PSR outlines its proposal to ensure widespread coverage of Confirmation of Payee

02/12/2021

Confirmation of Payee APP scams Consumer Protection

  • New proposal to ease the transition into the next phase of Confirmation of Payee, and make it available to more banks and building societies in 2022 

  • The name-checking service has had a positive impact in preventing APP scams and accidentally mis-directed payments 

  • Proposals will allow the service to be extended to more people. 

Today, the PSR sets out its proposal to ensure the industry remains on track with establishing a single Confirmation of Payee (CoP) system. This will allow more banks and building societies to work together to ensure even greater number of customers are protected by the name-checking service.  

Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is designed to help stop fraud and accidently misdirected payments by checking whether the name of a payee’s account matches the name and account details provided by a payer. There are now more than one million CoP requests every day. The regulator directed the UK’s six biggest banking groups to implement the first phase of the service and by July 2020 there was widespread coverage.  

Phase 1 of CoP has had a positive impact in preventing what would have been a larger increase in Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams and it has also led to a reduction in accidently misdirected payments. The regulator has also seen reduced levels of fraud received by financial institutions which have implemented CoP.  

As a result, the PSR thinks that wider implementation of CoP is necessary to protect a greater number of people and business who make payment transfers. 

For more financial institutions to implement CoP, they need access to a technical environment for sending and responding to CoP messages, and common rules and standards. Work has been taking place to ensure that this capability is widely available to even more financial institutions. Today’s consultation sets out how the regulator wants to ensure industry delivers this important service.  

Genevieve Marjoribanks, Head of Policy at the PSR says: 

“Confirmation of Payee has already shown it is an effective way to stop APP scams and accidentally mis-directed payments. Our original rule paved the way to make sure this important service was available in the large majority of account-to-account payments.  

“Now we’ve seen how effective it can be, it’s time to make the service available to financial institutions that have not previously been able to offer it to their customers. These latest steps will ensure that by April 2022, there will be one service available to all payments firms which they can offer to their customers in the fight against fraud.”  

The PSR’s consultation is open until 17 December 2021. 

ENDS 

Notes: 

  1. The PSR has published its latest consultation here.
  2. Last month, the PSR confirmed in its published responses to its earlier call for views that it would take action to ensure financial institutions have a level playing field to enable more of them to give their customers greater fraud protections. The responses document outlined what next steps the PSR would consider before taking further action. Today’s consultation document confirms the next steps.