New 'Paym' system will allow customers to use mobile numbers to transfer money

Bank customers use their mobile numbers to control their current accounts as a new payment system is set to be made available. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Bank customers could soon be using their mobile phone numbers to control their current accounts as a new payment system is set to be made available to 30 million people later this month.

Paym, which is pronounced as "pay em", will allow people to transfer cash payments on their mobile by using the recipient's phone number rather than needing to know their bank account number and sort code.

The new Paym service will be up and running from 29th April the Payments Council confirmed.

Customers with accounts at the following banks can start to register their mobile numbers for the new service from today, while those using Danske Bank can register from 25th April.

  • Bank of Scotland

  • Barclays

  • HSBC

  • Halifax

  • Lloyds Bank

  • Santander

  • TSB

  • Cumberland Building Society

To make a payment, you can either select the contact you wish to pay from your phone or key in their mobile number.

The app will ask you to confirm the name of the recipient and the amount before the money is sent.

Consumers need to actively register their mobile number alongside a nominated current account in order to receive money into that account through Paym.

They do not have to register for Paym in order to send money through the service, although their bank or building society does need to be taking part in the scheme.

By the end of the year, a total of 40 million people will be able to access Paym, when Clydesdale Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire Bank come on board.

By that point, Paym will be available on more than nine out of 10 current accounts.

Although it is anticipated that many people will use Paym to make small payments, they will be able to transfer at least £250 a day under the scheme if they want to. It will be up to individual banks and building societies where they want to place caps above this amount.

Payments made through the service are made at the same speeds as existing current account, online and mobile payment services.