Barclays Launches Pingit Payment App

Barclays has launched its Pingit app, enabling customers to send and receive cash – the first service of its type in Europe, according to the company.

The free app, which is available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry, enables users to receive and send money to anyone with a UK current account simply by using their mobile number – eliminating the need to share bank details. The service Pingit offers is currently only available to Barclays current account holders, but will be extended to all UK banking customers by early March.

Pingit could revolutionise the way people send and receive money,” says Antony Jenkins, chief executive, Barclays Retail and Business Banking. “We’re committed to making customers’ lives much easier, giving them more choice in how they manage their money, and the app absolutely does that. But it is not just Barclays customers who benefit, as it’s available to current account customers of all the other UK banks too. I’m sure we’ll soon be wondering what we did before it.”

Barclays envisions Pingit as a quick way of splitting a restaurant bill, repaying a borrowed tenner, or paying small traders, like window cleaners.

Fred Huet, MD of Greenwich Consulting, reckons that Barclays is currently leading the way in the UK, but it wont take long for others to catch up. “The industry has been talking mobile money for years but now that we’re seeing the first mass-consumer appeal solutions, the shift towards mPayments can only be expected to accelerate in the coming months,” says Huet. “Once the appetite for these technologies are proven, brands and retailers will act swiftly to position themselves in this emerging ecosystem, but operators need to embed themselves in the transaction process and own the customer relationship to defend against further marginilisation. However, it will be interesting to see how quickly – or indeed if – customers take this up consistently for larger payments, rather than just for the occasional split bill and, equally, whether smaller merchants will adopt this for large payments.”