Bank payments to require recipients name

18 October 2018   By Jo Bailey

In an attempt to combat fraud, money transfers will need to include the correct name of the person receiving the payment

From next summer, banks will require 'confirmation of payee' in order for a transfer of money to take place. This means that the name of the person receiving the money will be checked, as well as the account details.

Currently, money transfers request the name of the recipient as well as their sort code and account number. But in the current system, no checking of the name is done.

The UK's payment operator, Pay.UK, has issued plans for checks to be made on all transfers, with alerts issued to the sender if the name does not match.

If the plans go ahead as scheduled, all banks and building societies should have technology in place by April 2019 to identify mismatched names on transfer orders. All systems are due to be fully operational by July 2019.

online payment

Tackling fraud

The new plans are designed to combat fraudulent transactions, where fake accounts are created to mimic genuine business accounts, tricking people into paying money into the wrong account.

Dubbed 'Authorised Push Payments' (APP) scams, these types of fraud have seen £145m stolen from bank customers since the start of the year. In many cases, victims were unable to recover the funds as there is no responsibility with the banks to protect self-authorised transactions.

The popularity of making payments via apps and smartphones has continued to the rise in this type of crime.

The cost of fraud in the UK

Fraud of all shapes and sizes causes massive losses within the UK. Taking into account all types of fraud, these crimes cost the UK almost £11bn a year.

Tesco cancelled thousands of credit cards earlier this year because they detected a fraud risk, and many other financial providers work hard to prevent fraud. However, it seems there are still many risks for customers to be aware of.

Fraud statistics show that just three in every thousand people fall victim to fraud, and that you're just as likely to be a victim of ID theft in a rural detached home as in a city centre flat.

Major changes to the banking system such as the introduction of Confirmation of Payee require investment from the banks themselves. Pay.UK have accused banks of 'dragging their heels' over the implementation of these measures, which could potentially save millions.

How will Confirmation of Payee work?

Sending a payment with the incorrect sort code or account number could see the money ending up in the wrong bank account. Fraudsters are increasingly exploiting this fact by posing as genuine payees, with some unlucky customers losing thousands of pounds as a result.

From July next year, an additional check on the name of the payee will endeavour to prevent this type of incident from occurring. Pay.UK says this is how it will work:

  • If the correct name is entered, the system will let you know that the names match, and that it is safe to proceed with the payment
  • If the name is similar but not correct, e.g. misspelt, you will be given the correct name of the account holder to check
  • If the name is wrong, you will be alerted that it is a mis-match and advised to contact the person you are trying to pay

The matching process will be carried out by the recipients bank, as they have access to information about that person. If a name does not match, customers will still have the final decision over whether to make the payment or not, but the risks of proceeding will be made abundantly clear.

As well as protecting against fraud, this measure is intended to prevent accidental mistakes, such as where a number is mis-typed.

Further information on what happens if your transfer goes wrong is available on our website.


Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.