Paym back on pay day

16 April 2014

  • Paym will make it easier for friends and family to pay each other back 
  • Paym launches on 29th April, register your mobile number now 

Consumers will find it easier to maintain good IOU etiquette from 29th April when Paym, the new secure way to pay using just a mobile number, launches across nine UK bank and building society brands.

Paym is now open for customers to register their mobile number in advance through the participating banks and building societies – full details are available at The IOU UK report has shown that more than £12.6bn is outstanding in IOUs – registering in advance will make it easier for friends and family to pay money back straight away from 29th April.

The IOU UK report has developed the Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts based on consumer research into people’s attitudes towards IOUs. More than nine in ten UK adults (93 per cent) believe it is common courtesy to be given assurance of when they can expect money to be paid back and nearly two thirds (63 per cent) expect people to tell them what they need money for.

While people have expectations of each other when it comes to IOUs, they are still seen as hugely beneficial. When the conventions and courtesies are upheld nearly two thirds of people (62 per cent) agree that being able to borrow money is a sign of true friendship.

The 10 Do’s and Don’ts of IOUs to prevent uncomfortable conversations:

  1. Do always agree a payback date at the time of the IOU
  2. Do always pay it back within a month
  3. Don’t be a repeat borrower
  4. Do keep IOUs from friends and family under £50
  5. Do keep IOUs from other people under £10
  6. Don’t ask for it back if it’s under £5 (but do still pay it back if you owe it)
  7. Do tell the lender what the IOU is for
  8. Do pay it back immediately if you remember a forgotten IOU
  9. Do keep it informal and don’t set time limits if you’re reminding friends
  10. Do keep a record of all your IOUs

Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council said: “Most of us think that informal IOUs between people we know have a positive effect on our relationships but it’s also clear that we have expectations about the amount that it’s acceptable to borrow and how quickly it should be paid back.”  

TV personality Rachel Riley, who is discussing Paym and how she manages IOUs with her friends and family on radio stations across the country today said: “When it's one of the girls' birthdays, the rest of us often club together to buy her a big present and then pay each other back afterwards. Paym is going to make that process so much quicker and easier for us and it means I won't forget to pay back my IOUs.”

Consumers are most relaxed around lending to people they know best with nine in 10 (89 per cent) saying they would feel comfortable lending £5 to family and friends, although this drops as the value increases – just 49 per cent would be comfortable lending £50. People are less comfortable lending larger amounts to people we aren’t as close to, such as colleagues or neighbours, with only a minority (21 per cent) saying they are relaxed with amounts of £20 or more.

Paul Flatters, Chief Executive of Trajectory Partnership a consumer trends forecasting consultancy, that conducted the research, said: “The implication is that when lending money we still feel some sense of ownership of it, as if by extension the borrowers are spending the lender’s money rather than their own. In terms of being a ‘good borrower’ consumers should be completely open about what they need the money for but should also take into consideration the views of the lender.”

How to register for Paym

  • Registration is open for customers of Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank (from 25th April), Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB.
  • Visit to find out how to register or go to your bank or building society’s website for more information
  • Registering will link your mobile number to your nominated current account, meaning from 29th April you can receive money straight to that account through Paym
  • From 29th April, customers will be able to send money via Paym by using their participating bank or building society’s mobile banking or payments app. It’s possible to send without registering for Paym.
  • Other banks and building societies have committed to join Paym later in 2014, these include: Clydesdale Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, RBS International trading as NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Yorkshire Bank. Nationwide Building Society has confirmed its intention to join in early 2015, while Metro Bank is finalising plans to join.


To find out more about how to register for Paym, and to calculate how your IOUs compare to the national average, visit

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