Banking industry launches Paym mobile payments system

Moving money around on our mobiles should get a lot easier with the launch of Paym, which is actually pronounced 'Pay Em', should you be wondering about the name.

It is a mobile payments system created by the banking industry and should be here late this year, presumably with the intention of unifying an area that doesn't quite seem to have found common ground as yet.

That part is new, but the idea utilises technology and ideas that have been experimented with previously. First up, you need to register your bank account to use Paym. Once you've done that, you can send money to anyone else who has done the same simply by knowing their mobile phone number. That means no sort codes or account codes, although you will still have to do it all via an app and a passcode, with a confirmation message sent once the money is transferred.

According to Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, it makes it easy to do those tasks that would normally involve cash, like paying back money, splitting a bill and so on. He added: 'Paym is a mobile update for payments that means you can pay securely using just a mobile number. The service has the potential to link up every bank account in the country with a mobile number - millions of people will be able to use it this year and we look forward to expanding Paym even further, so everyone can benefit from this easy, secure new way to pay.'

The first banks to say they will offer the new system to their customers are Bank of Scotland, Barclays, the Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB Bank. Later this year it will also be used by Clydesdale Bank, First Direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, RBS International, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Yorkshire Bank. That takes in (potentially) 90% of bank account holders. If they choose to use it.

The worry for most users is inevitably going to be fraud, but the passcodes and limited recipients should keep that at bay. If anything does go wrong the service can be suspended and according to the Payments Council, 'you get the same legal protection with Paym that is already applied to your other current account, online and mobile payment services.'

It's just a matter of convincing us to use it now. Expect a barrage of ads trying to do just that in the coming months.

Source: BBC

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