Barclays launches Twitter payments service

Barclays launches Twitter payments service

In a UK first, Barclays is launching a service that lets people pay each other and small businesses using just their Twitter handle.

Launching on both Android phones and iOS devices next month, Twitter payments will be enabled through the bank's Pingit mobile funds transfer service.

To sign up, users can link their Twitter handle to their Pingit profile and direct cash payments to other users of the micro-blogging service.

The three-step process (log-in, select Twitter handle, send) is far more elegant than other previous attempts by banks to use Twitter as a payment mechanism, such as that introduced by India's Icici Bank in January.

Darren Foulds, director of Barclays mobile banking and Pingit says: “Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the UK”.

With 80% of UK Twitter users now accessing the social network through their mobile regularly, the offering gives people a new way to pay without having to always provide either bank details or a phone number.

Launched in 2012, Pingit has now received 3.7 million downloads and over £1 billion has been sent using the app.

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