Confirmation of Payee – PSR’s response to Call For Views

Today (21 October 2021), the Payment Systems Regulator has published their findings from the call for views issued in May 2021 about Confirmation of Payee (CoP).

Introduction

APP scams and accidentally misdirected payments can cause significant harm to consumers. Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is a service that aims to prevent certain types of scams and misdirected payments from happening. We want everyone to have the same levels of protection and confidence when making payments.

We want payments to work safely and securely for consumers, including for those that are vulnerable. For this reason, we have consistently considered the widespread adoption of CoP in UK payments to be a key priority. That is why we directed the UK’s six largest banking groups to introduce CoP over FPS and CHAPS transactions in 2020. There are now more than one million CoP requests every day and we wanted to understand the impact the service has had and consider what our next steps should be to make it more widely available to other financial institutions and their customers. 

Payment Systems Regulator

Confirmation of Payee (CoP)

The PSR publication gives clarity on what the next steps will look like for the wider implementation of CoP through Phase 2 and provides an overview of the actions the industry are expected to take. 

The PSR also sets out where they will step in to facilitate the transition to Phase 2, for example if they see action to deliver the service start to falter.

Over the next few months the PSR will:

  • continue monitoring the progress by the SD10 banks and the other Phase 1 participants to be present in Phase 2 by the end of 2021.
  • consult in Q4 2021 whether we will require the end of dual running by a specified date in 2022 and on revoking SD10.
  • decide in 2022 whether they need to intervene to direct delivery of the remaining parts of Phase 2, notably implementation of CoP by non-participants and delivery of the secondary reference data capability.

APP Scams

On APP scams, the PSR plan to consult on the actions they think need to happen following the call for views earlier this year and the PSR note that work is continuing to outline what those actions need to look like. 

But in conjunction with today’s publication about CoP:

  • Pushing forward with confirmation of payee across the market – making it harder for criminals to trick people through impersonation. 
  • Continue to improve the current, voluntary CRM code to achieve more consistency in how people are protected. 
  • Continue to work with the largest banks and building societies on these priorities. 

Call to Action

The PSR are calling on three groups which they feel should also be doing more to protect people: 

  • Social media firms must step up and make it hard for criminals to seek out their victims using their platforms.  
  • Action from payment firms who have not signed up to the CRM code and who are not offering similar levels of protection. 
  • Those institutions offering banking services to criminals, however inadvertently. Many of the sending banks are stepping up their efforts – but there needs to be more focus on where the funds are received from. 

Next steps

The PSR will be publishing consultations on both the next steps for implementation of CoP and on fighting APP scams.

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