PSR Consultation on requiring confirmation of payee service

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is consulting on its proposal to make general directions requiring payment service providers (PSPs) to implement a Confirmation of Payee (CoP) service.

The consultation paper seeks comments on whether regulatory intervention is needed to require banks and PSPs to offer a CoP service to their customers when they make payments using the Faster Payments Scheme and CHAPS payment.

In summary, CoP is the industry-agreed way of ensuring that names of recipients are checked before payments are sent. Banks and PSPs will be required to check the account name and account details to make sure there is a match. Alerts will notify the payer whether there has been a match or not. CoP aims to ensure that corrections can be made before the payment is made, thereby protecting consumers from authorised push payment scams and ensuring they have a greater chance of being reimbursed if they do fall victim.

The PSR’s proposed timescales for introducing COP are:

  • PSPs must be capable of receiving and responding to CoP requests from other PSPs by 1 April 2019; and
  • PSPs must send CoP requests and present responses to their customers by 1 July 2019.

The consultation is open until 4 January 2019.