Barclays pushes out Pingit phone-based payment app

Barclays pushes out Pingit phone-based payment app

Summary: The free service for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones will allow people to send and receive cash using just a mobile phone number, without having to know each other's banking details

TOPICS: Mobility, Apps

Barclays Bank has launched Pingit, a service that lets people send and receive money using a smartphone, without sharing banking details.

Pingit app

Barclay's Pingit app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry lets people send and receive cash using just a phone number. Image credit: Barclays

The Pingit app can be used to make payments to anyone who has a current account with any British bank or building society, Barclays said in its announcement on Thursday. Participants sign up online to link their banking details with their mobile phone number, so that the phone number is all that is needed for the transfer, the company added.

At launch on Thursday, only Barclays current account customers will be able to send money via the app. However, any UK current account holder can register to receive payments. An update to the Pingit app expected in early March will open the payment part of the service up to everyone.

"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," Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays retail and business banking, said in a statement. "You can send and receive money in seconds, without having to enter account details."

The Pingit app is available on the Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms, and can be downloaded from the related app stores. It requires iOS 4.2 or above, Android 2.2 or above and BlackBerry OS 4.6 or newer.

Payment limits for the service are in place, with the minimum transfer set at £1 and the maximum in one transaction at £300. The daily limit for receiving payments is £5,000.

Pingit could pose a challenge to PayPal's mobile payment service, which, unlike Barclays, imposes transaction fees for consumers. Small businesses using Pingit will have to pay "normal transaction charges", Barclays said.

In May, Barclays teamed up with Orange to introduce the first mobile wallet scheme in the UK. The contactless payment scheme made it possible for people with certain handsets, such as the Samsung Tocco Quick Tap, to buy products under £15 via an app.

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Topics: Mobility, Apps

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Barclays’ Pingit app and Payment Council Database: only tip of iceberg of possibilities

    The news from the Payments Council and Barclays' Mobile Payments Service launch certainly created some noise in the market and is a wake-up call for the UK banking community - yet it is also just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done.
    With the UK's mobile payments services lagging behind many markets, the launch by Barclays is a real step forward as it enables the sending of money by phone to any registered person irrespective of whom they bank with. Luup welcomes the Barclays launch, which is a wake-up call for their competitors. It creates the need for them to re-vitalise their strategies and realise the potential of a truly mobile payments system.
    Yet it is also worth recognising that the industry is still only looking at the tip of the iceberg of what can be done. For example, for some years now, Luup has been providing corporate mobile payment services for banks. This enables them to offer their corporate customers services such as mobile invoice presentments, authorisations and payments and bring significant efficiencies and real savings to the cash-conscious corporate. They also provide banks with access to new sources of liquidity and customers.
    On the retail banking side, solutions already used in the Middle East have fewer constraints than the Barclays offering. The Barclays’ UK solution is available to smart phone users; there is no SMS service and it serves only P2P, Account to Account payments. Luup services on the other hand do not rely on smart phone apps but also operate using SMS and where no internet is available, enabling far greater reach to a wider range of users. Other services available are bill payments, money transfers for cash-out at ATMs and international remittances in any language and in any currency. These are the kind of services that UK banks could be providing to their customers.
    Our aim is to create a payments network across borders and encourage all banks and other partners to co-operate in an open, agnostic system based on a universally deployable platform. We strongly believe that this is the only way to encourage global and mass take up of mobile payments.
    Martin Wilson, CEO of mobile payments provider Luup