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The growth of mobile payments

The growth of mobile payments

Category: Money

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Have you ever sent money using just a mobile phone number? Hopefully, the concept isn't as alien to you as it once was, as today marks the one-year anniversary of Paym's official launch.

Mobile payments made easy

Paym is the mobile payment service that allows you to send cash to friends, family and tradesmen using just a mobile phone number. It's fully integrated into your mobile banking app and is available through 16 banks and building societies, and in the year since it's been launched it's certainly had an impact – figures reveal that £44 million has been sent through the service at an average transaction value of £55, with 2.25 million users already signed up.

The service is set to grow further in the coming months, too – it already covers more than 90% of UK current accounts, but with Nationwide set to join the scheme in May, it'll service even more banking customers in the future. "We're using our mobiles more than ever – and not just for phone calls," said Craig Tillotson, managing director of Paym. "When you add this trend to the wider growth in the sharing economy, mobile payments look set to be a real growth area over coming years."

Changing attitudes to sharing cash

Paym went further with its research and looked a little deeper into the spending habits of its users, and found that attitudes are clearly shifting. At launch, consumers were reluctant to identify themselves as a borrower of money from others, with only 12% of those surveyed willing to do so.

This figure has increased by a third in the last year, with 16% now happy to say they use IOUs with friends and family as an easy way to share costs. The survey also found that people who use mobile banking services are four times more likely to willingly share money – 58% of mobile payment users are happy to share money with friends and family, compared with 15% of all adults.

In terms of demographics, it was revealed that 18 to 24 year-olds are most likely to borrow and lend money as a regular part of managing their finances, typically transferring money every few weeks for drinks (51%), food (40%) or transport costs (31%). A further half (51%) of workers and colleagues collate IOUs by purchasing coffees and lunch for each other, another area where mobile payments could make things easier.

There also appears to be an agreed etiquette about sharing money, something that should make the process less fraught: £100 is deemed the largest amount most people feel comfortable sharing, while 74% say that the reason for borrowing money should always be explained and 77% believe they have the right to turn down a request for money if they don't approve of what it's for.

Get in on the sharing action

The growth of Paym and an increased willingness to lend money comes against the backdrop of the rise of the sharing economy, the report noted, with the likes of house sharing and car sharing becoming increasingly common. Separate research for innovation charity Nesta found that 25% of UK adults used internet technologies to share assets/resources over the last year, as "advances in technology are making sharing easier than ever," added Tillotson.

Is it time you got in on the action? It's never been easier to send money to friends and family, with Paym making it possible to do just that using only a mobile phone number.

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