Mobile phone payment technology took another step forward with the launch of a scheme allowing people to take cash from an ATM without using their debit card.

From today, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest customers with their bank's mobile banking app can take money from an ATM by making a request on their handset.

They will receive a six digit pin number after making the request, which can be entered at a cash machine to get their money.

The scheme aims to help people who may have lost or forgotten their card or those who want to leave their wallet at home.

The service, named GetCash, works at NatWest and RBS ATMs, with a limit of £100 per use.

The pin codes issued are valid for three hours and people can use the scheme as many times a day as they need to, as long as they do not go over their daily withdrawal limit.

It is available to around two and-a-half million customers who already have the banking app on their phone.

Ben Green, head of mobile at NatWest and RBS, says: "We've heard countless stories from customers who've left their wallet behind, or parents who need a quick way to send money across to their children immediately."

Customers can access the free banking app on iPhone. Android or BlackBerry Smartphones, and on the iPad.