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What is Confirmation of Payee and how does it work?

Confirmation of Payee is a name checking service. When you set up a new payment or amend an existing payee, a check will be made on the name of the person or organisation, along with the account type, you provide against the details held for that payee by their bank.

It is important to note that Confirmation of Payee is a pre-payment check. Once the name has been checked, you will still have to instruct the payment to be made as a final step.

The check will return one of the following responses:

  • It's a match
    You will receive an on screen confirmation that all of the details match.
  • It’s a close match
    The name of the account or the account type you are paying doesn’t exactly match what you have provided. You can contact the recipient to confirm the details before making the payment or update the details to those provided by the payee bank.
  • It’s not a match
    Contact the person or business you are trying to pay to confirm the correct details.
  • Unavailable
    There may be occasions where the Confirmation of Payee service is unavailable. In this instance, it’s important you contact the payee to confirm the details are correct before continuing.
  • This account can't be checked
    There will be occasions where the payee can't be checked, for example, if the account holder’s bank doesn’t support the service or hasn’t registered for Phase 2 yet. During the transition period you may not be able to check the name of a payee whose account is held by a Phase 1 participant. In this instance, it’s important you contact the payee to confirm the details are correct before continuing.

When checking payment details, it’s important to contact the person or business on a phone number you trust. Never call a phone number from an email or text message exchange, which can be faked by the criminal to trick you into believing it’s genuine.

Never be pressurised into continuing with a payment when the details don’t match or where the account cannot be checked.

Frequently asked questions

Why are we introducing Confirmation of Payee?

Confirmation of Payee aims to give you more confidence that you’re paying the right person.

Our priority is to keep your money safe and secure. We’re introducing this name-checking service to help protect you from so-called ‘authorised push payment’ scams. These are scams where people are tricked into sending money to criminals, who often pretend to be people they are not.

It will also help avoid simple mistakes like mistyping account details when you set up a new payment.

What does Confirmation of Payee mean for you?

For payments you make

When you set up a new payment or amend an existing payee, a Confirmation of Payee check will be made against the name of the person or business you want to pay with their bank:

  • If you're paying a person, please use their first or main name and last name
  • If you're paying a business, please use the business name or trading name registered to their account
  • You will need to choose the type of account you are paying i.e. personal or business

You'll receive one of these possible outcomes; match, close match, no match, account can’t be checked or service is unavailable. You’ll be advised to check if the name doesn’t match fully.

For payments made to you

The account details you provide to the person or business who is trying to pay you will be Confirmation of Payee checked against the actual name held on your account if the bank the account is held with is a participant of Confirmation of Payee Phase 2.

Why do I keep getting the response ‘this account can’t be checked’?

Until more banks join Confirmation of Payee Phase 2 you will see the ‘this account can’t be checked’ response a lot of the time.

Banks that have fully registered for Confirmation of Payee Phase 2 so far:

  • NatWest Group (NatWest International, Isle of Man Bank, RBS International, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank)
  • Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds Bank plc (excluding Lloyds International), Halifax, Bank of Scotland)

What should I do if I get a Confirmation of Payee no match?

If you receive a no match, first check you have entered the details correctly. If you have, then you should contact the person or business you are trying to pay to confirm the account name, sort code, account number and account type (Business account or Personal account). Remember to contact that person on a number that you know to be theirs and beware of any new communication requesting payment or different contact details.

If, after checking with the person or business you are trying to pay, they inform you that the details are correct, we recommend that you request they contact their payment provider (usually their bank or building society) to confirm the details that are held on their account match those provided to you.

If things still don’t seem right, it could indicate a scam. Fraudsters will attempt to trick you into sending money by posing as an individual or company that you trust, such as your bank, your internet service provider or a trusted supplier. To help you avoid this, you should carefully consider whether the payment request is genuine or you may lose your money. This is especially true where you receive a ‘no match’ response following a Confirmation of Payee check.

We will NEVER contact you and ask you to move money to keep it safe

For more information on how to stay safe when banking online, visit our Security Centre (opens in a new window).

Who will decide whether a name is a match?

The payment provider of the person or business you are paying (usually their bank or building society) will decide if the name and account details sent to them for the Confirmation of Payee check are a match. They will send their response to us (as your payment provider) and this will be shown to you in the Confirmation of Payee check journey before continuing to make the payment.

If the name matches, will payments happen automatically?

No, Isle of Man Bank will never make a payment without your direct instruction. Once you know whether the name is a match it will always be your decision whether to proceed with a payment.

What name should I use when I am setting up a new payment?

If you're a paying a person, please use their first name and last name.

If you're paying a business, please use the business name or trading name registered to their account.

You may need to contact the recipient to obtain the correct name held on the account. Make sure that this matches what you expect based on the person or business you intend to pay.

Will a Confirmation of Payee check be required when making a payment to an existing payee?

No, Confirmation of Payee requests will only be generated when you set up a new payee or amend an existing payee mandate.

Will every payment provider use Confirmation of Payee?

Not immediately, however several payment providers (including Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Ulster Bank and TSB) have already introduced the Confirmation of Payee Phase 1 service and will be joining Confirmation of Payee Phase 2 by March 2022. Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank have already joined Confirmation of Payee Phase 2.

If a payment provider has not registered for this service, you will get a notification that a Confirmation of Payee check is not possible for the payment provider. If this happens, it’s important you’re fully confident the payee details are correct and the payment request is trustworthy before continuing.

Can I undertake a Confirmation of Payee check for my existing payees?

If you’d like to undertake a Confirmation of Payee check for an existing payee, you’ll need to delete the payee and then add them as a new payee. You will be prompted to perform a Confirmation of Payee check as part of the new payee process.

What should I enter if the payee is known by a different name, such as their middle name?

You need to enter the payee’s name as it appears on their account. If you are unsure, we recommend that you request they contact their payment provider (usually their bank or building society) to confirm the name held on their account.

Why is a full name and a payee name required?

The full name (first and last name fields for payees with personal accounts and the business name field for payees with business accounts) will be used for Confirmation of Payee verification.

‘Payee nickname’ (mobile) and ‘Payee name’ (online banking) will be the name which will appear on your statement when you make a payment to them.

What should I do if I get a Confirmation of Payee close match?

This means that the name of the account or the account type you are paying doesn’t exactly match what you have provided.

You will be provided with a suggested name and/or account type, so please check if the suggested name provided is correct. If it doesn’t look right, or you’re not sure, contact the person or business you are trying to pay to check their details.

How is your data kept secure?

Payment providers will use the Open Banking directory service and highly secure architecture to safely exchange Confirmation of Payee requests.

In addition, to be accredited to use the system companies must undergo rigorous security checks and also be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or European equivalents.

Learn more about Open Banking