Barclays introduces free international money transfers via app

by Ray Clancy on August 22, 2012

Barclays Pingit allows bank accounts to be linked to mobile numbers

Barclays Pingit, an app that lets people link their bank account to their mobile number to send payments is set to be rolled out internationally, across thirteen African countries by the end of this year with expansion into Europe in early 2013.

Payments from the UK to Kenya is the first phase of this major international expansion, launching this week, the bank said.

Barclays is the first bank in the world to launch a fee free mobile payments service internationally. People will be able to send and receive money across international borders instantly and securely, it said.

UK customers can send up to £750 per day and customers in Kenya will be able to receive up to £5,000 per day. Payments will be made instantly arriving within minutes, whereas traditional international services charge a fee and can take up to nine days for the money to arrive.

Retail customers will also be able to take advantage of wholesale currency exchange prices by linking the service to the industry leading BARX FX platform shortly after the launch. This will bring what is normally available to corporate clients to the mass market, making market leading exchange rates accessible to everyone.

Barclays is keeping the service free as it believes this will really help people who need to send money abroad. In the first six months Pingit has already achieved over one million downloads in the UK and remains the only service of its kind in the UK. The Barclays Mobile Banking app has also achieved 529,000 downloads in the UK in its first month since launch.

Barclays plans to make the service available for its customers in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles and Mauritius by the end of 2012.

A wide range of people can benefit, for example people who want to send regular small payments to friends and family abroad, expatriates and people who travel for business. Lots of people want to make small regular payment to their family abroad but currently get hit by fees and long transfer periods each time they do it.

‘Pingit is quick, convenient, secure and free. It’s revolutionised how people send and receive money in the UK, and now has the potential to transform international payments around the world. Kenya is a key market where Barclays has operated for over 95 years, and we anticipate significant demand for mobile payments across Africa,’ said Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking.

‘We constantly strive to improve and evolve our services around our changing customers needs, and this latest development is part of a series of enhancements to make mobile payments more accessible and easy to use. Barclays has a long history of innovation firsts and we continue to lead the way in the banking industry,’ he added.

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