Send money to a mobile number set for 2014 launch
A UK scheme allowing you to send money using just a mobile phone number - without needing to know bank account details or sort code - is coming in 2014. Financial revolution or recipe for disaster? We look at what this money-by-mobile means for you.
What is it?
A UK scheme to let mobile users send payments to someone just by sending a text is likely to be available from spring 2014, according to the Payments Council who announced the industry-wide scheme on Tuesday.
By simply signing up with your bank to use the service, you should be able to transfer cash to someone you know or a business using a mobile phone number, without needing to share details like the sort code and account number.
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The industry-wide scheme has already signed up the well-known banks and building societies that represent the majority of UK current accounts including Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Santander.
The Council has said the service will be secure and that banks will be able to disable an account if they suspect misuse.
Transactions will require some sort of payment authorisation such as a passcode, and it expects there’ll be caps on the maximum amount of money that can be transferred in one go and banks should have some flexibility in setting these, although the level is yet to be decided. The Council believes there’s the potential opportunity to link up every bank account in the country with a mobile phone number.
What does it mean for us?
Apparently, it’s all about convenience. No more rushed cash withdrawals to pay back friends or family, and come birthdays or Christmas you might not even need to bother buying a gift card or voucher if you could send them a cash-loaded text instead. There’ll be no more excuses.
But do we want it and will the majority of us use it? Given that many of us have privacy and security concerns – even with internet banking – do we really want it to be that easy to send our money off to someone with only a mobile number being required? Could you send payments to the wrong number and would you be able to cancel payments?
However, we’ve already seen apps with issues such as Natwest’s banking app ‘Get Cash’ which let users withdraw cash without a debit card and was withdrawn following reports that some customers had been defrauded of hundreds of pounds by thieves.
As we continue to use our smartphones more like a computer, could there be implications for those who don’t extend the measures taken to secure information on a computer to their phone? Certainly, there might need to be a bit more care taken over mobile phone security by those who sign-up to the scheme, such as setting an unlock password and not losing your phone or leaving your bag in any manner of places.
What do you think?
According to the Council’s own research, one in three smartphone users said they were definitely or extremely likely to sign up to the new service at launch. Barclays’ convenient Pingit app, which allows you to send up to £300 per day using a smartphone, has been downloaded over one million times, which suggests that many of us are interested in using convenient paperless, computer-less, and contactless methods of money transfer. Or has it been foisted upon us?
As my colleague Paul Davies discussed in May last year, contactless cards haven’t taken off and your opinions vary between that of concern to welcoming it as a convenient method of making small, quick payments. Many people aren’t aware of it or won’t use it, and some are actually annoyed at being issued with a contactless card when they don’t want one.
Would you sign up to cash via mobile?
No way - this could be a recipe for disaster (72%, 972 Votes)
Depends - I want to be sure of the security of the scheme (24%, 324 Votes)
Absolutely - this is the most convenient thing ever! (4%, 46 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,342
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