In February this year, Barclays introduced PingIt - a mobile platform for account-to-account payments. Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive, Barclays Retail and
Business Banking said: “Barclays Pingit could revolutionise the way people send and receive money." Some journalists called PingIt a "game-changing" technology.
Is that really so? Let's look at the hard facts.
PayPal introduced a similar service back in 2008. Moreover, UK's VocaLink has been offering Immediate
Payments platform (!) since... 2010. To understand the significance of the latter and how it relates to PingIt, simply watch this video.
In April 2012, Barclays announced another "revolutionary" service - PayTag, aka an NFC sticker. Citibank's customers no doubt experienced déjà vu as Citi launched its
own version of PayTag back in April... 2010.
The real question is not whether Barclays is revolutionary or not (the answer to that question is obvious), but whether CEOs of other UK banks sleep well at night (and if they do - why?!). Barclays is no doubt quick on its feet. I won't be at all surprised
if they soon announce another UK-first service - for example, cardless ATM withdrawals. NatWest has been offering such service since... 2007, but only in
case of emergency.