Paym off to a Good Start, with Over a Million Users in First 100 Days

UK mobile payment service Paym, launched in April, has registered more than 1 million users in the past 100 days. In that period, about £6.5 million have been transferred through the channel. Paym had crossed the 500,000 mark in registered users just three weeks after its launch.

Paym is a mobile payment service that enables customers to make secure payments to account holders of participating banks using just their mobile number. The customer doesn’t need to remember a code or account number, since only the contact number is used for the money transfer. The simplicity of the service has led to its extensive growth. Paym uses the tried-and-tested Faster Payments and LINK payment infrastructures, which were commissioned by the UK’s Payments Council in 2012.

Institutions participating in the Paym network include banks and building societies. Some prominent ones include Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB. Paym is also integrated into existing mobile banking and payment apps offered by participating institutions.

A recent survey of 2,000 adults conducted by TNS reveals an increase in consumer awareness and confidence in mobile payment services. Figures show that the awareness of mobile payment services among consumers increased from 45% before Paym was launched to 75% just a week after the service became available. Around 65% of registered Paym users find it to be a safe and secure method for P2P remittance.

We believe that Paym is a game changer, said Neil Aitken, senior communications officer at the Payments Council. It’s the first service of this type that could extend to every current-account type in the country. From a consumer perspective, the real question with a service such as Paym is whether money can be transferred between individuals regardless of what bank they might be with. The number of users is only going to increase as more and more banks come on board. We are working at getting more banks on the scheme as we push towards ubiquity.

As per Paym’s current base of participating banks and building societies, around 30 million people can sign up for the service. By the end of the year, the figure will rise to 40 million, with more institutions coming on board, including Clydesdale Bank, First Direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Yorkshire Bank. The P2P money-transfer market has become highly competitive, with a number of service providers targeting users across the industry.

It’s hugely encouraging that one million people have chosen to register for Paym already, but this milestone only marks the start of growth in the service, said Jemma Smith, director of communications and education at the Payments Council. I think that securely paying back friends and family using just their mobile number will become second nature – and we’ll wonder why we ever did anything else. The next big step forward is more banks and building societies joining before the end of the year, and as a result we look forward to millions more people signing up and using the service.