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PAYM mobile payments arrive in the UK, but not for RBS customers

Around 20 million bank account holders won't be able to access the new PAYM mobile payment system, which launches in the UK today

PAYM, a mobile payment system that lets anyone transfer money to another person using their mobile phone number rather than bank account details, has launched in the UK today. Unfortunately the service, which has the backing of several of the country’s largest banks, won’t be immediately available to around twenty million UK customers.

PAYM works by registering your bank account to your mobile phone number. The service will be integrated with existing mobile banking or payment apps, so the sender only has to enter a phone number in order to transfer funds. The Payments Council, the body in charge of the PAYM rollout, expects up to one billion payments to be made by 2018, mainly as a way to pay for goods and services that would usually be cash-in-hand, including window cleaners and babysitters.

PAYM website

Barclays, the Bank of Scotland, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and TSB customers will be able to send up to £250 per day once they register their account, but unfortunately, the RBS group won’t be supporting the service at launch. That means RBS, NatWest, Ulster Bank, First Direct, Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank customers will have to wait until later in the year in order to join. Nationwide account holders won’t be able to join until 2015, and smaller banks and building societies including Metro Bank have yet to confirm whether they will be supporting the service at all.

PAYM may now be available, but according to a report from market research company Consumer Intelligence, few people plan to use it; barely a quarter of the people asked expect to use it regularly, with 47% expected not to use the system at all. Around 360,000 people have already registered for the service ahead of launch, a small percentage of the total potential number of users.

You can find out more information on the new service on the PAYM website.

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