By Mohammed Waseem
The Payments Council of UK has launched a payment service called Paym – pronounced Pay Em, which enables bank customers to send and receive money using a mobile number. This service was announced a few weeks before launch on 29th April this year. Since announcement, it received over 400000 registrations; The Telegraph reports. The service has been adopted initially by nine banks and building societies including Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax and HSBC. According to The Telegraph, other banks and building societies have committed to join Paym later in 2014 and in 2015.
Customers can use the Paym service to send up to £250 a day without the requirement of a sort code or account number. The service works through a mobile app and sending money requires a smartphone app, which is the bank’s mobile banking app, that works on smartphones. The service has been integrated with the banks’ existing mobile banking apps. However, non-smartphone users can register to receive money, but can’t send it. According to The Week, Payment Council expects over 1 billion transactions through Paym, by 2018.
Participating banks offered incentives for using the service, in the form of discounts and rewards. For example, Santander is offering it’s current account holders £1 for registering their numbers, £1 for the first payment and £1 for the first receipt of payment; provided all these transactions happen before 31st of May, 2014. The service is simple and easy to use because users won’t have to ask for account numbers and sort codes, if the recipient has registered to receive payments on Paym; and the requestor of payment won’t have to give out the account number or sort code.
All the users have to do is register their mobile number against their account, by contacting their respective banks. The following link has registration instructions specific to each participating bank. Once registration is done, the mobile number will function like an account number.
In order to send money, the user has to register their mobile number and the current account number to send and receive money into, download or update the bank’s / building society’s mobile banking app, select the recipient’s mobile number from the contact list or enter the number manually, enter the amount and confirm the name of the recipient in order to initiate the transaction. Once confirmed, the funds will appear in the recipient’s account.
With every advance in payment technology, there comes a fraud risk. Most people are insecure about this service and fear loss of money or suspicious activities in their accounts. However, Payment Council has assured that the service is secure and that the users will be using their existing password-protected mobile banking apps so the same security levels will apply.