What is Confirmation of Payee (CoP)?
When you make an online payment, you give the sort code, account number and payee’s name. Until recently, and contrary to many people’s expectations, the payment validation ignores the payee’s name – it only uses sort code and account number. This leaves the door open to accidentally paying the wrong person and ‘Authorised Push Payment Fraud’, in which a payer is led to pay into the wrong account.
An initiative led by Pay.UK is changing that, and over the last months the largest 6 Banks in the UK have also started checking the Account Name. If the Account Name you give does not match the name of account identified by the Sort Code and Account Number then you shall be asked to confirm it is the correct name.
Now that the largest 6 Banks have enabled it, over the next year or two every other payment service provider is expected to follow suit. Anecdotally, 6 participants coordinating was found to be just about manageable – the participants collaborated commendably well. However the approach is unlikely to be scalable to meet the needs of perhaps up to 100 participants each enabling their service.
What is this Website for?
CoP Implementation is likely to be undertaken by virtually every Payment Organisation over the next year or so, in a phased approach as indicated by Pay.UK. Complexities can arise as a consequence of the numbers of participants, and some of those are identified here.
The aim is to understand more of these issues and by working with all interested parties derive community-based approaches to mitigate issues.
The website can act as an information hub for all participants involved in the delivery of Confirmation of Payee.
An essential point implicit in all this is that without a degree of coordination CoP ecosystem growth may be relatively inefficient and expensive for participants to implement, and contain significant duplication of effort across participants.
We are independent of all participants, and solution/approach agnostic, happy to support all equally. The aim is to create an impartial, informal hub for communications and information to smooth the path towards implementation and delivery of this excellent initiative.
The website is currently sponsored by Non Functional Testing Ltd, and has been created by Anthony Evans. Until June 2020, Anthony was a Senior Consultant to the Open Banking Implementation Entity during which (amongst other roles) he was on the Open Banking CoP Working Group.
Coming Up Soon!
In the next week or so we shall be issuing our next Newsletter - despite the vagaries of Covid and the usual quiet patch at the end of the year there has been much quiet progress. Updates coming up...
Of course, so far many more organisations are interested/waiting to deliver CoP than have actually gone live with the service. Therefore over the next few months we'd like to focus on the questions and issues that the majority have, such as
- What is CoP?
- Is it something I should really be bothered about? (hint - yes!)
- When should I provide this service?
- How should I provide it - what solutions are there to help? One of the questions we have often been asked is 'what's the best way to implement CoP?' We thought the best way we could help here is to provide details and notes on each major supplier in the market place, supported by Supplier presentations in our forthcoming forums. Watch this space!!
Modeled on (and working closely with) the fantastic Open Banking Excellence forum, we anticipate this shall be the first of many meetings, driven by the needs of its participants. Membership is free.
If you would like to join, or simply want to know more, please register via the button above and you shall be sent your meeting invitation.
NOTE - If you are already registered, and have logged in to the website then the button is not shown. Any questions, just email us on
Initial website launched and White Paper released on LinkedIn.
The initiative arose as a consequence of conversations on LinkedIn around CoP with a wide variety of participants including:
- Banks who had implemented CoP
- Some who were planning to
- Third Party providers of CoP services
CoP Challenges - White Paper
This White Paper highlights the types of issue that can arise in complex ecosystems such as CoP, in which many individual participants need to cooperate in order to provide this essential service. Based on original research with early CoP implementers and years of experience with the very similar Open Banking ecosystem, this paper presents probably the most comprehensive statement yet compiled about the potential challenges of implementing CoP.
Next Steps? - YOU!
We need you! A community is only as good as the people in it. Implementation and delivery of CoP can be hugely facilitated by communication between participants, and the aim of this site is to support that.
Following registration you shall then be able to access the member's area and take part in CoP community activities.
- A public information source, collating currently published information on CoP
- A Blog and/or Slack Channel for participants.
- MS Teams conference calls for participants.
- Proposed community-based mitigation around the potential challenges raised in the White Paper.