Confirmation of Payee (CoP): To be or not to be?

Issue 134 | 15 June 2021

Welcome to issue 134 of Payments:Unpacked, get to grips with the UK’s retail payments landscape with Mike Chambers - exclusive payment insights, hot topic briefings and fundamentals unpacked.

In this week’s edition Shakespeare helps us consider the next stage for Confirmation of Payee and Marion King explores the top market trends that are influencing industry change, the biggest opportunities driving successful transformation, and what the future holds for the payments landscape.

Confirmation of Payee (CoP): To be or not to be?

To CoP, or not to CoP, that is the question

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous scams,

Or to take arms against a sea of fraudsters

And by opposing end them delay

John Bertrand.

In John Bertrand’s latest article on Confirmation of Payee he notes that banks / PSPs (Payment Service Providers) not offering Confirmation of Payee (CoP) could be aiding and abetting fraudsters.

John concludes be suggesting that the UK has the opportunity to lead in preventing fraud in faster payments by tackling the whole fraud process covering banks, PSP and Open Banking’s Third-Party Providers.

By implementing Confirmation of Payee (CoP) across the bank/PSP John believes that the industry will set the stage for a consistent and uniform process that goes a long way to preventing digital payment fraud. This establishes a new standard in the UK and in all likelihood for the rest of the world.


Natwest at EBAday: Payments transformation in 2021 – the road to success

Marion King, Director of Payments, Natwest, speaks to Finextra in the lead-up to EBAday 2021 about the top market trends that are influencing industry change, the biggest opportunities driving successful transformation, and what the future holds for the payments landscape.

OneBanks taps G4S for cash and bill payment services at shared branch kiosks

Shared bank branch venture OneBanks has contracted with G4S to enable banking customers to pay bills, deposit and withdraw notes and coins at its pop up kiosks, currently being trialled in the UK

The kiosks, which are fully manned, have been designed to use Open Banking technology to offer face to face banking to communities which no longer have local bank branches.

The startup's quick to assemble pop-up kiosks use Open Banking technology from a number of tech partners, including Endava, Trust Stamp, Nuapay, NCR and Accenture Business, to provide immediate access to financial accounts from multiple banks. As a shared facility, the cost is split between multiple financial institions.

G4S will equip OneBanks kiosks with a Cash 360 intelligent safe which will allow customers to pay utilities and other bills with cash and receive their change in cash.

The OneBanks kiosk is equipped with a touch screen which also allows customers who may not have a credit card or other means of digital payment to purchase goods and services from online providers, such as Amazon, eBay or ASOS, using cash.

The G4S facility will enable OneBanks to offer a more compact and lower cost version of its shared banking installations more suitable for corner shops and convenience stores.

The initial format currently being trialed in Denny, near Falkirk in Central Scotland is designed for use in larger supermarkets, shopping malls and other high footfall locations such as railway and bus stations.

Further trials are planned later this year at three sites including two more on Scotland and one in England.

The experience so far has shown that there is a real demand for face to face banking and OneBanks can meet that need in a way that works for customer and banks alike. Our partnership with G4S, enables us to go a stage further and offer more of the everyday banking services people need.

Duncan Cockburn, CEO of OneBanks


Why Contactless Payments Are Key To Delivering Memorable In-Location Experiences

Humans crave contact — just not at the checkout counter, it turns out.

Raydiant’s State of Contactless Payments 2021 report is out, and it affirms what we’ve been witnessing in retail for the past year-plus: Consumers are gravitating toward contactless payments.

Creating memorable in-location experiences means considering what customers want, first and foremost. Raydiant’s data tells us that customers want contactless checkout, and there’s no reason to believe that this trend will change course.

Why do customers prefer contactless payments?

Raydiants survey suggests four key reasons:

  • Convenience

  • Address Customers’ Safety Concerns

  • Consumers Aren’t Just Using Contactless Payment Channels Once

  • Contactless Payments Have Become A Standard Requirement For Many Customers

Humans are fundamentally similar, no matter their country of origin. Those skeptical of contactless payments’ continued growth should consider global retail trends with this fact in mind.

Most of the modernized world has outpaced the United States in contactless payment adoption over the past decade-plus. It took a pandemic, but contactless payment adoption in America has officially kick-started.

Raydiant state that from their own data and others’ research that customers consider contactless checkout to be both convenient and safe. Are convenience or safety tastes that anyone expects shoppers to abandon... ever?

These desires are here to stay, even more so in the case of convenience. So, then, should contactless payment be here to stay.

Raydiant claim that with the supporting data in hand, your organisation is left only one option: Invest in contactless payments or get left behind.


A.P.P. to app: How to avoid email and text scams

Online fraud has blossomed, and it’s easy to become a victim.

In recent months we’ve seen a dramatic increase in fraudsters exploiting our increased volume of online shopping to con innocent victims into sending vast sums of money and personal details.

The latest research published by UK Finance suggests that UK Finance members reported 149,946 incidents of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams in 2020 with gross losses of £479 million.

Fraud can begin with an unthreatening, exceptionally well-crafted, email or text message sent en masse to addresses that have somehow previously leaked onto the Internet. Messages will compel you to urgently update your details or send money to complete a transaction. The realism of the message combined with the urgency is enough to persuade many of us to act and comply with the fraudsters demands.

It’s so easy for fraudsters to engage in this type of activity, as buying bulk lists of email addresses is cheap. As a fraudster, you only need a small number of responders to fall for your scam to make the business case stack up.

Your only recourse, as a victim, is to contact your bank to seek help. Most high street banks have signed up to a voluntary industry code to reimburse customers who’ve fallen victim. However—as reported by Which?—only 46% of losses have been reimbursed. Not great odds, then.

  • Prevention is better than a cure

The financial services industry’s voluntary code contains a commitment by enrolled banks to educate customers on the risks associated with APP fraud. Many will be familiar with communications from their bank instructing them to never click on a link asking for payment. Sage advice indeed.

  • Online payment options can confuse consumers

Unfortunately, many of these same banks also invest in, or offer directly, services asking customers to click on payment links thereby normalising this fraud vector. The real issue that the industry needs to deal with is that the business case for delivering services over e-mail and SMS is currently too good for banks and fraudsters to ignore.

Thankfully, it’s now possible to implement online payments without asking recipients to click on a dodgy link with ‘who knows what’ level of threat hiding behind it.

Request to Pay is an alternative communication channel that was launched last year. It securely forges a secure communications channel between banks and payment service providers. In other words, access to it is controlled by regulated companies who must abide by the rules and regulations for the use of the service.


Request to Pay: Lead or Lag?

Time-lined to coincide with the planned June launch of the Single Euro Payments Area Request to Pay (SEPA Request to Pay), this virtual expert panel discussion tackles the big questions that surround Request to Pay adoption including, when financial services companies should look to adopt it, what the technology roadblocks are, and what will the impact be on customers, billers and financial services providers.

Join Mike Chambers and our expert speakers for this invitation only virtual event:


SEPA Request to Pay (SRTP) Rulebook published

The European Payments Council (EPC) have announced that today (15 June 2021) the first version of the SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) scheme rulebook enters into force.

The SRTP scheme rulebook consists of a set of rules, practices and standards that makes it possible for any eligible SEPA RTP Service Provider to join, participate and operate in the SRTP scheme.


In brief

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The Payments:Unpacked newsletter from Mike Chambers at Northey Point explores a wide range of the UK’s payment news including: Open Banking, Request to Pay, Direct Debit, Confirmation of Payee, Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments, LINK, cash, cards, cheques and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and unpacks the eco-system that supports the operation of these systemically important payment systems.

The newsletter is an independent and informed insight into the UK’s payments landscape – exclusive payment insights, hot topic briefings and fundamentals unpacked.

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