FAQs

Common Confirmation of Payee questions answered

Confirmation of Payee is an account name checking service that can help avoid payments being misdirected due to errors or fraud. It helps individuals and organisations make payments to the intended recipient safely.

When setting up a new payment, a payment services provider (PSP) will be able to check the name, sort code, account number, plus, if applicable, secondary reference data such as a building society roll number, and type of account of the person or organisation that their customer is asking to pay, against the details held on the account.

There are four possible outcomes:

Yes – If the customer has used the correct account name, they will receive confirmation that the details match, and can proceed with the payment.

Close match – If the customer had used a similar name to the account holder, they will be provided with the actual name of the account holder to check. They can update the details and try again, or contact the intended recipient to check the details.

No, the name is wrong – If they have entered the wrong name for the account holder they will be told that the details do not match and advised to contact the person or organisation they are trying to pay.

Unavailable – This occurs when it is not possible to check the name, for example as a result of timeout, customer opt-out or if the account doesn’t exist.

This will be determined by the recipient’s (or payee’s) PSP (usually their bank or building society). They have access to information related to the account holder receiving the payment.

As the Payment Systems Operator, Pay.UK has created the rules and standards for the Confirmation of Payee overlay service, and manages the service including ongoing service enhancements and industry communications. The service is being implemented by the UK’s banks, building societies and other PSPs.

Confirmation of Payee will help UK banks, building societies and other PSPs to reduce certain types of fraud and misdirected payments. In particular, it addresses certain types of authorised push payment (APP) fraud by providing a platform for PSPs to provide effective warnings to payers about the risks associated with progressing with a payment to an account where the name does not match.

Confirmation of Payee will give end users greater assurance that their payments are being routed to the intended recipient and therefore are not being accidentally or deliberately misdirected.

The Payment Services Regulator has directed UK banks and building societies to implement Confirmation of Payee to help protect people making payments and more than 30 banks, building societies and PSPs offer the Confirmation of Payee service to their customers. It is up to individual UK banks, building societies and PSPs to decide how and when exactly they want to roll out Confirmation of Payee to their customers. When providing the Confirmation of Payee service, both customers and the provider will be able to benefit from reduced fraud and misdirected payments.

If a receiving organisation does not offer Confirmation of Payee, the paying customer will be advised that the recipient (or payee’s) account name is unable to be checked.

To be eligible to enrol in Confirmation of Payee, participants must:

  • be an account holding PSP (i.e. reachable by a sort code and account number)
  • be regulated by the FCA or by NCAs in the Crown Dependencies (the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man).

The service is now also available to:

  • PSPs who do not own their own sort code in the Extended Industry Sort Code Directory (EISCD).
  • Organisations who offer accounts addressable by secondary reference data (SRD). For example building societies and other similar organisation that have roll numbers to identify customer accounts.

If you are interested in participating in Confirmation of Payee, you can find more information on how to join here or contact us.

 

The onboarding process is explained here and can be completed within timescales to suit individual organisations. This can be discussed with the Pay.UK team.

Confirmation of Payee is a payments agnostic overlay service. At the moment the service is primarily used for push payment transactions such as Faster Payments and CHAPS, although some participants use Confirmation of Payee prior to making Bacs Direct Credit payments. Bacs Payments including Direct Debits are not included for the time being; however, Pay.UK is considering whether the service can be extended to other use cases in the future.

No, Confirmation of Payee is not a silver bullet to eradicate fraud but it is one of a range of measures being implemented by the industry to combat fraud.

You can find out more about Confirmation of Payee here.

If your question has not been answered, please contact us.