Clear Junction Launches Confirmation of Payee Service

by Clear Junction5 October, 2023

Earlier this year, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a new rule that encouraged banks and building societies to adopt Confirmation of Payee (CoP) in a bid to reduce the number of individuals and businesses who fall victim to authorised push payment (APP) scams.

According to the latest report from UK Finance, more than £609.8 million was stolen by criminals through authorised and unauthorised fraud in the first half of 2022. While this was a 13 per cent reduction from the same period in the previous year, it’s evident that more needs to be done to reduce incidents of fraud. Of this total, some £249.1 million through was acquired through APP scams.

We’ve all seen the news stories about fraudsters manipulating victims into making APP transactions, often by pretending to be someone from their bank, or through social engineering scams tricking them into giving away payment account details. APP fraud is sadly another example of how malicious actors are evolving their methods to cause not just financial loss, but potentially damage a consumer’s confidence and destroy business profitability. That’s why APP fraud can be especially devastating – even financially aware and digital-savvy consumers and business owners are not immune to it.

With APP fraud volumes predicted to double by 2026, clearly this is a significant issue that needs to be combatted sooner rather than later.

Positively, there has been an industry-wide effort in recent months to reduce the number of individuals and businesses who fall victim to the aforementioned APP scams, and to make the world of payments a safer place.

LAUNCH OF CONFIRMATION OF PAYEE

Given all of the above, Clear Junction is delighted to launch its new CoP service for clients receiving GBP payments in the UK, boosting the security of these transactions.

Put simply, CoP is a way for financial institutions to check and confirm that the account that is sending and/or receiving funds is the correct one. When a payment initiation request is triggered by a customer, CoP involves checking the name of the account to which payments are being made prior to the execution, thereby reducing particular types of fraud, as well as misdirected payments that occur through user error.

Prior to the development and implementation of the CoP service, a payer would give the payment service provider the payee’s details, such as the bank sort code and account number, as well as the name of the person or organisation that the funds were being sent to. The institution facilitating the payment would then check the sort code and the account number and, if everything was deemed to be correct, the funds would be sent.

This previous process, however, fell short of the security and checks required, as there was no means for the person sending the funds to check the name of the account against these details. The introduction of CoP means that everything can now be cross-checked – and if anything does not match up, then the payment will not go through. This essentially makes it virtually impossible for APP scams to work.

At Clear Junction, compliance is at the heart of everything we do. Rolling out our new CoP service for our clients and their end users is another way that we’re building trust into the financial ecosystem.

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