Our Frequently Asked Questions tell you all you need to know about receiving payments more safely with Confirmation of Payee.
Why is Unity introducing Confirmation of Payee?
Confirmation of Payee is a new way of giving customers (both personal and business) greater assurance that they are sending payments to the intended recipient, helping them to avoid making accidental, misdirected payments to the wrong account holder, as well as providing another layer of protection against payee impersonation fraud. Some fraudsters will try to fool people by masquerading as a name you trust while changing the account details behind the name. Confirmation of Payee will inform the payer where the account name does not match the name entered and to check the payment details with the intended recipient before proceeding with the transaction.
For more information on how to stay safe from fraud, please visit our fraud guide.
Which payment types will the service apply to?
The service is focusing on CHAPS, Faster Payments and Standing Order payments that are paid into your account – usually internet or phone payments. BACS payments including Direct Debits are not currently included.
Can I opt out of Confirmation of Payee?
All eligible customers will be automatically opted-in to Confirmation of Payee. You can request to opt-out at any time, but we’ll only agree to opt-out requests in exceptional circumstances.
If you have opted out, the payee will be shown a message to say that your details can’t be checked. This may discourage payers from making payments to you as they won’t be able to verify that the account details are correct.
You can opt back in at any time.
If you would like to discuss opting out of Confirmation of Payee, please submit a contact us request. Alternatively, please send a secure message through Internet Banking. Our Customer Services Team will contact you within 48 hours.
How will my account name be matched to the payment?
The account name input by the payer is checked against the name on your Unity account via a secure online portal. This takes place in real-time, and the payer will receive an almost instant response. It is important that you provide payers your exact Unity account name as shown on your account statements.
How do I find my account name?
Your exact account name is shown next to the ‘Name of Account’ field on your statements.
If you are unsure of how to find your account name, please contact us – we will need to call you back and verify your details for security purposes before providing this information.
Can I find my account name using Internet Banking?
We recommend that you refer to your statements to find your exact account name. This is shown next to the ‘Name of Account’ field.
To find your account information using Internet Banking, you will initially need to select the relevant account number. Your account name is a combination of the details which are shown next to the ‘Owner’ field, and the information shown in ‘Account Title’ field. All of this information would need to be entered by the payer. Please note that if you don’t have an account title, the product name will be shown instead i.e. T2 Current Account and this should not be entered by the payer.
Do all banks or building societies perform a check on my Unity account name?
Unity Trust Bank has joined the Confirmation of Payee scheme under Phase 1 of the rollout. The service is only available to those banks and building societies that have joined the scheme. Some institutions may take longer to adopt Confirmation of Payee. To find out which banks or building societies are currently taking part please see here.
What if my payer’s bank or building society has not yet joined Confirmation of Payee?
If a payer tries to send a payment to your account from a bank that has not yet joined the scheme, they will receive a message to say that a Confirmation of Payee check cannot be completed. They can still make the payment but may wish to contact you to check that the payment details are correct. The payer should follow the guidance given by their bank or building society.
What responses might be returned for a Confirmation of Payee check?
The four main responses are Match, Close Match, Not a Match and Unavailable/Unable to check.
More information on how payees should respond to these responses is here:
There are 10 possible Unity outcomes in total and the additional responses are:
- Payee has opted out of the service
- Account has been switched to another bank
- Payee has selected ‘personal account’ when they are paying a business account, but the account name matches
- Payee has selected ‘personal account’ when they are paying a business account, but the account name is only a close match
- Account not found
- Sort code not supported – any sort code entered that is NOT a Unity sort code
The exact wording for these responses is determined by the payer’s (sender’s) bank or building society.
When will Confirmation of Payee be available for outbound payments from my Unity accounts?
Unity has prioritised the introduction of Confirmation of Payee for inbound payments. Once this is complete, we will phase in the service for outbound payments that you make to other banks or building societies. We aim to start this in Autumn 2021, with banks or building societies being added gradually throughout 2022.
If the account name matches, will manual payments happen automatically?
No, the payee’s bank or building society will never make a payment without the customer’s direct instruction. Once the payer knows whether the name is a match, it will always be their decision whether to proceed with a payment.
What will happen to my Direct Debits, Standing Orders and other recurring payments?
Direct Debits, Standing Orders and other recurring payments that have been authorised will continue to be processed automatically.
Who decides whether the Confirmation of Payee check is a match?
The receiving bank or building society will decide if the name and account details are a match. The result will be shown on-screen to the payer.
If your payer doesn’t get a match, they should contact you to confirm your exact account name, sort code and account number.
How is my data kept secure?
Payment providers will use the Open Banking directory service and secure technology to safely exchange Confirmation of Payee requests. To be accredited to use this service, companies must undergo rigorous security checks and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
How do I raise a complaint about Confirmation of Payee?
If you have a complaint relating to Confirmation of Payee, please follow Unity’s standard complaints process.
Where can I go for more information?
For help and advice about Confirmation of Payee, please visit UK Finance.
You can find more information and tips on how to prepare your customers for Confirmation of Payee here.
If you think there has been fraudulent activity on your Unity account, please call our Customer Service team on our dedicated freephone number, 0808 196 8420.