Step forward in mobile banking

Consumers could be using their mobile phones to transfer money within a couple of years, according to The Payments Council.

Major banks and building societies are looking at the cost and practicality of introducing such a system.

The system could get the go-ahead later this year if the industry agrees.

If it does decide to press ahead with it, people could be using their mobiles to transfer money to friends or businesses within a couple of years.

It is thought the transfers would take place either by text, or by using a mobile application or the phone's internet browser, and they would be as secure as other payment methods.

The announcement comes a week after Barclaycard and Orange became the first groups in the UK to offer contactless mobile payments to customers.

Gary Hocking, acting chief executive of the Payments Council, said: "Mobile phones are no longer only used as a way to contact people, their functionality has increased dramatically over recent years and the mobile phone is now something which many of us cannot do without."

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