Payment by text message heading to UK

Does anyone still text? Most of you probably do, but with other messaging systems muscling in on smartphone, the humble SMS is looking to reinvent itself. Possibly as a payment service.

Payment by text message is indeed on its way to the UK, provisionally launching in spring 2014. So you'll have no excuse for not giving that tenner back that you borrowed the week before.

According to the BBC, the ability to send and receive money by sharing only a phone number will be supported by Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander at launch, making for quite a 'joined up' system.

Account owners will be asked by their banks if they want to opt-in to a database. If you do, you'll be good to go. Account holders who do not wish to have their details in the database will be able to refuse - only those customers who actually opt-in will be signed up.

The scheme will be run by the Faster Payments service, which processed more than 800 million online and phone banking transactions in 2012, along with the Link network, which processed 3.1 billion cash machine withdrawals last year. It will also be protected, using a passcode or similar security measure, so a 'friend' can't simply grab your phone and text themselves a few quid. Any accounts suspect of misuse will be suspended remotely.

Sounds interesting, and without the need for extra signups and downloads for each institution, it should, in theory, take off pretty quickly.

Source: BBC

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