O2 have announced that they are planning on launching a money transfer app for mobile phones. O2 are currently testing the app and hope for its release to be within the next three months. The app will allow users to link their mobile number with their bank account and make money transfers by sending SMS messages, similar to Barclay’s Pingit service.
O2 are allowing this service to be used by all UK banks and mobile networks, whereas Pingit is only available to Barclays customers. Ronan Dunne, chief executive of O2 has said the following:
We have loads of people in a closed user group who are already using it. What we are just doing is building and testing all of the scaling, so that when we go to market we can be prepared for an onslaught of demand.
He has also given details about the procedures to setting up this service. They have applied for an e-money license and have their provisional approvals. They will also partner with Visa and have all of the credentials you would expect from somebody launching this service.
The biggest fear of money transfer apps is privacy concerns; however Mr. Dunne said he did not anticipate any problems as the system will be properly secured. Along with Vodafone’s imminent ‘mobile wallet’ service, smartphone payments are suddenly becoming very real.