Barclays releases Pingit mobile payments app, we go hands-on

Barclays Bank has unleashed Pingit, an iOS, Android and BlackBerry app that lets you send up to £300 ($470) a day to family, friends or technically-aware muggers. UK mobile number and bank account holders can get started in minutes as long as they've got one of the Barclays-branded PINSentry tools. You'll be asked to come up with a five-digit code that will lock the app to anyone but yourself (or, you know, that mugger) and then you can start spreading your cash around, baller-style. We set up our own account through the app and if you're curious about our impressions, you can find out what we thought after the break.

Making a payment is overdraft-worryingly easy: enter the phone number of the intended recipient with an optional 30-character message. They'll receive an SMS with an invite to download the app and accept the payment -- reverting to you if it's not collected within 24 hours. You can pay any figure over £1, with pre-determined buttons for £5, £10, £20 and £50 for one-touch donating. A severe word of caution however, there's no way to pull back an error-made transaction except to call or text the unintended beneficiary directly and beg them not to take your money. You'll also get a location-aware map that'll point you in the direction of your nearest ATM or branch. Overall, it's well presented and the bank assures us that every step has been taken to protect our data, but we're puzzled as to how frequently we'd ever need to use it. The only people who send us cash money like this is our elderly relatives during the holidays, and they traditionally prefer cheques.