Paym 'Pay By Phone' System: Banks Sign Up

2 April 2014

A system which allows mobile phone users to send and receive money from their handsets without the need to swap account details has won the backing of most high street banks.

Customers can now register their devices ahead of the Paym - pronounced 'pay em' - scheme's launch on April 29.

The Payments Council (PC), which developed the system, said it can be used by "friends and family" to settle IOUs between each other.

The organisation said UK consumers rack up an average of £255.81 annually on informal debt, totalling £12.6bn.

It claims the system, which is similar to Barclays' two-year-old Pingit mobile money transfer service, is ideal for sharing restaurant bills with friends or putting money towards household bills.

However, both payer and payee must have their phone numbers registered to utilise the service.

Payments are password-protected but it is unclear to what extent the system is impervious to hackers.

Customers of the Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, TSB, Cumberland Building Society and Danske Bank will be able to use the service on its launch date.

First Direct, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank users will be able to join later this year.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest are implementing IT upgrades, some mandatory and others by choice, ahead of joining the system.

An RBS Group spokesperson told Sky News: "RBS and NatWest are committed to participating in the Paym service and offering our customers an additional way to send and receive payment using a mobile number only.

"We expect to be able to offer this service later in the year."

The banks have joined Barclays in rolling out peer-to-peer mobile payment systems, but they have general inter-bank restrictions.

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