Are mobile payments the future of money transfers?

Technological advances and the development of the internet are revolutionising the way people transfer money as it is now simpler than ever to make money transfers. 

What are the options when I need to transfer money?

Making a money transfer used to mean a visit to the bank, but this is no longer a necessity as the majority of banks now offer online banking and there are various other payment technologies such as Google Wallet, PayPal and Barclays Pingit app that allow you to make payments and transfer money conveniently using a mobile phone. 

Google Wallet

Google Wallet is a mobile payment technology that enables individuals to make instant money transfers using a mobile phone. Making use of near field communication (NFC), a contactless payment technology that requires the user to swipe their phone over a reader to make a payment, Google Wallet works by linking the individual’s phone and bank account.

Although this technology is specifically designed for low-value instant transactions, for example paying for a cup of coffee or for lunch, money can also be transferred between two phones that utilise NFC technology by touching the handsets together. 

Google Wallet

What are the disadvantages of using Google Wallet?

Like any form of new technology, there are limitations when using NFC technology like Google Wallet to transfer money. At the moment only a limited range of mobiles, such as the Google Wallet handset and some BlackBerry handsets running BlackBerry 7.1 OS use NFC technology, so it us by no means universally available.

Possibly the most significant negative with Google Wallet is that the technology is restrictive geographically, as payments can only be made through a reader or to somebody in the same room, so this technology will not be helpful to individuals looking to transfer money to somebody outside of their immediate proximity.

Barclays bank Pingit

Barclay’s contribution to the world of mobile technologies is their “revolutionary” app Pingit, which is expected to be “the next big thing” in personal finance. The mobile phone based financial payment app enables it users to send and receive money without being required to share any bank details such as sort codes and account numbers, simply by using a mobile phone.  

The app, which is free to use and download, works by linking the individual’s current account with their phone number. Pingit is currently available for iOS, Android and Blackberry, while an online registration enables individuals who do not have a smartphone to receive payments.

Pingit

Antony Jenkins, the chief executive of Barclays retail and business banking says that “Barclays Pingit could revolutionise the way people send and receive money. For friends splitting the cost of dinner, repaying a borrowed £10 or people sending money to a son or daughter at university, it’s free, quick, convenient, secure, and easy to use. You can send and receive money in seconds, without having to enter account details.”

What are the negatives of Barclays Pingit app?

One of the many disadvantages of Pingit is that it is only available to a limited audience, Barclays bank current account customers, so it is not an accessible service for a large number of people who need to transfer money.

There are however plans for a UK-wide version that can be used by anybody, regardless of who they bank with from as early March. 

For many individuals the safety of transferring money via their mobile phone is likely to be a major concern, so this may deter some people from using the service. Transferring money via Pingit is however just as safe as any other banking transaction as Pingit works the same as a regular bank transfer, the money being transferred via the Faster Payments service. In addition to this the app is protected by a five-digit PIN code which is set by the user. 

How popular are mobile payment technologies?

At Xendpay we have noticed that mobile payment technologies are becoming increasingly popular, with over 11% of our visitors are using smartphones and tablets, most commonly IPhones, IPads, along with Android and Blackberry users. 

So are Google Wallet and Pingit the future of money transfers?

The convenience of transferring money and making instant payments from a mobile phone along with the simplicity and ease of using services such as Pingit or Google Wallet, make the prospect of these services becoming influential players in the money transfer market seem inevitable.  

With some forecasters predicting mobile financial payments to account for 20% of all e-commerce transactions made in 2012, this highlights how mobile payment technologies are becoming increasingly popular and will become more and more influential in the nearby future. 

At Xendpay we are certain that these payment methods will gain considerable popularity as this is a world that is forever searching for innovative technologies that make the day to day activities of individuals as simple as possible. If a payment or transfer made via a mobile phone is just as secure as a money transfer made in branch but the transfer can be made simply using a mobile phone, why wouldn’t this gain popularity? 

If you need to transfer money overseas, login to or register with Xendpay.