Feeds

Bung a tenner to a mate's mobile number with new Barclays app

Just like PayPal but with phone numbers

Boost IT visibility and business value

PingIt is Barclays' answer to PayPal and its ilk, linking payments to a mobile-phone number instead of an email address but providing a banking brand to back them up.

Initially only those with a Barclays current account are able to make payments, but anyone with a UK bank can register their phone number to receive money - the transactions being addressed to a mobile number so bank account details aren't shared between payer and payee. Transfers should take about 30 seconds, and can be completed with a couple of taps on the screen.

The system is managed though mobile apps, which are available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. There's also a website for those not equipped with the latest technology but who still want to get involved.

Right now the service is also just for individuals, though Barclays points out that might include "sole traders such as window cleaners or plumbers", so they can receive payments addressed to their mobile phone. The payments are capped at £300, so not too much plumbing, but should be enough to clean a few windows.

Payments are free to both parties, for the moment at least, but should the system prove popular then it seems likely that businesses will have to start paying just like they do for any other kind of transfer. There's no obvious advertising, but the app has asked us a couple of times if we'd like a free trial of Kaspersky's Android offering (as it had noticed we weren't running any security software) - it also refuses to run on "rooted" devices (which have been hacked to allow inter-app communications amongst other things) citing security issues.

Intriguingly the app's licence includes a reference to Google Maps and Google Earth (as well as the obligatory nod to the open-source crypto stack SSLeay) - presumably for the Barclays branch locator.

The bank reckons PingIt is ideal for friends and family wanting to transfer a tenner or two between them, and points out that the speed of transfers make it ideal. It's a market where PayPal would like to be, but one shouldn't underestimate the value of a trusted (even if not particularly liked) brand when it comes to underwriting mobile payments. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.