Barclays has launched what it’s describing as Europe’s first person-to-person service for sending and receiving money using mobile phone numbers. It’s called Barclays Pingit and will allow anyone with a UK current account, UK mobile phone number and compatible smartphone to send and receive money at no additional cost. The sending part of the service is currently only available to Barclays current account customers but is expected to be available to everyone by early March.
Customers set the service up by registering their current account and mobile phone number with Barclays, either online or by downloading the Barclays Pingit app on an Apple iOS, Android or BlackBerry device.
Sending money requires the app, although anyone who’s registered a UK mobile number can receive payments and will be notified by text message. The app itself is protected by a five-digit passcode set by the user.
Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of 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.”
Barclays Pingit allows a maximum payment of £300, a daily sending limit of £300 and a daily receiving limit of £5000.
Last year, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo announced a US-based payment network called clearXchange. This enabled person-to-person payments using a mobile phone number or email address for identification.