The Payments Council, which is responsible for ensuring that payment services work in the UK, says it’s building a central database that will allow customers to link their mobile phone number to any UK bank account they use. This database, which is being constructed by payments provider VocaLink, is due to be made available to UK banks and building societies before the end of this year. Banks could then use it to build their own mobile app or mobile web-based service for customers.
Customers would register for the service through their own bank and would be able to make or receive secure payments from their existing account using just a mobile phone number to identify the recipient.
Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council, said “There’s clearly a great demand for mobile payments and our work will ensure that banks of all shapes and sizes can offer their own competitive service to their customers. Whether you want to pay a friend or your window cleaner, we are laying the foundation to enable mobile payments to become a mainstream option. The Payments Council is encouraged by signs of increasing innovation in the mobile payments arena in the UK. Our collaborative role is all about creating the conditions that mean innovations are available to the widest possible range of customers. We will keep a close eye on developments in the mobile payments market so that we can be sure that our project remains set to achieve its objectives.”
Last week Barclays announced Pingit, a person-to-person mobile payment application that’ll be made available to all UK banking customers.