Bank of Ireland has announced that it's launching a new mobile payment service that allows users to send and receive money to other bank customers using only a mobile phone number. The new service, called Pay to Mobile, is the first peer-to-peer payment service for the Irish market, the bank said.

"The changing needs and preferences of our customers, coupled with technological advances, has led to the rapid adoption of direct banking channels," said Gavin Kelly, head of direct channels at Bank of Ireland. "We want to enable our customers to access banking services through the technologies that they use every day. This new service allows customers to transfer money to friends or family without having to know, or input, their account details. We’re delighted to be the first bank in Ireland to rollout this capability to our customers."

According to Bank of Ireland, almost 20,000 customers have pre-registered for the Pay to Mobile service. Pay to Mobile is currently available for iPhone users only, but the bank said an Android version is coming soon.

Bank of Ireland said its recent investments in mobile banking channels has resulted in significant adoption by its customers. The bank's mobile app has 180,000 active users and has seen nearly 10 million log-ins since its launch.

Recently, The Payments Council, which represents the payments industry in the U.K., announced that it would launch a mobile P2P funds transfer service that could serve 90 percent of all U.K. bank accounts. 

Read more about money transfer/P2P payments.

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