Internet bank Egg is to launch Egg Pay, a new service allowing customers to digitally transfer money via e-mail to any of the UK's 110 million bank accounts.
The service, to be launched later this week, enables Egg customers to send money to anyone with an e-mail address and a UK bank account, whether the recipient is registered for Egg Pay or not.
Customers registered for the service simply enter the amount to be sent, details of the account from which the funds will be withdrawn, the recipient's e-mail address, two security questions and an optional personal message. The payee receives an e-mail explaining that money has been sent to them. Using a unique URL, the recipient accesses the Egg site, answers the security questions, and views the payment amount and optional message. The recipient then tells Egg which account to credit.
Funds are transferred from the customers debit card or Egg account by Bacs and are credited to the recipient's account in 3-4 working days.
The Egg Pay account will pay a rate of 2% gross p.a/AER interest on all deposits and payments awaiting collection.
Patrick Muir, director of marketing, Egg UK, comments: "We are always looking at ways to make money management as simple and convenient as possible. Egg Pay will undoubtedly appeal to the increasing number of UK consumers whose busy lifestyles do not allow for lunchtime queuing in their high street bank or building society."
Latest research from Egg and Mori shows that a third of all British adults - some 14 million people - say that they are interested in digital payment services. E-mail usage has increased exponentially since the 1990s with some 20 million British adults now using e-mail, whilst cheque usage has seen a 34% decline since 1990.