A new app is to be launched that will allow users to send money as though they were simply sending a text. All that’s needed is the recipient’s phone number.

While this is nothing new with mobile payments being used in Africa for some time now and Barclay’s previously released Pingit app, the new Paym system is being backed by many major banks.

The service will start on the 29 April and people who bank with Lloyds, TSB, Santander, Bank of Scotland, Cumberland building Society, Danke Bank, Halifax and HSBC will be able to use it. Natwest is said to be getting on board later on this year.

Using your banks app, you’ll no longer need to enter a person’s sort code and account number. All you’ll need is their mobile phone number and, as long as they’ve also registered, you can send them a payment through it almost instantly. There are no fees either.

This is likely to worry companies such as PayPal and other card payment providers who are faced with a competitor who many people are already customers off and who are offering a simple alternative.

Paym will allow you to send a maximum of £250 and while it isn’t designed with retailers in mind, it will make paying your plumber or babysitter much easier. It would even be possible to donate money to homeless people as long as they’ve got a bank account and phone number, something already being done in Stockholm.

Image by Karanj.