Barclays launch PayPal mobile competitor Pingit

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Barclays have launched a new mobile transfer service called Pingit, which on the face of it could be a competitor to PayPal. However there are limitations – you can only send up to £300 per day and receive a maximum of £5000 per day. It’s designed for friends to pay off their share of a meal or for small businesses to collect payments.

There is an App to download if you want to send money, and currently you can only use the Pingit App to send money if you’re a Barclays account holder. However to receive money you can sign up online if you so wish regardless of who you bank with.

I’m not particularly liking the service as anyone can decide to send you money more or less obligating you to sign up for the service. This means if it takes off Barclays will harvest millions of mobile phone numbers and the Pingit Terms and Conditions then give them the right to spam you with text messages.

You’d also better be careful that you enter the correct phone number to send payments to as Barclays say “We will not be liable to you if the payment is sent to the wrong person”, although they will try to recover the funds. In reality if you mistype a phone number you can probably kiss your money goodbye.

Alternative mobile payment methods

In comparison PayPal are trialling instore mobile payments without even needing your phone with you – simply entering your mobile number and a PIN makes the payment although this has been criticised as insecure – if anyone sees you enter your numbers they can make payments from your account. PayPal also have an iPhone app in the UK to enable you to pay for your meal at Pizza Express without even visiting the checkout.

Google have NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled mobile payment solutions in the US, you wave your phone at the payment terminal and enter a PIN, but this relies on the merchant installing specialist equipment which PayPal doesn’t need. Google are rumoured to be getting Google Wallet rolled out in the UK in time for the Olympic games with Athletes supposedly being given Samsung NFC enabled mobiles from a collaboration with Visa and Lloyds TSB.

Visa are also working on, a solution which is due to roll out this year to enable online shopping without sharing your card or bank details with merchants. To accept payments from you’d have to enable it as an option on your website.

Which mobile payment methods would you accept?

One thing is for sure in the future we’ll be making less card payments and using services like PayPal, Pingme, Google and instead. Which would you be most likely to use? Are you likely to sign up for Barclays’ new Pingme service and if someone tries to send you money with it would you accept the payment or reject the payment and insist that they select another method out of your available options?

8 Responses

  1. Thats the thing with Paypal. Once you use Paypal to make a payment your protection from your credit card issuer is void.

    Now credit card companies can by issuing their own payment gateways, offering their customers credit terms and conditions.

    If you pay for a fridge using a credit card for instance, you can on certain credit cards, get an extended guarantee. But if you payment was via Paypal your credit card company will void the agreement.

    Competition is good for everyone, and as a result hopefully, payment gateways will lower there prices for sellers.

  2. In the USA if a buyer uses PayPal with a credit card they do not lose their statutory protection. Most credit card rewards programs apply to PayPal transactions.

    Debit card transactions do not have the same level of protection.

    Because PayPal makes more from transactions using PayPal balance, the payment process essentially attempts to force users who have a balance to use it or a combination of balance and direct debit; enhancing PayPal’s bottom line and stripping the consumer of protection in the process. Win : win for PayPal.

    It is possible to open an additional tab in your browser, sign in to PayPal and withdraw the account balance to your bank account mid transaction. Once the request is made the funds are no longer available to PayPal and alternate payment choices are enabled.

    As a small (online only) merchant PayPal is risky but choice of payment method is important to buyers and generates confidence.

    I always remember Chris saying a few years ago “- for most sellers it’s better a rolling reserve than telling you you’re too big a risk to have an account which would mean you can’t trade on eBay”. I don’t know how many small sellers still trade successfully (ie make money at it) on eBay as opposed to dumping tired inventory but the theory of any payment processor being better than none if you want to sell online is as valid today as it ever was.

    The big question to me; how many small sellers are set up for mobile trade off eBay?

    Obviously Barclays new offering is not an option for most on this side of the pond, and I don’t have any plans to use it.

    I have been very happy with Google Checkout/Wallet & Amazon Payments for some years, and I will check out with great interest when it debuts.

  3. The Pingit ios app already has in excess of 10000 5***** ratings in the space of 5 days since launch.

  4. Somewhat lazy reporting. barclays have said that you can opt out of their marketing at any time. I also believe the app allows you to send money to recipients by choosing them from your phone’s stored numbers. So unless they’ve got the numbers stored in your phone wrong, then you’re probably not going to be sending money to the wrong phone number. I’m curious as to why you only said that PayPal ‘have an iPhone app’. They have an Android one too, which has a much bigger share of the market than Apple.

  5. What a surprise, Barclays have started to send out spam text messages advertising Pingit to phone numbers that haven’t tried to send or receive money or signed up for the service.

    Anyone would think that banks would know better than to send spam but obviously they don’t care about the law as much as they care about making money.


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