The Payments Council brings in Consolidated to boost pay-by-mobile

The body responsible for safe cash transfers is preparing a PR offensive as it leads a major industry shake-up changing how people pay.

Mobile payments: Payment Council calls for PR boost
Mobile payments: Payment Council calls for PR boost

The Payments Council has hired Consolidated PR in the run-up to the launch of the first industry-wide service allowing cash to be exchanged by mobile phones using the mobile number as a proxy for an account number and sort code.

Kicking off next spring, the service is backed by eight financial institutions representing 90 per cent of UK current accounts and is intended to make protected payments as easy as sending a text from a mobile.

Documents seen by PRWeek suggest that a 'target audience' of 5.9 million will be the focus of initial comms efforts.

This includes 18- to 34-year-old 'urbanites', parents with large families and students, with 'harder to reach consumers' also highlighted as a key audience.

The brief was won after a competitive pitch and reflects an industry-wide push to embrace the technology.

Earlier this month PayPal launched an app allowing payment in selected restaurants with smartphones.

In July Capella PR was hired to promote Zapp, an app that also enables users to scan barcodes.

A study by eBay estimated that the amount spent using mobiles will rise a further 115 per cent in the next year.

During that time the number of smartphones is predicted to overtake the number of PCs in Britain.

Neil Aitken, senior comms officer for The Payments Council, said: 'PR will play an integral part in the launch campaign to encourage people to register for the service, as well as explaining the built-in security and consumer protection the service will offer.'

Stakeholder work is also set to play a key role, with SMEs, charities, parliamentarians and regulators among those to be targeted.

One of the key messages, the documents reveal, is reassuring the public about the security of the service, which has the potential of linking every bank account in the UK with mobile numbers.

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