LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A service to let smartphone users text money to each other by just sharing their phone numbers will launch in Britain in the spring of 2014, officials said.
In the scheme being backed by eight major financial institutions, smartphone owners will be asked if they want to opt-in to a database that will allow money to be sent by text messages, the BBC reported Tuesday.
While smartphone owner in Britain can already use their devices for a variety of online banking tasks, under the new system users will not be required to set up a separate account with a mobile wallet service.
People will be able to send and receive money just by sharing just their mobile numbers, although Britain's Payments Council said a password or similar security measure would ensure the system could not be abused.
A limit on how much money could be transferred using the service would also be put in place, the council said.
Account holders who do not wish to have their details included in the database will be able to refuse, and only customers who opt-in will be signed up to the program, it said.