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Confirmation of Payee – your questions answered

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Confirmation of Payee is a new account name checking service being introduced by banks and building societies later this year to help tackle fraud and make sure your payments go to the right place. How does it affect you?

What is Confirmation of Payee (CoP)?

CoP is a new way of checking account details to give customers and businesses greater assurance that they are sending payments to the intended recipient, helping avoid misdirected payments being sent to the wrong account as well as offering another important tool to help in the fight against fraud.

When a customer sets up a new payee or amends an existing payee’s details, Confirmation of Payee will enable them to confirm whether the details they have entered match the account of the person or organisation they are paying.

What are the benefits of CoP?

The key benefit of CoP is greater security when you’re making payments, helping to tackle scams and fraud such as Authorised Push Payments. This is an increasing type of fraud where you can be contacted by email, phone or social media by a fraudster pretending to be someone else such as your solicitor, bank or even the police.

With name-checking, you can make sure the name of the person or business you’re paying matches the name held on the account and is truly who you intend to pay.

When will CoP be introduced?

It’s expected that CoP will be introduced by the larger high street banks towards the end of June, with other financial institutions following at a later date. 

Confirmation of Payee will be expanded in time to include other accounts that use a reference number including savings accounts, mortgages and credit cards.

What information do you have to provide when making a payment?

When you add a new payee to make a payment you’ll need to enter all the details below. Your bank will then automatically check with the recipient’s bank to make sure everything matches:

  • The name on the account – you’ll now always need to use the correct full account name
  • Account number
  • Sort code
  • Account type – to confirm if it’s a personal or business account

How does CoP work?

Checks are carried out to make sure the account details you provide match those held by the bank of the person or organisation being paid.

There are four possible outcomes once the checks have been made:

Exact match

If you used the correct account name, you will receive confirmation that the details match. You can then proceed with the payment.

Close match

If you used a similar name to the account holder, such as an abbreviated version or a slight spelling mistake, you will be provided with the actual name of the account holder to confirm. If you recognise the name provided, you may opt to proceed with the payment. Alternatively, you will be able to update the details and check the name again or contact the intended recipient to confirm the details.

No match

If the details for the named account holder do not correspond with the details held by the account provider, you will be told the details do not match. You will not be able to see the actual name on the non-matched bank account.

You should always stop and make further checks if they do not get a match and confirm the account details of the person they want to pay by an alternative channel, such as a published telephone number on an official website.

Confirmation of Payee Unavailable

Where an account is not available through CoP, whether temporarily or otherwise, you will be notified that the account is unable to be confirmed.

How does CoP impact me receiving payment?

You will need to ensure that the person or organisation paying you has your correct details, including:

  • Full first name and surname – exactly as it appears on your account
  • Account number
  • Sort code
  • Account type (personal or business)

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Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551