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January 16, 2013

UK Payments Council to launch payments by text message service in 2014

Participating financial institutions in the scheme include Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander UK

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Payments Council is set to launch a new service in spring 2014 that will allow mobile users to make payments by just sending a text message.

Set to turn into a mainstream option, the new service is aimed at allowing direct secure payments to or from an account without any requirement to reveal the sort code and account number by using a mobile phone.

According to the Payments Council, the scheme is being supported by eight financial institutions that represent 90% of UK current accounts.

Payments Council chief executive Adrian Kamellard said the mobile payments project allows the Payments Council to play a major role in delivering far-reaching improvements for customers.

"This new service will offer a simple, secure way to split a bill for dinner, receive money from a friend or pay a tradesman without needing to remember or share account details," Kamellard said.

Eight financial institutions who have agreed to participate in the scheme include: Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander UK.

Planned to be administered by the Faster Payments service, the new scheme can only be opted by interested customers, while account holders who do want their details in the database can even refuse to opt the service.

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According to a research by the Payments Council, the new service is expected to be mostly used by smartphone users, who accounted for two thirds (67%) of the surveyed 5,000 consumers.

The final phase of the mobile payments project follows the recent completion of the central database that allows banks to securely store their customers’ mobile phone numbers and connect them to their account details.

Over 2014, the Payments Council’s delivery programme will set new rules defining service standards for security, speed and other technical necessities.

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