January 16, 2013
Payments by text message service to launch in UK in Spring 2014
Account owners will be asked by their banks if they want to opt-in to a database that will allow the sending of money by text message.
The scheme is being backed by eight major financial institutions:
-- Cumberland Building Society
-- Danske Bank
-- Lloyds Banking Group
-- Metro Bank
-- Royal Bank of Scotland
Its launch will bring the UK up to speed with technology long in use in the developing world.
Many African nations use systems such as M-Pesa, typically seen as a secure way to transfer funds quickly between individuals and businesses.
A spokesman for the Payments Council told the BBC it had taken the UK longer to catch up due to the technical challenge of building and testing a new database to power the system.
Mobiles in the UK are already being used for a variety of online banking tasks, with services such as Barclay's PingIt simplifying sending money to and from accounts.
But this new set-up will be the first to not require users to set-up a separate account with a mobile wallet service.
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