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Mobile phone app could lessen reliance on cash

Fri 17 Feb, 2012 // Firstnumber Team
The Pingit app allows users to transfer money using their phone

New smartphone app, Pingit, unveiled by Barclays bank this week could make cash payments a far less regular part of our lives. The app, available to download for free, lets users transfer money to anyone with a UK current account and mobile number, without sharing bank details.

The process of transferring cash using Pingit has been compared to sending a text. "For friends splitting the cost of dinner, repaying a borrowed £10 or people sending money to a son or daughter at university, it's free, quick, convenient, secure and easy to use," Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays retail and business banking, stated on the launch.

Security matters have been discussed with people expressing fears over how safe the app is. Its creators claim safety has been considered, and no one can use a Pingit account without first entering a five-digit pass code. Details can also be erased from the phone if it’s lost or stolen.

While currently only available for individual use, there are plans to develop the scheme to allow people to pay for items, settle bills, use it for business purposes and make donations. Soon, customers of other UK banks will also be able to benefit from the convenient app.

To use Pingit, all you need is a BlackBerry, iPhone or any phone running on the Android system. Payments are made by keying in the recipient’s phone number, adding the transfer amount and pressing send. Money is transferred instantly, provided the other person is also a Pingit user.

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