Authorised Push Payment Scam Code | Ulster Bank


Protect your business

What the Authorised Push Payment Scam Code means to your business

What is an ‘APP scam’?

These scams occur when you are tricked into authorising a payment to an account that you believe belongs to a legitimate person or company, but it is in fact controlled by a criminal.

How the new APP Code will protect you

Under the new APP Code customers who are protected will be fully reimbursed if they fall victim to an APP scam, provided they did everything expected of them under the Code.

How does the APP Code apply to Business and Commercial customers?

The APP Scam Code applies to:

  • All personal customers.
  • Charities with an annual income of less than £1 million.
  • Micro-enterprises – an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 people and whose annual turnover and annual balance sheet total does not exceed £2 million.

The APP Scam Code does not cover:

  • Any payments completed before the APP Scam Code came into force on 28 May 2019.
  • Any disputes relating to unauthorised payments (such as where the customer has not consented to the payment) or other payments which are not related to an APP Scam. This is a fraud and will be covered by other regulation.
  • Commercial disputes, for example, where a customer has paid a legitimate supplier for goods, services or digital content but has not received them, or they are in some way defective.
  • Payments made overseas. The APP Scam Code applies to UK customers and UK Sterling payments only.
Think you’ve been the victim of a scam? We can help you.

The new Authorised Push Payment (APP) Scam Code has been launched to help those who have lost money due to a scam.

Protection from fraud and scams

Technology advances bring many benefits, such as online and mobile banking. However, in an increasingly digital world, technology also allows criminals to become more sophisticated.

That is why we were one of the founding members of a group of banks which established the new ‘Authorised Push Payment (APP) Scam Code’. We are one of eight member banks who have signed up to this voluntary code. 

What is the difference between a fraud and a scam?

Fraud: A fraud is where you have identified suspicious activity on your account, this may be regarding a transaction that you didn’t knowingly make or an update to your contact details that wasn’t done by you.

Scam: A scam is where you have knowingly parted with your money and/or personal details with the expectation that you were dealing with a genuine person/company. 

What we do to protect you against scams

Here are some of the things we already do to protect you against scams:

In our Online banking and Mobile app there are now warnings & advice when you pay money to a new payee.

In higher risk circumstances we may perform additional checks on payments that you request, often getting in touch to check details and give advice on the signs of a scam.

We educate you through promotion of the industry Take 5 initiative to raise awareness of scams and how to deal with them.

Our colleagues are trained to spot payments which customers believe to be genuine but are actually scams.

Find out more on our approach to fraud prevention page.

Helping you spot scams and keep yourself safe

We have a lot of advice on our website to help you understand common scams and what to look out for. Scammers are always changing tactics, so it's important to stay up to date with these. 

Visit our Securty Centre homepage for general advice on how to stay safe and secure. 

What to do if you think you are the victim of a scam

If you believe you've been the victim of a scam, or you're in contact with someone you think is trying to scam you, please contact our dedicated reporting lines.

Report fraud

Frequently asked questions

Icon expand I have been a victim of a scam previously and wasn’t refunded, can you now refund me?

The APP Scam Code does not apply to payments authorised before the new Code came into force on 28 May 2019.  We will continue to review all scams on a case-by-case basis.


Icon expand How are you helping customers who are not protected by the APP Scam code?

Where our Corporate and Commercial customers are the victims of APP scams, we consider all cases carefully and help our customers, actively promoting awareness of scams and how to prevent them, such as our ongoing fraud roadshows, factsheets and our recent ‘Think Twice’ video. We have an active fraud education and awareness programme with consultants who work directly with customers around the country.


Icon expand How are you helping customers spot the signs of a scam?

We are supporting customers by providing advice about key types of scams and the latest scams through our website and social channels. We educate our customers through the promotion of the industry Take 5 initiative to raise awareness of scams and how to deal with them. In higher risk circumstances, we may perform additional checks on payments that customers request, often getting in touch to check details and give advice on signs of a scam. 

There are now warnings and advice when customers pay money to a new payee using our mobile banking apps, online banking and in our Branch & call centres.  Since they were introduced into our digital channels, over 3 million customers have acknowledged these messages when making a payment to a new payee.

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