The FINANCIAL — People will be able to send and receive money across international borders instantly, securely and fee free, simply by using their mobile number for the first time using Barclays Pingit, launching in the coming days.
Pingit – the ground breaking app that lets people link their bank account to their mobile number to send payments is set to be rolled out internationally, across thirteen African countries by the end of this year with expansion into Europe in early 2013. Payments from the UK to Kenya is the first phase of this major international expansion, launching this week.
Barclays is the first bank in the world to launch a fee free mobile payments service internationally. The development could be a game changer for the international money transfer market.
Pingit limits remain the same – UK customers can send up to £750 per day and customers in Kenya will be able to receive up to £5,000 per day. As Barclays reported, payments will be made instantly arriving within minutes, whereas traditional international services charge a fee and can take up to nine days for the money to arrive.
Retail customers will also be able to take advantage of wholesale currency exchange prices by linking the service to the industry leading BARX FX platform shortly after the launch. This will bring what is normally available to corporate clients to the mass market, making market-leading exchange rates accessible to everyone.
Barclays is keeping the service free as it believes this will really help people who need to send money abroad. In the first six months Pingit has already achieved over one million downloads in the UK and remains the only service of its kind in the UK. The Barclays Mobile Banking app has also achieved 529,000 downloads in the UK in its first month since launch.
There are over 200,000 people living in the UK who were born in Kenya (Source: ONS, 2009) and many more with Kenyan heritage or who have a family or business connection to the country. According to the Central Bank of Kenya there were over Sh50bn (Kenyan Shillings) (equivalent to $600m) of remittance payments made into the country from Kenyans working abroad in the first half of this year, a rise of 46.7 per cent on the first half of 2011. Barclays has targeted Kenya as a key market with sophisticated adoption of mobile banking through products like Barclays Hello Money which has 120,000 customers.
Many people in the UK currently send money abroad demonstrating the huge potential for this innovation in future. Barclays plans to make the service available for our customers in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, UAE, Seychelles and Mauritius by the end of 2012.
A wide range of people can benefit, for example people who want to send regular small payments to friends and family abroad, expatriates and people who travel for business. Lots of people want to make small regular payment to their family abroad but currently get hit by fees and long transfer periods each time they do it. With Pingit it will be instant and free.
Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking said: “Pingit is quick, convenient, secure and free – it’s revolutionised how people send and receive money in the UK, and now has the potential to transform international payments around the world. Kenya is a key market where Barclays has operated for over 95 years, and we anticipate significant demand for mobile payments across Africa.
“We constantly strive to improve and evolve our services around our changing customers needs, and this latest development is part of a series of enhancements to make mobile payments more accessible and easy to use. Barclays has a long history of innovation firsts and we continue to lead the way in the banking industry”