E-Wallets On the Rise, Barclays Enter Fray

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Barclays Pingit Smartphone
Barclays Pingit Image courtesy: http://mobilenewscwp.co.uk

Your teenage son is going out with friends and you are worried that he might run out of money. Don’t worry; there is a solution for you. You can use your mobile phone to transfer money in a matter of seconds to his account, and he can then take it out immediately in cash from an ATM.

The service was launched by Barclays in the UK back in February for its smartphone users. If sources are to be believed, people have been registering at the rate of 10,000 a day.

While there is no surprise that younger lot are far more interested on mobile banking than the over-40s, fact remains that majority of us are going to be affected by the upcoming mobile revolution. Indications are that this is going to become the main means of accessing your account. Within a matter of two to three years, it is going to become the main method that 25- to 35-year-olds will use their accounts.

Barclays has shocked its rivals by launching its Pingit service for users of BlackBerry, iPhone and Android mobiles. When the service was initially launched, both senders and recipients had to be registered first with the bank. Now, the user just needs to have an account with any bank. Once the registration and the application is downloaded to user’s smartphone, senders can transmit up to £300 a day, just by entering the mobile phone number of the recipient.

Barclays Pingit Details
Barclays Pingit Process Diagram

The FSA has a list of 18 organisations, including Starbucks and Google, which have been given a go ahead to transfer money with the help of smartcards and other electronic means. It is the FSA policy to motivate the growth of the electronic money market.

The mobile phone companies are also going to enter into the fray and there is speculation that they could fast move into offering banking services to rival the high-street banks. For example, the O2 Wallet is being piloted with more than 700 users and is going to launch very soon. It is going to provide “money messaging” .

Pingit, the O2 Wallet and other services are going to make a mark in the UK. Interestingly, Kenya is in the forefront with Kenyan M-Pesa system having 14 million subscribers, a third of the population.

E-money worries: How to avoid problems

Security

To protect your mobile phone, it is recommended that you set the password/PIN option, which prevents other people using it. In addition, you should also ensure that no one else could get access to the password (which is separate from your smartphone password/PIN), which your bank will give you before you make banking transactions.

Disputes

It is of paramount importance that your typing is accurate when you input details of people you want to send money to. Keep in mind that if you get a digit wrong and your £200 goes off to a stranger, it could take you a long time to get it back (if ever).

Would you avail this service, if it’s available to you? Or, would you be too concerned about its security? what about the transaction costs? who do you think should bear it? will this service spell doom for the money transfer companies? Let us know your thoughts on this service!

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