Bank of Ireland pay-to-mobile service goes live today

4 Feb 2013

Students Jill Browning and Hannah Berry check out the new pay-to-mobile service

Bank of Ireland has stolen a march on its local and UK counterparts by going live today with a new service that lets its banking customers transfer cash in a way that is as simple as sending a text message.

The Pay to Mobile service lets bank customers make payments from one mobile to another, using just a mobile number. The bank revealed in December that it was planning to launch the service.

The bank said almost 20,000 customers pre-registered for the new service ahead of it going live.

The service currently works for iPhone users, with an Android version following shortly.

The bank said its mobile banking app has 180,000 active users, with almost 10m logins registered since launch.

“The changing needs and preferences of our customers, coupled with technological advances, has led to the rapid adoption of direct banking channels,” Bank of Ireland’s head of Direct Banking Gavin Kelly explained. 

“We want to enable our customers to access banking services through the technologies that they use everyday. This new service allows customers to transfer money to friends or family without having to know, or input, their account details. We’re delighted to be the first bank in Ireland to roll out this capability to our customers,” Kelly said.

Irish bank steals a march on UK banks

In the UK, eight of the UK’s biggest banks – comprising 90pc of UK current accounts – have committed to launching new mobile payment services that will allow consumers to transfer cash to one another in a way that’s as simple as sending a text message.

Eight financial institutions comprising Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank plc, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander UK plc – have committed to launching the service by March 2014.

More than 5,000 consumers participated in Payments Council research, which revealed the service is likely to prove most popular with smartphone users, who accounted for two-thirds (67pc) of those surveyed. One in three smartphone users said they were either definitely or extremely likely to sign up to the new service at launch.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years