The Paym mobile payments service has launched today, enabling up to 30 million customers to send and receive funds using only their mobile phone.
Customers of nine banks will be able to use the service: Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB Bank.
However, customers of Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland will have to wait until at least the end of 2014 to access the service. RBS is delaying rolling out the service while it focuses on improving its current IT systems. Nationwide intends to roll-out the service in 2015, while Ulster Bank is finalising plans from announcing a launch date.
Paym works by connecting a customer's smartphone number to their current account, and allows transfers of up to £250 a day to be made without requiring the recipient's account number or sort code.
Paym will make use of the Faster Payments system, meaning that funds will be added to account balances almost instantly.
The initiative is led by the UK Payments Council, with services firm CGI responsible for overseeing the development of underlying systems. It was announced in March this year following years of development, and has had 300,000 people sign up prior to launch
"Paying someone back just got easier for millions of people," said Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council. "Paym is another safe and easy option to pay friends and family - after all, you probably already know all your friends and family's mobile numbers, so why not use them if you need to send them some money?"