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Confirmation of Payee: Helping to keep you safe



Woman sitting in the cafe looking at the phone

Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is a service that some banks use to automatically check the name and account details of a new payee to see if they match to an existing account. It was introduced in 2020 to protect your account from fraud and to help make sure your money goes to the right people.

How does it work?

If you have a personal, joint, sole trader or business account you will use CoP. Everytime you set up a new payee or edit an existing payee, their name, account number and sort code will go through a CoP check.

As part of the check we’ll tell you if their details:

  • are an exact match to another account 

  • are a close match, which means some of the details are right 

  • don’t match at all, which means we couldn’t match them to another account

  • couldn’t be checked because the other bank doesn’t use CoP

You can still make a payment if the CoP check tells you the details didn’t match or couldn’t be checked. But we’d recommend contacting the person or business you’re trying to pay first, as this could be fraud. 

CoP is used for all UK payments in pounds, including one-off payments and standing orders. It isn’t used for international payments.

What if someone is paying me?

Confirmation of Payee will also apply when someone else is sending you money, if they have an account with a bank that uses CoP. In order for them to add you as a payee they will need your full name, account number and sort code. These details will then go through a CoP check.

Which banks use Confirmation of Payee?

When the UK payment regulator first introduced CoP, they instructed Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Santander UK to sign up to. We voluntarily signed up to the service - as part of our commitment to do all we can to protect you from fraud.

What does Confirmation of Payee mean for my business?

Confirmation of Payee helps make sure that when you pay a supplier, it goes to who you intend. It also means that when your customers are paying you, they feel confident they’re paying the right people.

As a business, you need to:

  • Make sure you have the right account payee names when you pay your supplier.

  • Make sure your customers have the right account name, number and sort code in order to pay you.

  • If you trade under one name, but are registered under another, make sure you are giving your customers the one listed on your bank account.

  • If you are paying a supplier, check with them that their trading name is the name listed on their bank account.

Things to bear in mind for sole trader accounts

  • The official name on the account is your personal name and not your trading name.

  • To make sure that your customers put the correct account name when paying your sole trader account, please make sure you are using your personal account name.

Can I opt-out of Confirmation of Payee?

You can’t opt out of a CoP check when you’re paying someone else. You can request to opt out of your details being checked by CoP when other people pay you. 

But we only accept these requests in very limited circumstances. This is because banks use CoP to protect your account from fraud, and to help make sure money is sent to you correctly, and not someone else by mistake. 

If you can opt out it means that your account details will not be checked when another person or business tries to send money to your account. 

If you’d still like to request to opt out of CoP, send us a message in the app or call us on 020 7930 4450. 

Once you’ve submitted your request, we’ll review it and let you know if it meets the limited circumstances for opt-ing out. 

You can opt back in to CoP at any time.

Blog amended: 25th January 2024