PSR to make Confirmation of Payee available to more customers

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published a document outlining the next steps for wider implementation of Confirmation of Payee (CoP.)

The fraud prevention tool is designed to reduce both accidently misdirected payments and APP fraud in bank transfers by checking the name on the recipient’s account matches the details a payer has given to their bank.

Recent figures from UK Finance show that in the first half of 2021, £355 million was lost to Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams, which are now overtaking card fraud losses.

The organisation said that it expects to see “more action” from financial institutions to stop scams and better protect people if they do fall victim.

“Confirmation of Payee has proven to be an effective way to stop scams from happening, but it should be widely available – we want to see more banks, building societies and financial institutions use this service to protect their customers,” said Chris Hemsley, managing director, PSR. “The work that has been happening to broaden the CoP service will mean that many more fraudulent and mis-directed payments should be prevented.

“There is currently good progress being made in making the service more widely available, but we will step in if we need to, including if we think that progress is stalling.”

The PSR originally directed the UK’s six largest banks to introduce CoP over FPS and CHAPS transactions, with several other institutions having signed up to offer the service since it was introduced in 2020.

Earlier this year, the PSR set out to understand the impact of the introduction of CoP Phase 1 by the banks and decide on the next steps necessary to bring this service to more financial institutions and their customers.

The regulator's response paper, Confirmation of Payee Response to our call for views CP21/6, sets out the industry's commitment to deliver Phase 2.

It said that the organisation was "ready to step in" if there is any delay in delivering the capabilities.

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