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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : February 26, 2015

Barclays Bank launches Twitter payments

Banks are fighting off competition from digital payment providers such as PayPal by slowly adopting their own digital banking processes. Barclays Bank in the UK has joined with Twitter to become the first in the country to allow payments via Twitter.

by Helen Leggatt

Within the next month, Barclays Bank will launch a mobile payment method, available to both iOS and Android users, allowing transactions between individuals and small businesses through Twitter. Around 80% of Twitter users in the UK now access the social network via their mobile device.

The payment service is available to those using the Pingit payments mobile app. Users simply link their Twitter account to their Pingit profile after which it takes just three clicks to make a payment.

Since its launch in 2012, Pingit has been downloaded 3.7 million times and more than £1 billion (US$1.5 billion) has been transacted.

"Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the UK," says Darren Foulds, director of Barclays mobile banking.

Research from YouGov and law firm Pinsent Masons, conducted in the UK among 2,000 people last year, found that digital payment providers pose a real threat to traditional banks, more so than new "challenger" banks such as Metrobank or Virgin Money.

Almost one quarter of those surveyed said they would be "likely" to use an alternative digital payment provider, such as PayPal or WePay, within the next two years instead of a large bank.

"Nobody can doubt that transitioning to a digital strategy is essential for any customer-facing bank given the potential for greater speed, reliability and security of payments and other services," said financial services expert John Salmon of Pinsent Masons. "However, financial institutions are going to have to focus on taking consumers with them on that digital journey."

Bloomua /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: apps, banking, mobile, social media, UK

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