Now you can buy lottery tickets on your phone

National Lottery players will be able to buy tickets using just their smartphones or tablets from next month.

Camelot, operator of the National Lottery, said people will be able to pay for games using Barclays' mobile payments service Pingit.

Launched in 2012, the Pingit mobile payment app is free to download and available to people who are not Barclays customers as well as those who are.

National Lottery players who have registered for Pingit will initially be able to pay for Lotto, Thunderball and EuroMillions by Lucky Dip using mobile payments.

People paying in this way will have their numbers randomly selected, although further games and play options are planned for the future.

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Customers buying tickets through Pingit will also be able to opt to have any winnings of up to £50,000 paid directly to them through Pingit.

A benefit of this would be that the cash would automatically come through, without a player needing to check their numbers. Players will also be notified to tell them that a winnings payment has been made.

Six out of 10 visits to the National Lottery website now take place through smartphones and tablets. Camelot said an exact date in July for when people will be able to start buying National Lottery tickets through Pingit has not yet been set.

Around 70% of UK adults play the National Lottery, according to Camelot, with some people playing on a regular basis and others trying their luck from time to time.

Tim Copper, digital director at Camelot, said: "This collaboration with Barclays represents a real breakthrough in speed and simplicity for our players."

To date, Pingit has been downloaded 4.2 million times and the total amount sent using the service has reached £1.2 billion. A common reason for using Pingit is to pay small amounts of money back to friends and family, but the app can also be used to buy goods and services. More than 67,000 businesses have registered to use Pingit.

In order to register for Pingit and pay for National Lottery games, players must have a UK mobile phone number and a UK bank account.

The minimum age both for registering for Pingit and playing National Lottery games is 16 years old.

Darren Foulds, managing director of Pingit and mobile payments at Barclays, said: "We're proud to be working with Camelot, making life easier for players to pay for National Lottery games straight from their mobile, with a secure, instant and simple way to pay."

As new technology continues to widen the choice of ways to pay, figures recently released by the Payments Council have shown that across the UK, cashless payments have become more popular than transactions using coins and notes for the first time.

During 2014, 48% of payments made by consumers, businesses and financial organisations were in cash, down from just over half (52%) in 2013, the Payments Council said.

The growth of contactless card use as a handy way to pay was given as one of the factors behind the falling figure for cash.

According to the UK Cards Association, more contactless transactions took place during the first nine months of 2014 than the previous six years combined.

Meanwhile, Apple has said that mobile payment system Apple Pay will come to the UK next month, enabling users to pay for goods by holding their iPhones near a contactless reader.

Places that will accept Apple Pay include Boots and Marks & Spencer, as well as the London transport system.

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