Barclays will be the first British bank to offer payments using their twitter handle. The service – powered by its Pingit mobile phone app – aims to give the UK’s 13.5 million Twitter users the ability to make swift, secure payments through the social network without providing either their bank details or a phone number.

Being termed as potentially insecure by several FinTech websites, Barclays clarified that all transactions would be carried out within the Pingit app and not Twitter which means the usual safety and security measures for regular Pingit payments apply.

Irrespective of whether they have an account with Barclays, all Pingit users can take advantage of the service.  Twitter account to their Pingit profile under the app’s settings menu. Barclays explained that users could log into Pingit, “enter the Twitter handle or select a payee from the contact list” and then “complete the payment instantly”.

Launched in 2012, Pingit has to date received 3.7m downloads and more than £1bn has been sent using the app. The new service will also be available to businesses, including the 57,000 companies in the UK currently signed up to Barclays’ Pingit service.

The service will be launching on both Android phones and iOS devices on 10 March.

Once signed up payments to friends, family and small businesses can be completed in three separate clicks. The payment limit per day is £1,500.

Darren Foulds, director of Barclays Mobile Banking and Pingit, said: “We are always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make people’s lives easier and customer feedback plays a big part in how we chose to further develop our apps.”

Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle “brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the UK”, he said.

Pingit is available for Barclays customers and non-customers as long as they have a UK current account and UK mobile phone number. To use the service, both the payee and payer need to be signed up to both Twitter and the Barclays Pingit app. There is no transaction fee for person to person payments. Each time a payment has been made, the recipient will immediately receive a notification as a text message. The payment can also be seen from inside the Pingit app.

(image credit: Anothony Quintano)

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