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Barclays PingIt app lets you send money with just a mobile number

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British bank Barclays has launched a new mobile payments app. Named PingIt, it enables users to send money to one another using nothing more than a mobile phone number.

Barclays PingIt
Barclays PingIt

Barclays has released an app for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry designed to make it even easier for you to spend money and repay those you owe. Named PingIt, the app allows you to send up to £300 per day using just mobile numbers, meaning that you don't need someone's bank details to transfer money to them.

Setup is simple. Once you've grabbed the app, you're prompted to create a five-digit PIN code for security, an unusual length but one that means you're unlikely to be duplicating a number from elsewhere. Next, you input your cellphone number, bank details, and name. The app then confirms your mobile number via SMS and then verifies your account details. From there, you're given the option to pick a contact from your address book or input another number, and how much you wish to send them. Payments are sent instantly, and deposited directly to your account.

It's currently only available to Barclays customers, but the bank has said that others will be able to sign up later this year. The idea isn't totally new — Chase Quickpay offers a similar service in the US — but it seems as if Barclays is trying to challenge PayPal's dominance in the UK mobile payment market. It's also got a significant advantage over PayPal, where bank transfers can take up to four days.