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  • Registration for Paym starts from today
  • UK IOUs worth £12.6bn a year – Paym will make it easier for friends and family to pay each other back

Settling IOUs with friends and family is set to become easier from Tuesday 29th April   thanks to Paym (pronounced “Pay Em”), the new secure way to pay using just a mobile number. As well as confirming the launch date, the Payments Council which is leading the delivery of the new service, confirmed that from today (2nd April) customers of participating banks and building societies can start to register their mobile number to receive payments through Paym as soon as the service is live.

PAY USING JUST A MOBILE NUMBER FROM 29TH APRIL 3UK consumers tot up an average of £255.81 each year in IOUs and other informal loans to each other, reaching a total value of £12.6 billion, according to IOU UK, new research commissioned to launch Paym. These IOUs cover both everyday expenses, such as lunch with friends, and larger costs, such as putting money towards household bills. Combined, these IOUs would have been more than enough to pay for the London Olympic Games1.

Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council said:

“Our IOU research suggests that every adult in the UK is lending just under £5 per week to someone they know. Small sums like this soon add up so it’s great that Paym will give people a new option of quickly and securely paying someone back – whether it’s for lunch, a train ticket or just a cup of tea.”

How to register for Paym

  • From 2nd April, registration is being rolled out for customers of Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB. Customers of Danske Bank can register from 25th April
  • Visit to find out how to register or go to your bank or building society’s website for more information
  • Registering will link your mobile number to your nominated current account, meaning from 29th April you can receive money straight to that account through Paym
  • From 29th April, customers will be able to send money via Paym by using their participating bank or building society’s mobile banking or payments app. It’s possible to send without registering for Paym
  • Customers of Clydesdale Bank first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, RBS International trading as NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Yorkshire Bank will be able to register for and use Paym later in the year. Nationwide Building Society will join in early 2015 and Metro Bank and Ulster Bank are finalising plans.

Remember that fiver I lent you? I do

The research shows that while consumers are quick to remember how much they have lent to others, memories aren’t as clear when it comes to what they borrow from their peers.

Only 12 per cent of Brits consider themselves to predominantly be a borrower through IOUs, whereas almost half (49 per cent) consider themselves to be net lenders to friends and family. In fact, the only people we say we’re more likely to borrow from than lend to through IOUs are our parents and grandparents.

Paul Flatters, Chief Executive of Trajectory Partnership a consumer trends forecasting consultancy, that conducted the research, said:

“We found that when it comes to IOUs, people are four times as likely to identify as lenders than borrowers. One reason for the overall imbalance between perceptions of lending and borrowing may be our innate instinct for loss aversion. Human beings strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains.”

Family Financiers

When it comes to IOUs, consumers are most likely to turn to their family for a small advance. In fact more than half (56 per cent) of IOUs are between family members, with the bank of mum and dad accounting for £3.7 billion per year or 30 per cent of the total. These loans tend to be for specific practical purposes, such as helping out with bills, household costs and debt.

Although we know that people are most likely to borrow from their partner or parents, more than half of people in Wales (53 per cent) say that they borrow money from close friends at least once a month. This compares to just 22 per cent in Scotland where people are far more likely to borrow money regularly from their partner or spouse (47 per cent).

Leisure Lending

Friends tend to make IOUs on a casual basis, with spending dominated by items such as meals out, transport costs and cinema tickets. This ‘leisure lending’ is particularly popular amongst younger people with two in five (41 per cent) 18 to 25-year-olds having paid for meals for friends.

Informal loans between friends amount to more than £2 billion per year, or 16 per cent of the total. In the last six months alone Londoners lent an average of £100 to close friends.

To find out more about how to register for Paym visit

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