From today, any customer banking with UK bank Barclays will be able to utilise the company’s new mobile money transfer service, Pingit, which allows money to be sent and received using just a mobile phone number.

Barclays says that Pingit is Europe’s first person-to-person service for sending money this way, requiring customers to own just a UK current account and a domestic mobile phone number. The service does away with bank details by linking a customer’s account to their mobile device.

The good news is that, whilst the ustwo-designed app is available to Barclays customers at launch, it will be made available to all current customers of UK banks and building societies, with full UK access expected to be rolled out by March.

image 1 520x779 UK bank Barclays targets PayPal with new mobile number money transfer service Pingit   image 15 520x779 UK bank Barclays targets PayPal with new mobile number money transfer service Pingit

You’re probably going to ask how it works, and whether you can trust the service to securely transfer money to and from your account.

The service first requires a bank customer to link their current account with their mobile number, this enables payments to be sent directly to that account with just a phone number for reference. To send funds, you can download the free Barclays Pingit app (available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry) or sign-up receive mobile transfers by registering online.

Each transaction is protected by a five-digit passcode, which is set by you, and payments can be between £1 and £300 with a maximum of £5,000 per day.

From today, only Barclays customers can utilise Pingit to send money, but the UK banking giant says that with the release of the second version of the app, which is available soon, non-Barclays current account customers with smartphones can register via the app and send money.

However, any UK current account holder can receive payments by visiting www.barclays.co.uk/pingit and registering their mobile device.

With banks seeing billions of pounds transferred between accounts via services like PayPal on mobile devices, one has finally launched its own service that is capable of rivalling the eBay-owned company.

The service is aimed not only at helping friends and family send payments between accounts, small business owners will also be able to register numbers on the service and receive payments for goods and services, without the need for a credit card machine.

In that sense, you could say it’s the perfect mix of PayPal and US mobile payment platform Square.

➤ Pingit - iOS | Android | BlackBerry