The Closure of Pingit: Lessons for Payment Networks

Key Takeaways

– Barclays Bank has announced the closure of its mobile P2P payments app, Pingit, after almost ten years since its launch in 2012.
– Pingit failed to keep up with innovations from Big Tech giants and fintech startups in the money transfer space.
– The closure of Pingit is likely due to factors such as the availability of similar functionality on Barclays’ mobile banking platform and Bpay, the proliferation of Open Banking services, and a possible lack of differentiation.
– The future of payment networks may lie in Open Banking and Open Finance, combined with the capabilities of crypto building blocks.
– Pingit’s closure reflects the typical evolution of a custom feature that failed to become a market proposition of its own.
– Banks should embrace new market infrastructure and partnerships with fintechs to stay competitive.


Barclays Bank recently made the decision to shut down its mobile peer-to-peer payments app, Pingit, marking the end of an era for the platform that was launched in 2012. Despite its initial success, Pingit struggled to keep up with the rapid advancements in the money transfer space, ultimately leading to its demise. This article will explore the reasons behind Pingit’s closure, the future of payment networks, and the lessons that can be learned from this experience.

The Rise and Fall of Pingit

When Pingit was first introduced, it was hailed as a groundbreaking innovation in the banking industry. It allowed users to send and receive money using just their mobile phone numbers, eliminating the need for traditional bank account details. This convenience factor, coupled with the backing of a major bank like Barclays, helped Pingit gain traction and attract a significant user base.

However, as time went on, Pingit faced increasing competition from both established players and emerging fintech startups. Big Tech giants like Apple and Google introduced their own payment services, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which offered similar functionality to Pingit. These services were integrated into popular smartphones, making them easily accessible to a wide range of users.

Additionally, fintech startups like Zelle emerged with their own P2P payment solutions that offered seamless integration with existing banking apps. These startups were able to leverage their agility and focus on user experience to gain a competitive edge over Pingit.

The Factors Behind Pingit’s Closure

Several factors contributed to the closure of Pingit. One significant factor was the availability of similar functionality on Barclays’ mobile banking platform. As mobile banking apps became more sophisticated, they started incorporating P2P payment features, rendering standalone apps like Pingit redundant for many users. Barclays’ decision to integrate Pingit’s features into its mobile banking app was a clear indication of this shift in consumer behavior.

Another factor was the proliferation of Open Banking services. Open Banking allows third-party providers to access financial data and initiate payments on behalf of customers, creating a more open and competitive market. With the rise of Open Banking, users had more options when it came to P2P payments, making it harder for Pingit to differentiate itself from the competition.

Lastly, Pingit may have struggled to find a unique value proposition that set it apart from other payment services. While it initially gained popularity for its convenience and ease of use, it failed to innovate and offer new features that would entice users to stick with the app. Without a compelling reason to choose Pingit over its competitors, users naturally gravitated towards other options.

The Future of Payment Networks

The closure of Pingit raises questions about the future of payment networks and the role of traditional banks in this evolving landscape. As technology continues to advance, payment networks are likely to become more interconnected and integrated with other financial services.

One potential direction for payment networks is the adoption of Open Banking and Open Finance principles. Open Banking allows for the sharing of financial data between different institutions, enabling users to access a wide range of services through a single platform. Open Finance takes this concept a step further by incorporating additional financial products, such as investments and insurance, into the ecosystem.

By embracing Open Banking and Open Finance, banks can leverage the capabilities of fintech startups and create a more seamless and integrated user experience. This approach would enable users to manage their finances holistically, without the need for multiple apps or platforms.

Additionally, the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology could introduce new efficiencies and simplify the payments value chain. Crypto building blocks, such as stablecoins and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, have the potential to revolutionize the way payments are made and settled. These technologies offer faster, cheaper, and more secure transactions, making them attractive alternatives to traditional payment methods.


The closure of Pingit serves as a cautionary tale for banks and financial institutions. It highlights the importance of staying ahead of the curve and embracing new market infrastructure and partnerships with fintechs. In an era of rapid technological advancements, custom features like Pingit can quickly become obsolete if they fail to evolve into market propositions of their own.

The future of payment networks lies in Open Banking, Open Finance, and the capabilities of crypto building blocks. By leveraging these technologies, banks can create more efficient and user-friendly payment solutions that meet the evolving needs of consumers.

As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for banks to adapt and innovate to stay competitive. The closure of Pingit should serve as a wake-up call for banks to embrace change and explore new opportunities in the payments space. Only by doing so can they ensure their relevance and success in the digital age.

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