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Why I wish more of my friends used this “pay a contact” service.

So you’re out with a friend, let’s say going to the cinema. You’re there first so you buy the tickets (using a deal you’ve spotted on Be Clever With Your Cash of course). Your mate rocks up just before the movie starts but doesn’t have any cash. They’ll transfer the money over, just let them know your bank details.

Yeah, most of the time they will eventually do it, but it’s all a bit of hassle isn’t it. You’ve got to email or text your details, they’ve got to remember to do it, then remember their log in details, and maybe use one of those annoying card readers.

Well, there’s a far easier option called Paym which I’m always trying to get friends to use – and finally this week someone agreed to pay me using it – so I now know it works.

What is Paym?

You might have seen when you open your mobile banking app there’s usually an option to “Pay a contact”? Well, this is part of the Paym system.

You say it Pay-em, as in “Pay them”, rather than “paim” with a”ym”. And once you realise that, it begins to make more sense.

Anyone who has this feature in their app can use Paym. You simply select the contact from your phone address book, or type the number on directly. Then enter the amount and press send! Really easy. No faffing around with approval codes and no chance of forgetting when you get home – you can send it straight away. There’s no cost and there’s no need to set up any new accounts.

To receive money you do need to register – and this is what I’m encouraging you all to do.

It’s really easy to register. You just need to go into your banking app and link your bank account with your mobile phone number. You’ll probably be sent a code to approve it. Once that’s done, you can just tell friends to send the money they owe you to your mobile number. Easy!

You can only link one account to your mobile number, so you’ll need to move money around after if you need to.

If you want to send money to a contact who isn’t registered… well you can’t. So if you’re often paying the same friends or family members, share this article with them so they sign up too.

What about Pingit?

If you’re with Barclays you might have signed up to its Pingit service. This works in the same way as Paym, more or less. And you can use it to pay people who have registered with Paym. You frustratingly need Pingit to use the Paym system with Barclays, but once you’ve registered your friends can send you cash without having to download Pingit themselves.

Pingit does more, such as make international payments, but personally I wouldn’t bother with it. Whenever I’d had someone send me money via Pingit it’s been a right pain!

Banks that work with Paym

There are 15 banks working with Paym, including most of the major high street banks:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Cumberland
  • Danske
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Isle of Man
  • Lloyds
  • Nationwide
  • Natwest
  • RBS
  • Santander
  • TSB
  • Ulster

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