UK banking service aims to make it easier to pay small IOUs

More than 30 million account holders can now access Paym

More than 30 million people in the U.K. got access Tuesday to a new service that links their mobile phone numbers to their bank accounts, allowing them to transfer and receive small amounts of money without going to a bank or cash machine.

Another 10 million people with U.K. bank accounts will be able to use the Paym service later this year as more banks bring it online. Some 49 million people have U.K. bank accounts.

Paym is meant to make it easier for people to pay small debts to family or friends, or to pay small bills to, for instance, a plumber, said Jemma Smith, a spokeswoman for the UK Payments Council, which launched the service.

"It is the first time we've got a system with the potential to link every account to a mobile number," she said.

The service is available now for customers of Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB. Customers from other banks have to wait until the end of the year to start using the service because not every bank was able to complete work to get the service going, Smith said.

Banks including the Royal Bank of Scotland, the YorkShire Bank and NatWest will add the service later this year. By the end of the year, the service will be available to over 40 million of the approximately 49 million account holders in the U.K., Smith said. Banks that aren't participating now could always decide to add the service later, she added.

Paym generally allows users to send up to £250 (US$420) a day, although some banks allow a higher daily limit, according to the Payments Council.

A smartphone is not necessary to receive payments, though it is to make them, said Smith, who added that about 72 percent of U.K. citizens currently own a smartphone. Eventually, some banks might also incorporate Paym into their online banking platforms, she said.

To send money, an existing banking payments app can be used to enter a mobile number or a user can select a number from the phone's address book. Users are asked to confirm the name of the recipient and are shown a record with a name to be able to verify the right number was used, Smith said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Tags e-commerceinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?