Barclays has launched a smartphone app that allows Brits to transfer money to other accounts without the need to know their account details.

Barclays Pingit, which will be made available in March, will initially only let Barclays customers send money but anyone with a bank or building society account and a mobile phone will be able to receive cash even if their account isn't with Barclays.

The app, which is free to download and available for Apple iPhones, Google Android devices and BlackBerry handsets, links a bank account with the mobile phone number, ensuring money can be transferred using the Faster Payments without needing any information apart from a mobile phone number. To receive a payment this way, Brits must first register at a dedicated website for the service.

Barclays says the transfers "are as safe as any other banking transaction" and the app uses a five-digit passcode, which can be set by the user, for added security.

"Barclays Pingit could revolutionise the way people send and receive money. For friends splitting the cost of dinner, repaying a borrowed £10 or people sending money to a son or daughter at university, it's free, quick, convenient, secure, and easy to use. You can send and receive money in seconds, without having to enter account details," said Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive, Barclays Retail and Business Banking.

"We're committed to making customers' lives much easier, giving them more choice in how they manage their money, and Barclays Pingit absolutely does that. But it is not just Barclays customers who benefit as it's available to current account customers of all the other UK banks too. I'm sure we'll soon be wondering what we did before it."

Barclays expects to roll-out a second release of the app that will extend the money payment service to non-Barclays customers to send money, "soon".