Barclays will become the first British bank to allow people to make payments to each other and small businesses using just their Twitter handle.
The service – powered by its Pingit mobile phone app – aims to give the UK’s 13.5 million Twitter users the ability to make swift, secure payments through the social network without providing either their bank details or a phone number.
All Pingit users can take advantage of the service, regardless of whether they bank with Barclays, by linking their Twitter account to their Pingit profile under the app’s settings menu. The service will launching on both Android phones and iOS devices on 10 March.
Once signed up, payments to friends, family and small businesses can be completed in three separate clicks. The payment limit per day is £1,500.
Amid security concerns about making payments via mobile phones and the internet, Barclays stressed that all transactions would be carried out within the Pingit app and not Twitter, which means the usual safety and security measures for regular Pingit payments apply.
Darren Foulds, director of Barclays Mobile Banking and Pingit, said: “We are always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make people’s lives easier and customer feedback plays a big part in how we chose to further develop our apps.”
Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle, he said “brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the UK”.
Launched in 2012, Pingit has till date received 3.7m downloads and more than £1bn has been sent using the app. The new service will also be available to businesses, which includes 57,000 companies in the UK currently signed up to Barclays’ Pingit service.