Dividends and insurance claims to be paid via smartphone app

Tim Wallace
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INSURANCE claims, dividends and refunds from firms can be paid via smartphone app PingIt, Barclays announced today, in the latest phase of its mobile payments war with other lenders and cross-bank offering Zapp.

Previously PingIt has been used for person-to-person payments and customer-to-company transfers, and is on offer to customers of any bank.

But now Barclays is recruiting companies to pay customers through the service.

It aims to win market share from cheques. Barclays estimates a typical cheque payment takes five days to reach a customer’s account and costs the paying firm between 80p and £8.

“This is for firms who pay customers but do not usually hold the account numbers, sort codes and credit card details of customers,” said Barclays’ Mike Walters.

The service will also act as a marketing tool for Barclays – when firms ask it to process payments through the app, Barclays will text any customers who do not already use the app, advertising the PingIt service compared with the cheque they would otherwise be receiving.

Other apps are also increasing the services they offer. Zapp, set up by a subsidiary of VocaLink, has several utilities firms accepting bill payments through its service.