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Banks set for payment revolution

A woman using her mobile17/3/14

By Ian Barnsley

More than a billion transactions will be made over the next five years by a new form of mobile payment that just requires a phone number, according to the Payments Council.

It claims the new Paym system is capable of being used by every current account holder in the UK before long, and as many as 40 million will be able to make use it by the end of this year.

Paym, which is pronounced "pay em", launched on Monday, 28 April, is the first system that can link every bank account by means of their owner's mobile number.

As many as 30 million people in the UK will be able to use Paym when it starts operating in the spring.

Paym available with nine out of 10 accounts

They will be the current account customers of the TSB Bank, Santander, Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Halifax, Danske Bank, Cumberland Building Society, Barclays and the Bank of Scotland.

Paym will be available with nine out of every 10 accounts when Yorkshire Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Isle of Man Bank, first direct and Clydesdale Bank introduce the system later this year.

The Nationwide Building Society intends to join them in adopting the system some time in 2015 and Metro Bank and Ulster Bank are also considering using it.

The system will allow account holders to transfer money using their smartphone as long as they know the recipient's phone number.

They will not need to know bank account numbers or sort codes.

One billion mobile payments made in next five years

They will first have to register with their bank or building society to use Paym, which will be available through their banking and payment apps.

Users will simply select the contact they want to pay money to from their phone or type in their phone number.

Once confirmed the money will be sent and it will take the same time as a normal online money transfer.

"As more and more services become available via mobile phones, it makes sense that there is plenty of demand to improve the way we can use them to pay," Payments Council chief executive Adrian Kamellard said.

"Paym will enable millions of people to pay securely using just a mobile number from spring this year.

"In a world where many of us are inseparable from our phones, it's readily believable that more than one billion of these payments could be made in the next five years," he added.

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