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RBS launches mobile number-based P2P payments service

14 March 2013  |  11479 views  |  2 RBS Bank branch sign

Following in the footsteps of rival Barclays, RBS and NatWest have begun piloting a mobile payments tool that lets customers send money to anyone with a Visa card and UK phone number.

Participants in a soft launch have begun trialling the service within the RBS and NatWest Android, iOS and BlackBerry apps ahead of a full roll out planned for after Easter.

Users can transfer funds to anyone with a Visa card by entering their UK mobile phone number, without them having to register in advance. A text message is sent to the recipient directing them to a Web site where they enter their card number to collect the money.

The service will have a £100 limit and be available to RBS customers in Scotland and NatWest customers in England and Wales.

Ben Green, head, mobile, RBS and NatWest, says: "Our customers will be able to make quick and easy payments without needing to get hold of the sort code and account number of the recipient. This safe and convenient tool will encourage yet more people to make the most of mobile banking - helping our customers to bank anywhere, whenever they want."

The service is similar to Barclays' Pingit, which has proved popular since launching last February, with well over a million downloads. An industry-wide version, being built under the direction of the Payments Council, is also in the pipeline, set for a launch next year.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 15 March, 2013, 08:42

How come that card schemes are unable to build a real time P2P service supported by mobile phones?. They have the authorisation message in real time that could be used to withdraw and deposit in payer and payee card accounts, the original credit transaction, global reach through 28 000 banks in +180 countries, operating regulations, business model (atm withdrawal), mobile wallets in the making and experience in the area. Electronic P2P in real time is a real customer need for payments between consumers. Instead they focus on mobile wallet payments in F2F merchant outlets that already accept cards with chip and PIN?  Why would I at Sainsbury´s check-out lane dabble with my mobile phone when I can stick in the card and do my four digits?In addition to this they approve Squares and iZettles where consumers should act as merchants making a P2P very combersome. When I sell my son´s old bike to a stranger I would like to receive an on-line P2P instead of 50 GBP in cash and he would like to pay only when he gets the bike... Card schemes should focus on unmet customer needs instead of fixing what is not broken.    

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 15 March, 2013, 18:15

@FinextraM: Very simple answer: There's no interchange fee in realtime P2P the way Barclays or RBS are doing it. Visa did try web-based realtime P2P between Visa cardholders a few years ago. Not sure if the service is still available but they did attract a big furore at the time when it was rumored that they'd start charging interchange and cash withdrawal fees on these transactions.

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