Barclays Pingit

Barclays’ new service powered by its Pingit mobile app will allow users to receive payments swiftly.

Barclays’ new service powered by its Pingit mobile app will allow users to receive payments swiftly without having to provide any of their bank details. Instead they will be using users’ Twitter names and regardless of whether people bank with Barclays or not, anyone who has access to the Pingit app can link their Twitter handle to their profile, which is a smart move. In the past Pingit users had to know phone numbers or bank details of the users they wanted to transfer money to.

Using the specific Twitter user names with the platform’s enormous outreach of more than 13.5 million potential payment peers is also a logical evolution: long ago people had just first names, then second names were added, then addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and now Twitter names can be used to identify people.

The vast outreach and ease of use makes this move an interesting one that other banks might be following soon. The only notable downside at present is that both sender and receiver have to attach their Twitter handle, so similar to the introduction of fax machines, it may take a while to reach the critical mass.