More than one million people have registered for a new mobile payment service which has the potential to eventually link up every current account in the country with a phone number.
Paym, which helps people to transfer money as easily as texting, was launched at the end of April and it picked up its one millionth user registration around three months later, on July 31, according to the Payments Council, which is overseeing the initiative.
More than £6.5m has been sent using Paym, which is pronounced ‘pay em’, so far.
The service is being launched across the industry in waves, with 30 million people initially able to sign up for the service if they wish to.
Customers of Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB have been able to send and receive Paym payments since April 29.
By the end of the year, a total of 40 million people will be able to access Paym, when Clydesdale Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Yorkshire Bank come on board. By that point, Paym will be available on more than nine out of 10 current accounts.
Other current account providers are also in talks about joining up after this second wave, with Nationwide Building Society confirmed for next year.
Paym helps people to transfer cash via their mobile simply by using the recipient’s phone number rather than needing their bank account number and sort code.
Although it is anticipated that many people will use Paym to make small payments to friends and family they can transfer at least £250 a day under the scheme if they want. Banks and building societies can choose to set a higher daily limit.
People need to actively opt into the service by registering their mobile number alongside a nominated current account in order to receive money into that account through Paym.
They do not have to register to send money through Paym, but their bank or building society does need to be taking part in the scheme. The service is integrated into the user’s existing mobile banking app.
Someone making a payment either selects the contact they wish to pay from their mobile phone or keys in their mobile phone number.
They are then asked to check the recipient’s name and the amount before the payment is sent.
Research carried out for the Payments Council among 2,000 adults also suggests awareness of mobile payment services is growing.
The council said awareness of mobile payment services amongst consumers increased from 45 per cent before the launch of Paym up to 75 per cent a week after the service became available.
Jemma Smith, director of communications and education at the Payments Council, said: “It’s hugely encouraging that one million people have chosen to register for Paym already, but this milestone only marks the start of growth in the service.
“I think that securely paying back friends and family using just their mobile number will become second nature – and we’ll wonder why we ever did anything else. The next big step forward is more banks and building societies joining before the end of the year, and as a result we look forward to millions more people signing up and using the service.”
With rising numbers of people choosing to send cash quickly and easily by tapping a few buttons on their mobile or laptop, the Payments Council announced better help earlier this year to people who accidentally send money to the wrong bank account.