It’s not perfect but in a world where Fagan has gone digital…

Fagan has gone digital

The UK’s Confirmation of Payee (CoP) name checking service may not be perfect but in a world were Fagan has gone digital any initiative that thwarts the fraudster and protects our money has every right to be applauded.

As Authorised Push Payment Fraud (APP Fraud) rises to eye-watering amounts it is surprising to read the latest research from Lloyds Bank which has found that millions of British consumers are putting themselves at risk by ignoring warnings that bank account details do not match when making a transfer.

It’s not perfect but…

In 2020 the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) service was formally launched 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.

The Confirmation of Payee service seeks to give businesses and consumers greater assurance that they are sending payments to the intended recipient.

Neither perfect or a silver bullet, the implementation of Confirmation of Payee is proving to be an effective way of combatting Authorised Push Payment Scams (e.g. where a fraudster tricks their victims into willingly making a large bank transfer to them).

Confirmation of Payee also helps to avoid payments being sent to the wrong account due to ‘fat fingers’ (keyboard errors) when we type in somebody’s Sort Code and Account Number.

Ignoring the warnings

However, research from Lloyds Bank which has found that millions of British consumers are putting themselves at risk by ignoring warnings that bank account details do not match when making a transfer.

A recent YouGov survey of just over 2000 people shows that:

  • 41% say they are unfamiliar with CoP and understand how it works.
  • Only 24% would recognise that a ‘No match’ message means they could be getting scammed.
  • 8% admit to proceeding with a payment without making any further checks when CoP tells them the details aren’t an exact match.
  • Less than 50% say they would carry out further checks before proceeding with a transaction when presented with a ‘CoP unavailable’ message, which usually means the recipient bank or payment services provider isn’t signed up to the service, so the account details can’t be automatically checked.

100 times more likely to be reported as fraudulent

Lloyds Bank have been analysing their outbound transfers made to all major banks and payment service providers last year shows that transactions involving firms not using CoP were up to 100 times more likely to be reported as fraudulent by customers at a later date.

Fagan’s gone digital

Fraudsters are trying to steal people’s money all the time, they never stop. We’re talking about organised crime gangs, constantly inventing new scams to dupe victims out of their hard earned cash.

So when you’re making a bank transfer and a warning flashes up to say that the account details don’t match, or can’t be checked at all, that should set alarm bells ringing straight away. Stop, take notice and think about why that could possibly be the case. There’s a big chance it’s because you’re being scammed.

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director, Lloyds Bank.

Safer payments need service ubiquity

The Payment Systems Regulator states that there are eight types of APP scams which are either:

  • ‘malicious payee’, for example, tricking someone into purchasing goods which don’t exist or are never received.
  • ‘malicious redirection’, for example a fraudster impersonating bank staff to get someone to transfer funds out of their bank account and into that of a fraudster.

The PSR expects to see more action from financial institutions to stop these scams from happening and to better protect people if they do fall victim.

Every year thousands of individuals and businesses fall victim to Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams – where they are tricked into sending money to an account controlled by a fraudster. There are also a significant number of accidentally misdirected payments that are not recovered. 

In the first half of 2021, £355 million was lost to APP scams, overtaking card fraud losses.

Service ubiquity will mean that we will all have greater confidence when we make online payments, increase the trust we have in our banks and play a greater part in thwarting the (APP) fraudster.

Get Familiar

If you are in the same place as the 41% that say they are unfamiliar with CoP and understand how it works or are concerned about payment fraud check out:

Confirmation of Payee: Helping to keep you safe

Starling Bank have published an excellent blog to explain the UK’s Confirmation of Payee service.

Confirmation of Payee

The UK’s Confirmation of Payee account name checking service is operated by Pay.UK.

Take Five to stop fraud

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.


SurePay, the leading CoP provider can help you protect your customers against fraud. Their CoP service is an innovative, real-time name checking solution that gives UK payers greater assurance that their payments are going to the intended recipient.

Their Dutch CoP solution, the IBAN-Name Check, has been live since 2017 and checks 99.5% of all payments in the Netherlands. This has helped reduce fraud by 81% and misdirected payments by 67%. SurePay’s CoP solution in the UK already checks 35% of all online payments.

Unpacking Confirmation of Payee

In this Payments:Unpacked podcast we are joined by Paul Simpson from Sure Pay – Paul helps us unpack the UK’s account name checking service Confirmation of Payee (CoP).

Comments are closed.

Up ↑