Consumers will be able to use mobile phone numbers to make payments via mobile from 29 April, it has been announced.
The changes mean that account-holders will be able to pay friends, family or traders without having to ask for their bank details. Instead, they will only need to ask for their mobile number, according to the Payments Council. However both parties will have to register to use the service, known as Paym – pronounced “Pay Em”. Customers can register in advance, from Wednesday 2 April.
The Payments Council, which supervises banking transactions in the UK, has rejected fears about fraud. Neil Aitken, from the Payments Council, told BBC Radio 5 live that the system was secure.
“The only thing that people would be able to do if they got your mobile number is pay you – it will be integrated in to your existing banking app so it’s password protected,” he said.
Those wishing to make payments via mobile phone numbers will still need to use their banking apps, which require customers to log on to their accounts. Account-holders will need to visit their own bank’s website for more details.
Similar systems have already been introduced by Barclays and RBS NatWest.
How will it work?
Customers of the following banks can now register to link their mobile number with their bank account: Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and TSB. Other banks – including NatWest, RBS and First Direct – will join the scheme later in the year.
People who wish just to receive money – as opposed to paying it – will still be able to use the system, even if their phone is not a smartphone, or they do not use mobile banking.
Current levels of security will apply and payments will not be possible without an app’s pass code being entered.
Further information is available from a new website, run by the Payments Council.