TechnoXander 154 Explaining Confirmation of Payee (CoP) in UK

Online banking channels are becoming very important for customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction in the digital era. This increases the need for secure and precise online payments. Considering this, the UK government has released the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) directive. A powerful solution that can minimise attempts for Authorised Push Payment (APP) Fraud, and misdirected errors and increase confidence in banking systems.

To understand the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) directive better, we answer the following questions: 

  • What is the need for Confirmation of Payee (CoP)? 
  • What is the status of APP fraud in the UK? 
  • How does Confirmation of Payee (CoP) work? 
  • What is a Confirmation of Payee API? 
  • Who will use Confirmation of Payee? 
  • Are there any verified Confirmation of Payee Vendors? 

With these, we bring to you the latest in the CoP directive and its need in Online Banking. Moreover, the availability of Confirmation of Payee vendors like TechnoXander can help you navigate through the latest UK PSR directive on CoP Expansion and achieve compliance with the SD17 directive. For now, let’s dive into the importance and functionality of the directive.

Why Was Confirmation of Payee (CoP) Built? 

Launched in 2020, the Confirmation of Payee was implemented to tackle the increasing numbers of APP Fraud in the landscape of the UK which has now been adopted by Payment Service Providers (PSPs), building societies, and several banks in the UK.

According to reports by the industry body UK Finance, the UK succumbed to a £1.2 billion loss in 2020, caused by unauthorised and authorised push payment fraud. The following year, those numbers rose to £1.3 billion with a rise in the number of cases as well climbing from 3,065,123 in 2020 to 3,108,463 in 2021.  

Despite the rising numbers, certain types of APP scams were reduced highlighting the positive outcomes obtained from the implementation of Confirmation of Payee. In 2022, the UK began to see a drop in the total value of APP scams which was £1.2 billion while the total number of cases also decreased to 2,988,683. 

Current APP Fraud Statistics

Recently, the UK Finance published its Annual Fraud Report for 2024, with updates of £1.17 billion being stolen in 2023, which accounts for a 4 per cent decrease from last year’s number of fraud cases across the UK and a 1 per cent decrease with 2,967,363 incidents of authorised and unauthorised push payment scams compared to the £1.3 billion from 2021, during the same period and a 17 per cent reduction in the value reported stolen.  

Of the total £459.7 million was taken by fraudsters in 2023 through APP fraud. The majority of which £376.4 million was borne directly by consumers while businesses or non-personal customers suffered a loss of £83.3 million. The banks’ now advanced security systems prevented a further £1.247 billion in theft in 2023, in unauthorised fraud. 

While APP fraud decreased by one per cent (£43.7 million), purchase scams accounted for 67 per cent of all APP scams. Investment scams, though the lowest loss ever recorded, continued to remain the largest amongst all types of scams amounting to 23 per cent of all APP losses reported in 2023, totalling £107.8 million. Notably, 76 per cent of APP scams originated on online platforms, emphasising the urgency of collaborative efforts across sectors to address the growing national security threat posed by fraud.

Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is a vital security measure adopted by financial institutions and payment service providers. Its core purpose is to confirm that the recipient’s name matches the information provided by the sender during a banking transaction, ensuring that funds are transferred to the correct payment account.

How Confirmation of Payee (CoP) Works?

When the payer (sender) adds a new payee (recipient) and sets up an account, the sending Payment Service Provider (PSP) requests a CoP check and the receiving Payment Service Provider checks the name on their bank account, and one of these outcomes will be shown: 

  • Full match: There is a positive match of the name on the account 
  • Close match: There is a close match, but it’s a close match – for example, you entered Brain Evans instead of ‘Brian Evans.’
  • No match: In this case, you will be presented with caution where the name doesn’t match with the name on the recipient account.
  • Confirmation of Payee Unavailable: There is no source of confirmation – this happens in situations where the recipient’s account doesn’t exist, or the receiving bank does not participate in Confirmation of Payee.

It is important to note that ‘name checks’ only happen between banks that have a Confirmation of Payee connection established. 

Maintaining Precision in Verification  

CoP’s watchful eye protects both personal and business accounts in the UK and identifies its intended user with a:   

  • Sort Code/Account Number 
  • Sort Code/Account Number/Secondary Reference Data 

This meticulous identification framework gives CoP is ability to be vigilant in a diverse landscape of accounts, offering inclusivity across the financial spectrum.

The CoP check based on Secondary Reference Data helps building societies, credit unions and E-money institutions participate in the CoP ecosystem.

Understanding CoP’s Way of Facilitate Planning

To begin with, it efficiently improves cash flow, a crucial aspect for any business or individual, allowing them to use the necessary information to plan and strategise their cash flow effectively.  

Hence, it creates an appropriate prompt reaction to identify discrepancies or misdirections in the payment of clientele. 

Key Benefits of CoP

  • Enhanced Security: CoP serves as a robust defence against accidental or malicious fund transfers, ensuring funds are allocated correctly.
  • Error Prevention: It reduces funds being misdirected as a result of errors in entries from the payer, creating a clean and reliable transaction experience.
  • Fraud Prevention: CoP is very effective against various scams, especially some types of authorised push payment (APP) fraud, thwarting the plans of cyber criminals.
  • Builds Trust: Knowing that their bank diligently verifies recipient information, especially in substantial transactions, instils confidence in users.

Confirmation of Payee API

Confirmation of Payee API helps Financial Institutions add the CoP functionality to existing online banking software. It works like the other developer APIs and makes your online banking suite more secure and smooth for digital transactions.

Technoxander’s Confirmation of Payee (CoP) solution comes with a single API which is easy to integrate and has a very low impact on the Financial Institution’s infrastructure. If you are a Financial Institution looking to become compliant with CoP Expansion in the next 24 hours, Technoxander APIs can get you there. Below are some highlighting features of TechnoXander’s Confirmation of Payee (CoP) API:

  • Real-time analytics
  • Sandbox support
  • Pay.UK verified CoP suit
  • Ready for aggregator model
  • SaaS or Native implementation

TechnoXander Confirmation of Payee solution comes with many other features and benefits associated apart from the ones mentioned above. You can check the TechnoXander Confirmation of Payee API solution on its dedicated page.

Confirmation of Payee (CoP) for Organisations

The Confirmation of Payee (CoP) services is designed to include organisations and is not limited to Financial Institutions.  Every organisation or business that involves bulky financial transactions will need the Confirmation of Payee solution for secured transactions.

If you are an organisation as a Payment Initiation Service Provider or an organisation moving funds, then you must include Confirmation of Payee on your roadmap. 

Confirmation of Payee (CoP) Deadline in the UK

The government of the UK has released a deadline for all the banks and financial institutions across the country to implement the confirmation of payee (CoP) directive. As per the reports, all the mentioned organisations must add the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) facility to their respective digital financial solutions before 31st October 2024.

We can assume the extension of the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) deadline till 2025. However, considering the increasing number of APP Scams in the country every financial institution will have to implement the Confirmation of Payee guidelines sooner or later.

What does the Future look like for COP?

The Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) push for almost 400 more organisations to become CoP compliant in 2024 and its widespread adoption in the UK are testaments to the value the service brings along with it as an anti-fraud tool.

Though unique to the UK, our European neighbours have adopted a similar trend with their Verification of Payee service. Understanding the differences between the two payment security methods can give valuable insight into the changing landscape of digital finance.

Relation Between CoP and VoP

While both CoP and VoP services aim to increase security for electronic payments, the devil lies in the details. VoP, as the name suggests, seeks to verify the recipient’s identity, unlike CoP’s name confirmation service.

In the UK, the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) service, as we’ve come to know it, primarily checks the name of a recipient before authorising payments. This in turn prevents accidental misdirected payments and stops those pesky mishaps which allow scammers access to your hard-earned money!

Due to this subtle difference, European banks must go the extra mile in investigating recipient details to ensure payment is being sent directly to the intended receiver. Think of it like the digital equivalent of “showing me your ID”; except without the awkward small talk.

CoP and VoP may appear similar at first glance but differ considerably in meaning. While CoP focuses on name identification VoP emphasises identity – just like handshakes and hugs can both be friendly gestures but one is usually more personal than the other.

With this, the future for secure digital payment in the UK and Europe is underway to create a safe and more technologically advanced future.

TechnoXander- A Confirmation of Payee Vendor

Need to be CoP compliant by 31st October 2024?

TechnoXander, a Pay.UK onboarded Confirmation of Payee Aggregator provider offers CoP compliance in 24 hours. Contact us today to deploy your Pay.UK-compliant solution!

Conclusion

In essence, Confirmation of Payee (CoP) plays a pivotal role in digital banking, guaranteeing the flawless execution of banking transactions. It stands as a guardian against fraud and misallocation, demonstrating the commitment of financial institutions to safeguard their clients’ assets. The next time you engage in a banking transaction, remember the invaluable role of CoP in ensuring the security of your financial interests.

Related Posts