Confirmation of Payee reaches 2 billion checks in UK

Pay.UK, the operator of the UK’s national retail payments system, announced that Confirmation of Payee (CoP), has reached 2 billion checks. This is a significant milestone and the volume of checked transactions shows the key role the service plays in the fight against fraud.

CoP is an account name-checking service designed to help reduce misdirected payments and provide greater assurance that payments are being sent to the intended account holder.

The service was introduced in 202

0 and works by prompting a banking customer to verify that the name they input matches the name on the account receiving the payment.

If the names do not match, the banking customer is alerted and informed of the associated risks of proceeding with a payment when a match cannot be confirmed.

In March, Swift announced it has been selected to build a similar service in Australia. Swift, which built and runs the NPP, was chosen by Australian Payments Plus (AP+) to build Confirmation of Payee as a security measure to help protect consumers from fraud.

Since its launch in the UK, over 100 organisations have already implemented CoP, with more than 1.9 million checks being completed every day.

This widespread adoption of the service, and the Payment System Regulator’s mandate for over 350 organisations to join CoP in 2024, are testament to the value of the service and its recognised importance as an anti-fraud tool.

Industry data showed that fraud fell in the first six months of 2023, a decrease of 2% compared to the same period the previous year; and APP fraud, a type of fraud specifically targeted by CoP, has also seen a 1% fall compared to the same period the previous year.

This demonstrates that, despite the long-observed trend for the increase in fraud seen over the last decade and increasingly sophisticated methods and technology adapted by the fraudsters, the preventative measures introduced by banks, PSPs and regulators have a positive effect on the overall fraud trend.

“Two billion checks is not only a significant milestone; it provides unequivocal evidence on the key role CoP plays in protecting customers from becoming victims of fraud,” comments Kate Frankish, Chief Business Development Officer and Anti-Fraud Lead at Pay.UK.

“The service has been instrumental in reducing fraud and misdirected payments. October this year will see the Payment System Regulator’s (PSR) new mandatory reimbursement framework for APP fraud put into action, which will change the way consumers are reimbursed when fraud is committed against them.

The sending Bank is liable to refund the victim within five days and the receiving bank is then liable to refund 50% to the sending bank. This regulation has driven the focus on ways to prevent fraud in the first case, of which CoP is one of the multi-layered solutions in the market.

CoP has played a significant role in reducing fraud and misdirected payments, and we remain committed to developing innovative solutions to stay ahead of fraudsters and protect end-users in the ever-changing digital and payments landscape.”


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