To send money through Barclays Pingit, users download a free, password-protected app for their iPhone, BlackBerry or Android device and register for the service.
Once the app is on their smartphone they can send money to anyone over 18 with a UK mobile number and a UK bank account who has registered online to receive payments.
The cash - from a minimum of £1 to a maximum of £300 - is then delivered using the Faster Payments service, with Barclays sending both parties text messages notifying them about sent, received, pending and cancelled transfers.
Initially, only Barclays account holders will be able to send money but an updated version of the app is slated to launch next month, enabling all UK bank and building society customers to use Pingit.
Antony Jenkins, chief executive, retail and business banking, Barclays, says: "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."