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How to transfer money using a phone number

Some Australian banks have a feature called Pay to Mobile, which lets you transfer money with a phone number instead of a BSB and account number. But today most banks use PayID instead.

  • This article is about Pay to Mobile, a feature that lets you transfer money using a mobile number. Today most banks use PayID, which functions in a similar way.

Send money using the Pay to Mobile feature

The Pay to Mobile feature lets you send money to the contacts in your smartphone address book, even if they're with a different bank to you. Unlike standard bank transfers, you don't need the payee's bank account details. All you need is the recipient's mobile number.

If you're both with the same bank the transfer is simple and instant. Otherwise, the person you're sending money to will receive an SMS code and instructions on how to claim the payment (this is usually via clicking on a secure link and entering a verification code). Sending a payment to a friend's mobile number doesn't attract extra banking fees.

Only a limited number of banks still include Pay to Mobile functionality in their mobile banking apps. Westpac no longer offers Pay to Mobile in the latest version of its app, but does have it via online banking.

How to use Pay to Mobile

This will vary slightly between different banks, but the steps to make a payment using Pay to Mobile will generally be as follows:

  1. Open your mobile banking app or log in to Internet banking and select the 'pay someone', 'make a payment' or 'pay' option.
  2. Select the payee from your list of recipients, or select 'add a new payee' if you've never sent this person money before.
  3. Select the 'Pay to Mobile' option and, if they're an existing payee, the money will be transferred instantly.
  4. For new payees, you'll need to enter their mobile number and they'll be sent a text message with a secure link and verification code to claim the payment.
  5. If they don't claim the payment within 3 business days the transfer will be canceled and the money will be back in your account.

Why use Pay to Mobile?

Pay to Mobile is an easy way to pay someone quickly. It's useful if you need to pay a friend back for a purchase or split a bill at a restaurant.

Send money using PayID

PayID is the standard way to pay someone via a mobile number today. Even if your bank offers Pay to Mobile, they'll most likely also offer PayID as a transfer method too.

PayID allows you to assign your mobile number to your bank account. Then, when someone wants to send you money, they can simply enter your mobile number to do so instead of asking for your account details.

How to use PayID

To send someone money to their phone number using PayID, they'll need to have their phone number registered with the service.

  1. Open your mobile banking app or log in to Internet banking and select the 'pay someone', 'make a payment' or 'pay' option.
  2. Select the payee from your list of recipients, or select 'add a new payee' if you've never sent this person money before.
  3. Select the 'Pay with PayID' option and when asked the PayID type select 'Mobile'.
  4. Enter the PayID (your recipient's mobile number) and their name should come up as a confirmation you've entered the number correctly. If they don't have a PayID, it won't come up as an option here and you won't be able to send them money this way.
  5. Confirm the payment and they'll receive the money almost instantly, even if they're with a different bank.

Finder survey: What do people use their banking app for?

Finder surveyed over 1,100 Australians about their banking app usage. We found that most Australians use their bank apps to transfer money or pay someone.

Transferring money or paying someone28.79%25.56%
Checking your balance27.41%26.5%
Transaction monitoring11.55%13.35%
I don't use a banking app9.66%10.53%
Budgeting and expense tracking3.62%3.01%
Find nearby ATMs0.86%1.5%
Customer support0.69%0.94%
Rewards and offers0.86%0.75%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

FAQs on sending money using a phone number

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JamesMarch 3, 2022

    How Do I transfer money from my Bank account to a personal mobile phone number?

      AlisonMarch 9, 2022Finder

      Hi James,

      The capability to transfer money from your bank account to a personal mobile phone number depends on the bank. This feature is not always available. You can check your bank’s website or call their customer support to enquire if this is possible.

      The article above also outlines how it generally works. Please refer to the section “How to use Pay to Mobile” for details.

      I hope this helps!


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