By Richard Halifax
Millions of people are now able to access a new mobile payment service which could eventually link up every current account in the country.
People will be able to transfer funds using just mobile phone numbers thanks to the launch of the new Paym service.
It can be used by banking customers with Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Danske Bank, Bank of Scotland, Cumberland Building Society and TSB - up to 30 million account holders.
It is hoped that this will increase to 40 million by the end of the year when other banks, including Yorkshire Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank and NatWest, join the scheme.
Transfer payments using a mobile phone
This could lead to the service being available to nine out of 10 current accounts.
Pronounced "pay em", the service is the first industry-wide venture in the UK.
It will allow customers to transfer cash payments using a mobile phone number rather than needing to know details of the recipient's bank account and sort code.
Initially, it is thought that Paym will only be used for small amounts transferred between friends and family.
Up to £250 can be transferred daily, although some establishments will have higher limits.
More than 300,000 people had registered for the service by the end of last week.
94% of adults own a mobile
Customers have to actively nominate a mobile number alongside their current account for the service to be activated and the system will be integrated into existing banking apps.
To make a payment, you can either select the contact you wish to pay from your phone or key in their mobile number.
The app will ask you to confirm the name of the recipient and the amount before the money is sent.
Paym payments go through at the same speed as online and mobile payment services.
And - with more than 94% of adults now owning a mobile and a growth in mobile payments technology - more people will be able to leave their wallets at home and forget about cash problems.
Adrian Kamellard is chief executive of the Payments Council - which is overseeing the initiative.
He said: "Paying someone back just got easier for millions of people. Paym is another safe and easy option to pay friends and family."