Barclays Plc continues to position its Pingit person-to-person payment service as an option for all types of mobile payments in the U.K.

London-based Barclays has introduced a "send a payment" feature on Pingit, allowing businesses to use a consumer's mobile phone number to send funds to that individual's bank account. This allows businesses to provide payments such as refunds or insurance claims without holding onto bank or credit card information.

Retailers, insurance companies and utility companies can link into Barclays' existing payment gateway and send payments directly to a Pingit account, the bank announced Nov. 19.

The payments can be made to any U.K. mobile phone number, with non-Pingit users receiving a text message telling them how to register for the app and receive funds, the bank says.

The addition of "send a payment" comes a few months after Barclays added a Buyit feature to allow Pingit users to scan QR codes on advertisements or in stores to make purchases from retailers.

With the new feature for businesses, Barclays says it wants to help reduce the physical and environmental costs associated with manual and paper-based processes, including cash handling, check production and issuing. Employees can complete all of these tasks through Pingit without needing to seek sensitive account information from individuals, the bank says.

"Consumers today want quick and convenient ways to receive value," Mike Walters, head of U.K. corporate payments for Barclays, states in the release. "Mobile payment provides a fast and secure way to do this without the need for consumers to disclose their account number."

P2P competition is expected to heat up in the U.K., particularly as VocaLink-backed Zapp is expected to launch its mobile commerce offering early next year. VocaLink added former Barclays executive Ian Sayers to its management team to help launch Zapp. Sayers was involved in the development of Pingit and its Buyit addition while at Barclays.

Barclays launched Pingit in early 2012, initially for its customers only. Eventually, the Pingit service became available for all U.K. consumers.

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