Barclays has launched Europe's first service for sending and receiving money using mobile phone numbers.
The Pingit app works across iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices with account holders at all UK banks able to receive money. Initially only Barclays customers can send money using the app but Pingit will be open to all by early March.
The service is free to use and links a user's current account with their mobile phone number. Money is sent using the faster payments service and the app is protected by a five digit passcode set by the user. The minimum payment is £1 and the maximum is £300.
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.'
Greenwich Consulting MD Fred Huet said: 'The UK still has a lot of catching up to do, and making the concept accepted by the majority is key – moves like today’s from household names such as Barclays will go a long way to will go a long way to encouraging this and will give operators a good chance to build revenues and loyalty in an increasingly commoditised landscape. To miss this opportunity will prove a blow to the mobile industry.'