Barclays Brings Pay-By-Tweet To UK Banking

Barclays announced the integration of its PingIt mobile payments app with Twitter to allow users to pay others using just a Twitter handle and a linked account on March 10, becoming the first bank in the United Kingdom to offer such a service.

“Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the U.K.,” said Darren Foulds, director of Barclays Mobile Banking.

PingIt is a mobile app that enables users to send money or gift cards to each other via smartphone as long as both the phone and bank accounts are registered in the U.K. Purchases can be made on the app either via mobile checkout with businesses that have a specific PingIt short code, remotely via the app’s built-in business directory, using a cellphone number (thanks to the company’s connection with P2P platform Paym) or by scanning QR codes from advertisements or product labels.

For businesses, there is no contract fee for the free app and other fees are similar to those they are already paying to accept online payments, according to Barclays.

The new Twitter pay service is activated when consumers link their PingIt apps to Twitter, which is accessible without a formal Barclays account. Recipients for the P2P payments can be selected from either a contact list or by manually entering a Twitter handle of someone PingIt enabled. The payments are completed “instantly,” according to the company, with no transaction fees for P2P payments, and payees are notified of the deposit via text message.