Confirmation of Payee


Confirmation of Payee

Helping you pay with confidence

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The Payment Systems Regulator has asked Pay.UK, as the operator of the UK interbank payment schemes, to look at ways of modernising and improving the way payments are made and processed. Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is the first new service that will be introduced as part of this modernisation.

When you make a payment, you enter or provide a name, an account number and a sort code.  Today, that name is not checked against the recipient’s account name, so CoP will introduce improvements by adding that check. CoP will check that the name entered in a payment instruction matches the account name of the recipient.  

CoP is a way of giving you greater confidence that you are sending your payment to the intended recipient. It is, in essence, an ‘account name checking service’ that can help avoid payments being misdirected due to errors or fraud.

What is CoP and how does it work?

CoP is a name checking service. When you create a single payment to someone for the first time or amend the details of an existing mandate or regular payment, a check will be made on the name of the person or organisation you provide against the actual name held on the account.

There are three possible outcomes:

  1. “Yes” – If you entered the correct account name, you will receive confirmation that the details match.
  2. “Close match, please check” – If you entered a similar name to the account holder, you will be provided with the actual name of the account holder to check.  You will be advised to either update the details and try again or contact the intended recipient to check the details.
  3. “No, the name is wrong” – If you have entered the wrong name for the account holder you will be told the details do not match and advised to contact the person or organisation you are trying to pay for further information.


Be clear on Confirmation of Payee (CoP) chart (PDF, 95KB)

How CoP will affect your Payments?

Icon expand Payments made to you

When someone wants to pay you for the first time, or they need to change an existing mandate or regular payment because your account name has changed, they will enter the name or the new name you give them and after the CoP check, they will receive one the three possible messages from their payment provider.

  •  Please ensure you provide the sender the business name or trading name registered to your account and if your account name has changed please let your regular sender know this.

Icon expand Payments you make

When you set up a new payment or change an existing mandate or regular payment, a CoP check will be made against the name of the person or business you want to pay with their payment provider. You will receive one of the three possible outcomes; yes, close match, or no match.  You’ll be advised to check if the name doesn’t match fully.

  •          If you're a paying a person, please use their first or main name and last name.
  •          If you're paying a business, please use the business name or trading name registered to their account.  Some business customers have complex account name formats and we are working out the best way of making CoP effective for these types of names.
  •          You may need to contact the recipient to obtain the correct name held on the account.

Icon expand What payment types will use the new service?

The service focuses on UK sterling payments made through single Faster Payments or single CHAPS. Faster Payments are used for the majority of customer initiated payments.  

  •          Bacs payments, including Direct Debits, are not included for the time being.
  •          Head Office Collection Accounts are also not included for now and are expected to be considered for future phases.

Icon expand Can CoP stop a payment being made?

No, you will have to decide whether to proceed with the payment once you have read the confirmation of payee response.  If you decide to continue with the payment where you are advised to check with the recipient, and decide to proceed without checking, we may not be able to recover the money you send if it goes to an unintended recipient.


Icon expand If the name matches will payments happen automatically?

No, payments will never be made without your confirmed instruction. Once you know whether the name is a match it will be your decision whether to proceed with a payment.


Icon expand How will it affect Bacs batch payments?

CoP isn’t focusing on Bacs payments for the time being. If payment providers decide to offer it for Bacs payments in the future, it is anticipated that the CoP check will remain separate to the batch payment process. 

Add your signposting title here… How will CoP benefit you?

The service can help you avoid making accidental, misdirected payments to the wrong account holder, as well as supporting the fight against fraud and payment scams e.g.

  • Impersonation – When a fraudster contacts a victim purporting to be someone else – often a trusted Organisation like the police or the bank.
  • CEO fraud – When a scammer purports to be a CEO or other senior business official and persuades a member of staff in a company’s finance depart to make payments to a fraudster’s bank account.
Frequently Asked Questions

Icon expand When will CoP be introduced?

 CoP will be introduced on a phased basis starting in early 2020 and running throughout the year as more banks and building societies are ready to introduce it. 


Icon expand Will every bank use CoP?

Not immediately, but several payment providers (including Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Ulster Bank and TSB) are expected to introduce the service by March 2020.

We believe CoP will become a widely-offered service in time and part of the payment journey for all types of UK electronic payment. It offers many benefits – reassurance that payments are going to the intended payee, and at the same time helping reduce certain types of fraud.

If a payment provider has not registered for this service, you may get a notification that the account is not registered with the CoP service.


Icon expand Will it stop fraud entirely?

Unfortunately, not, but it’s important to remember that CoP is one of a range of measures, some already implemented and others, including CoP, which are being introduced by industry.


Icon expand How is customer data kept secure?

Payment providers will use the Open Banking directory service and highly secure architecture to safely exchange CoP requests. In addition, to be accredited to use the system payment providers must undergo rigorous security checks and also be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or European equivalents.


Icon expand Who will decide whether a name is a match?

The recipient's payment provider (usually their bank or building society) will decide if the name and account details sent to them for the CoP check are a match. They will send their response to the sender’s payment provider and this will be shown to you as a message.

If you don’t get a match you should contact the person or business you are trying to pay to confirm the account name, sort code and account number. 


Icon expand What is Contingent Reimbursement?

Currently customers are held liable for fraud if they have not undertaken the appropriate due diligence. Going forward the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) code, will mean that the liability will move to the bank in certain instances.

This is limited to Personal Customers, Small Businesses and Charities with a turnover of less than £2m per annum.

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