Barclays pushes out Pingit phone-based payment app

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

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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