Barclays expands Pingit to attract businesses

Barclays Bank has added features to its Pingit app making it easier for customers to buy goods and services with their phones

Barclays Bank has added two features to its Pingit app that will appeal to businesses by making it easier for customers to purchase goods and services using their phones.

The bank has launched two features aimed at merchants. One feature, known as “Mobile Checkout”, enables participating merchants to put a button on their mobile site which links to Pingit, making it easy for customers to make purchases via their mobile.

The other feature, known as “Buy it”, allows merchants to put a Quick Response (QR) code on adverts that consumers can scan with their phone and be taken straight into Pingit. It is then only a couple of clicks and the products are ordered.

Mike Walters, head of corporate payments at Barclays, said simplifying the buying process through mobile checkout means conversion rates will increase for merchants. “For new players to the market, it is an easy, low-risk way to enter into mobile commerce.”

The Buy it feature will enable businesses to make sales directly through their adverts. Consumers will be able to scan QR codes in window displays, on posters and even on TV screens to purchase products.

As well as being an opportunity to increase sales for merchants, these features will improve customer experiences and reverse the trend that sees a large proportion of mobile purchases abandoned due to difficult processes, Barclays said. 

Research from Harris Interactive revealed that while 68% of mobile device owners have tried to make purchases on mobiles and tablets, two-thirds stopped before completion due to issues with the payment platform.

Andreas Rindler, partner at business consultancy Bearingpoint, said Barclays has shown that mobile payments are demanded by customers because more than 1.8 million people have downloaded it. “Now it must convince the merchants to accept the payments. It is a smart move to link Pingit to point of sale,” he added.

Rindler said thousands of small businesses still cannot accept card payments, so the new Pingit features will appeal to them. But there is competition in this space, he said, with companies offering technology that can turn a phone into a device to accept card payments. These include Izettle and Square.

Since the launch of Pingit in February 2012, when it initially enabled mobile users to make small payments to each other, there have been 13 more software releases.


Read more on Tablet computers