21 November 2019

Confirmation of Payee
Checking payments you will receive

Confirmation of Payee is a new service that helps protect against scams and mistaken payments, by checking the name of a payee against the name held by the payee’s bank.

Confirmation of Payee already applies to any payments you receive, so remember, when sending invoices or requesting a payment:

  • Provide the payment sender the full name or trading name we hold on your account
  • Tell them it’s a business account

This will help to prevent the payment sender receiving a message saying the name they entered doesn't match the details we hold for your account when submitting a payment, and help to avoid delays to payments to you. 

In the coming months, Confirmation of Payee will also apply to payments you send, so when paying someone for the first time or making changes to an existing payee/beneficiary you’ll need to:

  • enter the sort code, account number and the full name for the account you are sending money to
  • state whether the account you’re paying is a Business or Personal Account

We’ll then check this with the recipient bank and confirm to you if the account name and account type match the details you have given to us.


What is Confirmation of Payee?

We’re introducing Confirmation of Payee, a new name checking service.

It confirms if the account type and name on the account matches the person or business you intend to pay. It applies when you’re setting up a new payment or amending an existing one. This is for bill payments, standing orders and other high value payments in Sterling (GBP) but it doesn’t include other currency or international payments.

Other banks are also introducing Confirmation of Payee as part of an industry-wide change. You’ll see this being introduced during the coming months.

Why’s this happening?

It’s being brought in to help protect against certain types of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams and reduce the number of payments which are sent to the wrong account by mistake. Question 2 in the Frequently Asked Questions provides more information about APP Scams.

APPs can be made over the phone, online or in person and most are completed instantly, without an option to recall the money. Confirmation of Payee checks will take place using online banking or mobile banking, in branch and if you contact us to make the payment on your behalf.

What happens when I make a payment?

When you’re paying someone for the first time or making changes to an existing payment instruction you’ll need to enter the sort code, account number and the full name for the account you are sending money to. You’ll also need to state whether the account you’re paying is a Business or Personal Account. We’ll then check this with the recipient bank and confirm to you if the account name and account type match the details you have given to us.

Is the account for personal use or for business?

Before you make a payment to someone, ask whether their account is a personal or business account. If they aren’t sure, you should ask them to check with their bank and let you know before you try to make the payment.

Is the name you’re inputting correct?

The name on the payees’s bank account may not be the name you’re inputting. For example, you may be typing in ‘Jim’ where the account name is ‘James’ or you may know them as ‘Jim my builder’ but the business account is ‘James Smith Building Contractor’. If you aren’t sure, you should check with them before you confirm the payment. For joint accounts, the full first and last name of either person will make sure the name check is made.

You’ll then receive a response to say how closely the information you entered matches the account details along with information on the next step you should take (e.g. confirm details with the payee).

What will the Confirmation of Payee check show me?

We’ll receive a response from the other bank which will show you how closely the information you gave to us matches the details held by the recipient bank. You’ll then be able to decide whether you want to make the payment, check the details you’ve used are correct or cancel the payment.

Responses may include:

Name matched - The name and account type (personal or business) you’ve given to us matches those held on the account you’re sending the money to.

Close/Partial match - The name you’ve entered isn’t the same, it’s a close match to the person or business you’re paying, or the account type isn’t the same, or both. The actual account name will be shared on screen. You’ll see a message warning you that the funds may be paid to the wrong account and we may not be able to recover them - we recommend that you double-check the details with the person or business you’re paying using a known genuine phone number or other trusted source.

No match - The account type and/or name entered aren’t the same as the one held by the Payee’s bank. You should check with the person or business you’re paying before making the payment. We recommend that you double-check the details using a known genuine phone number or other trusted source to check the details, especially if this is someone you don’t know well or is an unsolicited request for money. We also recommend that you follow the Take Five fraud safety advice in FAQ number 8 below. If you’re confident the details are correct, you can make the payment without checking but we don’t recommend you do this, especially if someone has given you an excuse as to why the details won’t match.

Payee account is not supported/ Unable to check name – this means we’re unable to do a Confirmation of Payee check. Either the bank you’re sending the money to doesn’t do Confirmation of Payee checks, or the type of account you’re sending the money to doesn’t support Confirmation of Payee checks. It can also mean the person you’re paying switched their account to a new one.

We may also encounter a technical issue and be unable to do a Confirmation of Payee check. The response you see will say that there’s a systems problem and recommend that you try again later.

Payee account details are invalid/ Account not found – this means the account number and/or sort code are incorrect. In this case, you’ll be unable to make the payment and should contact the person or business you’re trying to pay to get the correct details.

If you choose to proceed with the payment for all options other than ‘Match’, you’ll be given the following additional warning message: ‘By continuing I understand that I will be at risk of sending a payment to the wrong account and be unable to recover the money’.

We’ll never stop a payment being made just because of a Confirmation of Payee response. You can make a payment regardless of the Confirmation of Payee response you receive but we may not be able to recover the funds if they’re sent to the wrong account.



Confirmation of Payee – Customer FAQs

1. What are authorised push payments?

Authorised Push Payments (APPs) are made when you request your bank or building society (also known as a payment services provider or PSP) to make a payment from your account to another account without using a debit or credit card.

2. How do app scams work?

Authorised Push Payment scams (APP scams) are where you intended to send money to someone, but were tricked into sending money to someone else; or, you send money to someone for what you thought was a genuine purpose, but was actually fraudulent.

Payments related to APP scams can be made over the phone, online or in person and most are completed instantly.

3. Are all banks and building societies undertaking Confirmation of Payee checks?

Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Ulster Bank, TSB and Starling will be introducing Confirmation of Payee from March 2020.

4. I’m an M&S bank or a private banking customer, why don’t I see a Confirmation of Payee check?

M&S Bank and the Private Bank will respond to Confirmation of Payee checks when people are sending you money. The Confirmation of Payee check will be available when you’re sending payments to new payees later this year.

5. Which payments are covered by Confirmation of Payee?

A Confirmation of Payee check will be undertaken for new or amended Pound Sterling (GBP) UK Domestic payments made using Bill Payments, Standing Orders and CHAPS/EFTs. It will not be available for international payments or any payments which are not in GBP.

The Confirmation of Payee check may be introduced for other payment types – we’ll keep you updated about these changes.

6. Will Confirmation of Payee prevent app scams completely?

No, but Confirmation of Payee will help to protect you against Authorised Push Payment Scams by allowing you to check that you are paying the account of the person or business you intend to pay.

However, you can go ahead and make a payment regardless of the Confirmation of Payee response you receive. We'll never stop a payment being made just because of a Confirmation of Payee response (if you have a valid account sort code and number).

7. Will using Confirmation of Payee ensure I will be reimbursed if a payment is discovered to be fraudulent?

The result of the Confirmation of Payee check is one of the factors we take into account when considering a reimbursement claim when a customer has been a victim of an APP Scam.

8.What should I do if I receive a close or no match response?

We recommend you double check the details. Use a known genuine phone number or other trusted source to check the details if this is someone you don’t know well or is an unsolicited request for money. You should also follow the Take Five fraud safety advice:

TAKE FIVE

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.

Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

My money? My info? I don’t think so!


If you’re confident the details are correct you can make the payment without checking but, we don’t recommend this.

9. Will hsbc stop me from making a payment if there is a close or no match?

No, we'll never stop a payment being made just because of a Confirmation of Payee response. You can make a payment regardless of the Confirmation of Payee response you receive but we may not be able to recover the funds if they’re sent to the wrong account

10. Will payments that are already set up be checked by Confirmation of Payee?

No, Confirmation of Payee checks will only be carried out for new payments or changes to existing payee details.

If you have any concerns about any existing payees, you can delete the existing payee. A Confirmation of Payee check will be carried out when you re-enter the payee details.

11. Which name should I use for joint accounts?

For joint accounts, the full first and last name of either individual will ensure the name check is made.

12. Is the account a personal or business account?

As part of the Confirmation of Payee check, you’ll be asked if the account you are paying is a personal or business one. If you select the wrong one, you won’t get a ‘name matched’ response.

13. My full name has always been too long to enter in the name field when making payments.

As part of the system development for Confirmation of Payee, the number of characters you can input into the ‘name’ field has been increased.

14. How long does it take for the bank to perform the Confirmation of Payee check?

The Confirmation of Payee check should only take a few seconds, but the processing time can be different for each bank or building society.

15. I am a mobile app user. Will I be able to use Confirmation of Payee?

Confirmation of Payee will be available for new payments made online, via mobile apps or directly with staff members in branch or via telephone.

If you’re a mobile banking app user, a new mobile app version will be available in the app store for you to download to start taking advantage of the Confirmation of Payee service as soon as it’s launched. To provide added protection to you and comply with our regulatory obligations, we’ll ensure that all of our customers are using the new version of the mobile app by the end of April 2020, where the Confirmation of Payee service is available.

16. Can I opt out of the Confirmation of Payee name check?

The name and account type check is being introduced to help protect against Authorised Push Payment Scams and reduce the number of payments made by mistake.

However, in certain circumstances, you can ask to be opted out of name checking. Please note, doing so may affect payments being made to you as the payers wouldn’t be able to verify your account name and account type.

17. Can I opt back in to Confirmation of Payee if I have opted out?

Yes, you can opt back into Confirmation of Payee at any time by contacting us. Please refer to How to Contact us to request that change.

18. How is my data protected?

In order to provide the Confirmation of Payee service banks, building societies and payment service providers (PSPs) are required to share your personal data, including account details. PSPs who provide the Confirmation of Payee are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (UK data protection regulator). For further details about how we obtain, process and secure your personal data please refer to our Privacy Notice.



Additional FAQs for Business Customers and Accounts

1. How will Confirmation of Payee affect my business?

The Confirmation of Payee service will allow your customers to check the name and account type are correct, before they make a payment to you.

You’ll also be able to use the Confirmation of Payee service to check whether the account type and name held on the account, match the details you’ve been given when you’re making payments to new payees/ beneficiaries or when you amend existing payee/ beneficiary details.

The most important things your business can do to prepare for the introduction of Confirmation of Payee are:

  • to make sure you’re using the correct account payee names when making payments;
  • your customers are provided with accurate account details, including your correct business or trading name, when making payments to your business;
  • you’ve registered with us the names your business will be using for trading purposes and may be used by your customers to make payments to you.

Single payments made using Faster Payments or CHAPS are required to have a Confirmation of Payee check performed.

2. Will batch bacs payments be subject to Confirmation of Payee checks?

No, the Confirmation of Payee service is not available for batch payments. If that changes in the future, we’ll let you know.

Head Office Collection Accounts are not currently included for Confirmation of Payee checks. If that changes, we’ll let you know.

3. Confirmation of Payee checklist – what does my business need to do?

When Receiving Payments

Make sure all invoices or payment instructions state the correct account name, account number and sort code. If your business is using a trading name (or a shortened name that may be different to the name held by us), and you’ve registered that alternative name with us, this can also be provided to customers.

For business accounts, we recommend your registered business name is used on invoices or payment instructions to make sure Confirmation of Payee checks result in a match.

The business name you’ve registered with us is available on communications you’ve had with us, including your statement and on internet/mobile banking. If you think you need to change the name we’ve registered on your account, or you’re unsure of the business name or trading name(s) registered, please contact us.

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Make sure your customers and partners are aware of the need to use the correct details when making payments to you.

Example: Barry Ford is a contractor with a registered company called James Smith Building Limited, which trades as Jim Smith. Barry would need to check he uses the correct name on any invoice he creates and make sure clear payment instructions are provided to his customers. In this case, the name of the account Barry should give to his customers should be ‘James Smith Building Limited’ or ‘Jim Smith’ (if Barry registered the trading name of his company with his bank).

When Making Payments

Use the account name, sort code and account number stated on the invoice or payment instructions. If these have changed, you should validate the change with the invoice issuer, using known contact details.

You should consider introducing additional procedures for when close or no match responses are received for a Confirmation of Payee request. You may have been targeted by a fraudster. We recommend you double check the details using a known genuine phone number or other trusted source, especially if this is someone you don’t know well or is an unsolicited request for money.

For more information, visit: ukfinance.org.uk/confirmation-of-payee

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