- Monzo Opens To Public (March 18, 2016)