Close to 20 million users will be shut out of mobile bank transfer service

Paym is launching its new UK mobile remittance and transfer service today. However, close to 20 million of its potential

More than 18 million account holders from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest and the Nationwide will only have access to Paym’s initiative sometime in 2015.

The service is phone number based and will allow users to register by simply entering their phone number. The mobile numbers will be associated to its respective bank account, meaning users will not need to share banking details to send funds.

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While RBS NatWest and the Nationwide’s account holders will be left out, 30 million customers from Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, and TSB can now register their phone numbers and benefit from the service.

“We will be offering our customers the ability to make payments using Paym in quarter two, 2015,” said an RBS and NatWest spokesperson.

Other banks like First Direct will already be integrating and offering the service later this year. Banks such as Metro Bank, the Clydesdale, Yorkshire Bank and some of the smaller building societies have not announced any time table to when the service will be made available, if at all.

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The big surprise is RBS. Given it is one of the largest financial institutions in the UK; it would be expected to have been involved in such a national initiative. The banks states it is not offering the service right now as it is currently focused on improving its IT systems.

The service should have an adequate sign-up rate with a survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence stating at least 25% of eligible users will use the service. The survey also showed a majority of 47% mainly concerned on the security aspect of such a service.

“It’s clear that the banking industry has a job to do educate many of them that mobile payments are a safe and consumer-friendly development,” said David Black of Consumer Intelligence.

The Payments Council, which is running the scheme, insists the technology is perfectly secure. Customer will have access to their accounts and relevant information through standard banking applications, which are password protected.

“Paym is a safe and easy option”, said Adrian Kamellard, the chief executive of the Payments Council.

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