Following a slow roll out of ‘Confirmation of Payee’ (CoP) technology, the UK Payment Systems Regulator has ordered Lloyds, RBS Natwest, Barclays, HSBC, Nationwide and Santander to assure implementation by 31 March 2020.
CoP technology is devised to safeguard banking customers against Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams; the type of deception that cost UK consumers £345m in 2018, of which only £83m was recovered.
The mechanism operates by checking that the account name entered by a payer matches the account paid, alerting the individual if there is any discrepancy.
The service is designed to reduce the risk of money being sent to a wrong account or organisation, creating a hurdle for increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.
This follows substantial work within the industry to drive change, including the PSR’s development of a voluntary industry code setting about how APP victims can be reimbursed.
The PSR is leveraging its power to first demand that by 31 December 2019 each of the six has the capability to notify the sending bank that a payment is unmatched, requiring inter-communication between Lloyds, RBS Natwest, Barclays, HSBC, Nationwide and Santander.
By March, the banks will have an obligation to send confirmation of payee requests and notify the payer of the outcome, whether matched or mis-matched.