Barclays launch mobile payments - what does it mean for your business?

Barclays today launched a new mobile payment service that it says has the potential to revolutionise banking.

The bank says its Pingit app could represent as significant a step forward as that made by credit cards. But what is Pingit, and what does it mean for your business?

What is Pingit?

Pingit is a mobile app that allows users to make instant payments from their phone. Once users have downloaded the app they simply select a recipient from their contact list, or type in their phone number, then choose how much they would like to send. The payment is then made instantly.

Currently only Barclays customers can send money with Pingit , but the app will soon be available to those who bank elsewhere.

Can businesses use it?

Yes – and this is where the real potential of Pingit lies. Business users can send and receive money using the app. Unlike the consumer version, business users can only receive money using Pingit if they already have a Barclays business account for which they are the sole signatory. It is thought, though, that the app will be rolled out across more banks soon.

You can receive up to £5,000 per day using Pingit. There is a maximum per-transaction limit of £300.

Do I need a smartphone?

No. In fact, you don’t even need to have online banking. You simply need to sign up on the Barclays website in order to start receiving payments. Remember, though, that as the system currently stands your customer will need to bank with Barclays and have the app in order to send you payments.

Is it secure?

No system is totally secure – but Barclays claim that Pingit is just as secure as their regular online banking services. Users will be required to set up a passcode when they first install the app, and they will need to enter this every time they use it. Regular anti-fraud rules and protections apply.

What are the next steps?

As the slow death of the cheque continues, many business owners are looking for new ways to make and receive payments easily. Pingit and other systems like it represent one potential way forward.

Pingit is currently limited by the fact that business users have to be Barclays customers. But enthusiasm for mobile payments is growing – and it seems clear that an increasing number of small business owners will be sending and receiving money in this way soon, regardless of which bank they use.