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Consultation on general directions for the implementation of Confirmation of Payee

Published 23 11 2018
Last updated 23 11 2018
Closes 04 01 2018

We are consulting on general directions for the implementation of Confirmation of Payee (CoP).

The technical standards have now been agreed in work coordinated by Pay.UK – the operator of the Bacs, Faster Payments and cheque payment systems in the UK and is now ready for implementation by banks and other payment service providers (PSPs).

PSR consultation

The PSR has always been clear that more needs to be done to protect people from Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams and CoP is one important tool for preventing these scams. Together with the new, voluntary industry code, designed by the industry and consumer groups, CoP will see consumers better protected from APP scams and have a greater chance of being reimbursed if they do fall victim.

CoP is the industry-agreed way of ensuring that names of recipients are checked before payments are sent. It will work by checking the account name and account details to make sure there is a match. Alerts will notify the payer whether there has been a match or not, meaning corrections can be made before the payment is made.

We are considering regulatory intervention to ensure that PSPs implement CoP. 

Why are we consulting on this?

For CoP to be effective and achieve the potential benefits for PSPs and their customers, it needs to be implemented quickly and be widely available to payers. People making electronic payments should be familiar with seeing CoP as part of their payment experience and be afforded the protections it offers.

The PSR’s consultation considers whether regulatory intervention is needed to require banks and PSPs to implement CoP. The regulator believes that, for CoP to be effective in protecting both consumers and the banks, it needs to be implemented quickly and be widely available and this consultation seeks views on the most effective way to achieve this. Our proposed timescales for introducing COP are:

  • PSPs must be capable of receiving and responding to CoP requests from other PSPs by 1 April 2019
  • PSPs must send CoP requests and present responses to their customers by 1 July 2019

This is an initial consultation to gather views and evidence on whether general directions are the best way to achieve our objective of quickly reducing the number of APP scams and accidentally misdirected payments, through the timely introduction of CoP. We also want to gather views and evidence on the costs and benefits of implementing CoP through our proposed directions, and on the impact of the timescales for when CoP is introduced.

Who should read this document?

We expect this consultation to be of interest to various parties including:

  • Banks and other payments service providers
  • Businessses involved in the transaction process
  • Those who use Faster Payments, CHAPS and other payment systems to send and receive money
  • Consumer groups
  • Other industry bodies

Next steps:

The consultation is open to receive feedback until 4 January 2019. Please send us your comments on the questions in this consultation paper.

You can email us at app-scam-pso-project@psr.org.uk or write to us at:
APP Scams Policy Team
Payment Systems Regulator
12 Endeavour Square
Stratford
London
E20 1JN