Payment technology

Payments Council: Britain leads world in mobile payments industry

England flagA recent report that compared worldwide person-to-person (P2P) mobile payment services showed Britain leads the world market in infrastructure, ownership, speed and customer experience.

The report, compiled by the U.K. Payments Council, found Britain’s top spot in the mobile payments market is due in large part to the P2P Paym payments service launched by the council in April.

According to the report, Paym—the only industry-wide P2P service—is integrated into mobile banking apps to allow an individual to link an account and mobile phone number.

The service is available through nine bank and building societies, including Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB, with eight further expansions planned for 2014.

The number of customers who have access to the service is estimated to be more than 30 million, and the number is expected to rise to more than 40 million by the end of the year. All U.K. financial institutions are able to join the service and offer it to customers.

Paym’s platform, according to the report, has the same security measures in place as banks to ensure adequate data security, and consumers are also entitled to the same legal protection as with other electronic payments.

Additionally, the report said the U.S. and Japan lag behind both the U.K. and Sweden in mobile payments, and that India will have difficulty making its payments service universal because of demographic and geographic disparities.

The report said, however, that Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile payment service has increased financial inclusion and capability in the country.

“Looking round the world makes it clear that Paym is a world leading service, even when compared with trailblazers such as M-Pesa in Africa,” Payments Council CEO Adrian Kamellard said. “The U.K. payments industry’s collaborative model of change, which builds upon our existing world class real-time payments infrastructure has delivered real benefits for customers, with a service which—unlike many other places in the world—is free for customers at the point of use.”

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