The app, which is also available to customers who do not bank at Barclays, allows people to send and receive money via their mobiles using just mobile phone numbers. Users can also send money almost instantly to companies or charities and internationally, for free.
It has attracted 1.2 million downloads since its launch in February. A large amount of these are non-customers, who have then gone on to take up other banking products from the company, Barclays’ customer experience design director Darren Foulds claims.
He would not be drawn on the percentage of Pingit customers who do not currently bank with Barclays when questioned by Marketing Week.
Speaking at digital agency Essence’s Shuffle event, Foulds said: “We always thought [Pingit] was a viral proposition. We did significant advertising when we launched to non-customers but it’s fundamentally viral: 80 per cent of people that receive a payment go on to register.”
Foulds added the average order value of each transaction is £70, higher than current NFC mobile payment services, which are usually capped at about £20.
Pingit has also seen an “unprecedented demand” from the corporate sector, which underpins Barclays’ belief that mobile payments will come to the fore in 2013, Foulds claims.
Barclays created Pingit on the realisation that the consumerisation of technology provided an opportunity to better engage with its customers and provided the bank an opportunity to rebuild trust, following the LIBOR rigging scandal and the overarching negative sentiment towards the banking industry.
Foulds said an impetus to change and develop the app came after reading a study that just 16 per cent of consumers trust banks, yet 46 per cent said they would bank with Apple.
He added: “At Barclays our goal is to be ‘the go to bank’ and our focus around customers’ lives made it much easier to add value to the interactions we have with them.
“We are keen to own that layer between the customer and the industry – a great example is what Kindle did to books: which took that relationship with the consumer and left publishers with the mechanics of producing books.”
Barclays is currently working on a number of new developments around the Pingit proposition.
Foulds said: “You will see many more firsts from us in this space…there will be many players [in the mobile payment sector] but only a few will scale.”