Barclays has updated its mobile payments app PingIt to enable customers to transfer funds by simply entering a persons’ Twitter handle.

After linking their Twitter account to PingIt, app users will no longer need to input details such as account number, sort code or phone number before transferring funds.

Image: Twitter

The bank believes the service will meet customer demand for convenient ways to make payments, with 80 percent of UK Twitter users accessing the social network through their mobile regularly.

“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,” said Darren Foulds, Director of Barclays Mobile Banking and Pingit.

“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.”

The service launches on both Android and iOS devices from Tuesday 10th March.

Although the bank is the first in the UK to incorporate Twitter into mobile payments, others across the world have provided even tighter integration with the social network. Last year, S-Money, a subsidiary of France's second largest banking group, BPCE, announced plans to allow Twitter users to send each other money directly through tweets.

Banks are attempting to keep pace with tech companies that are increasingly offering payments capabilities.

Twitter has trialled ‘buy’ button with US users, allowing them to buy products directly from their timelines. Facebook has also tested a service which allows users to buy retail items directly from their feeds or a company page, and is believed to be considering offering users the ability to make payments via its Messenger app, while Google recently added a capability in Gmail that allows UK users to transfer funds.

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