Would you trust your mobile with your money?

by Gemma Maidment on 17 February 2012

Yesterday Barclays launched Pingit, their person to person money transfer app.

The free app from Barclays is predicted to change the way that people and small businesses transfer money by making it easy and quick putting the ability to transfer money right at your finger tips – all you have to do is put in the amount and a phone number. Particularly good for small business who currently only take cash payments or for splitting bills with friends.

There are 3 areas that I am most interested with to do with this app:

1. Customer acquisition

From a business and branding point of view an app can be a great asset for revenue, customer experience and satisfaction and also brand awareness. To this avail, the app has been developed to allow customers to transfer to any person no matter what banking brand they are with. This will encourage other bank customers to download the app to be able to receive money from Barclays customers. A great brand extension strategy, which should be worrying rival banks.

2. App concept to ensure high levels of usage

This type of app development fits well with the research we have done at Webcredible into consumer behaviours around app purchasing and usage. Our research shows that the easier an app fits into every day life, the more likely it is to be used and most importantly re-used again and again. Putting the natural behaviour of using the app into day to day routine.

3. Security and usability issues

The most worrying aspects of this app that I have at the front of my mind is security and usability. Consumers in general are still very wary about using mobile phones for shopping, let alone straight money transfers. Barclays will have to work hard to reassure customers that it is as secure as they say it is.

One of the things Barclays says that it has done to ensure security is to put in place a rigorous sign up process to ensure the app is watertight when it is being used. This sounds a bit reassuring although I expect many consumers will still be nervous, but it also introduces my second worry – usability.

The amount of information and the length of process someone has to go through to be able to use the app might be off putting if they aren’t well designed. It will need to be instant and to the highest level of usability for this app to really take off. For example, if you want to be able to transfer money both parties will need the app so if the process isn’t relatively instant then I imagine that people would get half way into the process and then resort to popping to a cash point or owing someone money.

So, what’s next?

As well as watching the press for further reviews and looking out for success rates, we will be doing some expert usability reviews on the app over the next few weeks so we need your feedback, if you have it already what do you think? Do you think people will be comfortable with the security measures or do you think there will be a high level of drop off before completing them? Leave your comments below and we will combine them with our official review!

Image from T3 App news.

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