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Barclays moves into mobile commerce with Pingit app upgrade

Matthew Finnegan | Sept. 17, 2013
Purchases in UK can be made by scanning QR codes on mobile device

Growing market for mobile payments
The launch of the new features highlights Barclays' intentions to stay ahead in the quick moving world of m-commerce, and gives the bank a head-start on some other firms which are preparing to launch their own mobile payment services.

Payment processing firm Visa, which is partnering with IBM and software provider Monitise to develop a mobile payments system, believes that by the end of the decade over half of transactions it facilitates will be made through mobile devices.

Although Barclays is the first high street bank to deliver a mobile payments solution, others are likely to follow suite in the next twelve months as they seek to add to the mobile banking services that most already provide.

The growth of mobile payments will also be boosted by an industry-backed mobile payments system which will go live in 2014, enabling customers of most major high street banks to link their current account to their mobile phone number.

However Barclays has already raised concerns over the presence in the market of Zapp, a company set up by Vocalink, the organisation which will oversee the running of the central mobile payment system upon its launch. According to the Barclays there is confusion over Zapp's place in the market, with a perception that the company has received backing from all the major banks. Last week Zapp announced a partnership with WorldPay that will see it offer mobile payments though numerous high street stores next year, including WH Smith and McDonalds.

Regulators are also attempting to keep pace with the changes, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is in the process of conducting a two year investigation into potential risks related to mobile banking and payments, and is due to produce a final report during 2014.


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