People are already familiar with the concept of transferring cash without needing to get hold of the sort code or account number of people thanks to Barclays’ PingIt service for smartphones.
The PingIt app allows people to transfer money from one mobile number to another, and now RBS are looking to get on board with their own smartphone app.
The head of mobile at RBS and NatWest, Ben Green, has praised the app for the new freedom it brings customers: “Our customers can make quick and easy payments without needing to get hold of the sort code and account number of the recipient. This safe and convenient tool will encourage yet more people to make the most of mobile banking – helping our customers to bank anywhere, whenever they want.”
The entire thing has been made possible thanks to Visa Europe, though the technology is currently only available in the UK. Visa are also excited about the possibilities this app brings and hope to extend it across borders in future, with Sandra Alzetta, the senior vice president and head of mobile at Visa Europe saying: “Mobile technology has the ability to fundamentally change the way that people manage their money and make payments – not only in this country but around the world.”
However, you could be forgiven for being sceptical about RBS and NatWest entering into this, as they have already become renowned for the problems they have with their IT infrastructure. There have already been huge issues with them last year, where customers were left unable to access their bank accounts, pay loans and bills or monitor their transactions.
There are also the issues that NatWest has already had with one of its mobile apps which allowed people to request money in an emergency if they had lost their card. Fraudsters were requesting the codes and using them to take money out of unsuspecting victim’s bank accounts. Given all this, the uptake of this feature will be interesting to see.