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NatWest begins FastPay person-to-person payment trial

19 August 2002  |  7195 views  |  0 pda palm beaming

The UK's NatWest Bank has begun trials of a new mobile phone and e-mail-based person-to-person payment system using technology from UK company Magex.

NatWest, part of The Royal Bank of Scotland, is currently trialling the service, dubbed FastPay, to UK consumers. The system, which is open to all UK residents, enables anyone with an email address or a mobile phone number to send and receive payments. Users can also pay money into and take money out of their FastPay accounts using any UK debit card or bank account.

Andy Ross, director of e-commerce and Internet for The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, says the technology makes money transfer as easy as sending an e-mail: "FastPay...is a great way for friends and family to send money to each other, without the hassle of having to send a cheque through the post. This trial will make sending money as easy as sending an email."

Datamonitor projects European P2P volume of EUR770 million in 2002 growing to EUR7.7 billion worldwide in 2005, and for mobile payments to merchants to top EUR18.5 billion by 2006.

NatWest is the first of the UK clearing banks to launch a P2P payment service. Direct bank Egg is understood to be working on a similar digital payments system for Hotmail users.

Magex was founded in August 1998 by NatWest Card Services to create a combined digital rights management and payment system. In April 2000, Magex established itself as a separate, independent company after raising US$80 million in its first round of equity funding from major investors including Royal Bank of Scotland, Goldman Sachs and Capital Z Partners.

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