A joint initiative among major UK banks and other financial bodies has been announced which will enable smartphone owners to use their devices for the paying of bills.

The advancements will also allow users to enter into purchase transactions and receive incoming payments – all without having to reveal any of their bank account information.

The new scheme, which is being developed collectively under an umbrella group by the name of the Payments Council, is claimed to be the first of its kind to cover virtually all bank accounts in the UK.

It is said that those using the new facility will simply have to key in a few details on their handset in order to action the relevant transaction command.

Some commentators have even said that the facility could eventually replace transactions by credit card.

Commenting on how he views the benefits of the scheme operating in practice, Adrian Kamellard, the Payment Council’s chief executive, said:

“This new service will offer a simple, secure way to split a bill for dinner, receive money from a friend or pay a tradesman without needing to remember or share account details.”

The scheme is scheduled to be up and running in spring 2014, although it is not yet clear when individuals will be able to sign up to use the facility.

According to research carried out by the Payments Council, around a third of all smartphone users would be seriously interested in signing up for the new service.