The 5 most modern ways to pay

Ah, the good old days… three channels on the telly, pubs closing for the afternoon, and banks shutting for the weekend at 4pm on a Friday – which meant drawing out enough money to get you through the weekend or scrounging off your mates if you ‘missed the bank’.

These days, however, we have over 200 channels to choose from (still nothing to watch though), pubs can stay open for 24 hours if they want, and you can get your money instantly from an ATM.

But things are still changing even more and now – not only do you not need cash pay for things – you don’t need a debit or credit card either. We look at the 5 most modern ways to pay.

1. from Nationwide and Visa

Last week Nationwide Building Society, in partnership with Visa, launched – a service that allows customers to upload multiple cards into one ‘digital wallet’. This enables you to choose between cards when making online purchases without having to keep re-entering your card details.  It also makes online shopping that bit more secure as you’ll no longer have to pass any of your card details onto individual merchants.

The service will be available to all Nationwide’s 6.5million debit and credit card holders with immediate effect.  For more ways to make your online shopping experience that little bit safer, read Naomi Caine’s article.

2. Pingit from Barclays

This free-to-use app from Barclays is available on Apple, Android and Blackberry and allows users to send up to £300 a day, via their smartphone, to anyone with a mobile number and a UK bank account.

Simply input the amount you want to transfer along with the phone number of the recipient. They will then receive a text message asking them to register with the service to receive the payment. If they fail to register within 24 hours the payment is cancelled.

Only Barclays Bank customers can send money via Pingit but anyone can receive payments.

3. NatWest/RBS banking app

As with Barclays’ Pingit service, the NatWest banking app is available on Apple, Android and Blackberry and allows money to be transferred to anyone with a mobile number and a bank account.

Again it’s simply a case of entering the recipient’s phone number and the amount you wish to transfer, upon which they receive a message telling them how to receive the payment.

The service also allows you to make payments to between bank accounts, the only downside is that you have to set up payees using the desktop version of the online banking service.

4. Vodafone Mobile Wallet

It’s not only banks who offer secure online payment services as Vodafone Mobile Wallet offers a space-age sounding service which allows you to make a payment by tapping  your phone against an in-store payment receiver or against your payee’s phone.

The service allows you to store the details of your credit and debit cards and then uses Near Field Communication (such as that used by Google Wallet in the US) to make payments. This service is currently available in Spain, will be rolled out in Germany in mid-December and is expected to be up and running across Italy, the Netherlands and the UK in spring of 2014.

Read Mark’s article for a rundown of the best mobile banking apps.

5. Zapp

Another mobile payment product due for release next year is Zapp, a system which will be built into banks’ existing mobile apps to turn them into instant payment systems to transfer payments to a merchant rather than handing over credit or debit card details.

Instead, any Zapp-enabled accounts will download an electronic token to push the payment directly from that account to the desired merchant, if a fraudster was to somehow get hold of that token they would only be able to use it to pay that specific bill.

This service is expected to be rolled out to 40% of bank accounts and around half of all merchants by summer 2014.

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