Barclays is expanding its ground-breaking Barclays Pingit mobile app following unprecedented consumer demand, and with younger people also calling for access on blogs, app review sites and social media.
Barclays Pingit allows people to receive and send money, for free, to anyone with a UK current account and UK mobile phone number, simply by using that mobile number, without the need to share bank details.
Blackberry, Android and Apple users aged sixteen and seventeen who have a Barclays current account will be able to download the app from today. Customers of other banks can register to receive payments, and will also be able to use the app to send payments soon. This launch for teenage customers has been brought forward due to high demand.
Barclays Pingit could prove particularly useful for teenagers splitting the cost of cinema or concert tickets, and for parents who want to ensure that their children can access money securely if they need it without having to carry cash.
Recent research by Ofcom revealed that 60 per cent of teenagers admit to being 'highly addicted' to smartphones, with 63 per cent downloading apps.
Sean Gilchrist, Director of Barclays Digital Banking said: "Smartphone apps are now part of everyday life for young people. They are highly tech-savvy consumers who really get the fact that cash is becoming more digital and more mobile just like music, films and books.
"Barclays Pingit is a really simple, convenient and secure way to send and receive money, which is why young people are telling us that they also want to use it.
"We want to put them in greater control of their money and help to raise financial awareness by enabling them to send and receive money using their smartphones."
Barclays Pingit transfers are as safe as any other banking transaction and the app is protected by a five-digit passcode, set by the user, and the Barclays online fraud guarantee.
The Barclays Pingit service is available to current account customers of all UK banks and building societies, not just those with Barclays current accounts.
Currently only Barclays current account customers are able to send money via the app, but all UK current account customers are able to register online to receive money. The app will be available to all UK customers to send and receive money in March.
The service, which is free to use, links the user's current account with their mobile phone number. This enables payments to be sent directly to that account but without the sender needing to know anything more than the recipient's mobile phone number. Money is sent using the Faster Payments service.
To send money, customers can use the free Barclays Pingit app available on Apple, Android and Blackberry, or they can register online to receive payments.
Barclays also investing £15m to help young people build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage their money more effectively. The Barclays Moneyskills programme aims to reach one million young people by the end of this year.