Confirmation of Payee service launches in UK to help reduce fraud and misdirected payments

  • Confirmation of Payee helps protect consumers and businesses from certain types of fraud and misdirected payments by letting them know if the account name they have entered matches the account name of the recipient.
  • With over two weeks of the initial roll out phase left to go, Pay.UK reminds of the importance of using ‘first name surname’ rather than a nickname when setting up or amending payment details.

Robert, Rob, Rabbie or Bob?

Pay.UK, the company which runs the infrastructure and services necessary for the UK’s interbank retail payments to happen, today (8 June 2020) has revealed that 34 per cent of consumers have in the past made a bank or building society payment to a person using a nickname whilst over a third (37 per cent) of business brands also trade under a different name to that on their business bank or building society account.

The research is released with over two weeks to go until a number of UK banks and building societies will have completed the first phase of introducing the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) account name checking service. If your bank or building society is CoP -enabled, the service lets you know if the account name you have entered matches the account name of the recipient, helping to protect you from certain types of fraud and making misdirected payments.

CoP means that when an individual or business sets up a new payee, or edits an existing payee’s details, they will need to know the sort code and account number plus the account name of the individual or business they are paying. They will also be asked whether they are intending to pay into a business or personal account.

Protecting individuals and businesses against certain types of fraud is hugely important. The introduction of CoP means that people will get confirmation that the account name they enter matches that of the individual or business they are paying into and so helps protect them against certain types of fraud and misdirected payments.

Our research highlights that people don’t always use the actual account name of the person or know the business name they are paying. Moving forward it’s important everyone uses the exact name that is registered to the account every time they set up or amend payment details. This is typically first name and surname”.

Paul Horlock, CEO at Pay.UK

If your bank or building society is CoP-enabled, the service lets you know if the account name you have entered matches the account name of the recipient. If the account name of the recipient you are paying does not match their bank account, the bank will advise you to contact the person or business you are trying to pay to get the correct details.

Specific to businesses looking to invoice customers should also take note of an extra encouragement from Pay.UK:

We encourage businesses to make clear their company or trading name on their invoices as it appears on their account. If a sole trader uses a personal account for payments, then they will need to let customers know to avoid confusion and not impact their cash flow.”

Paul Horlock, CEO at Pay.UK