Keeping you safe from scams
We want to do everything we can to make sure that you’re safe from scams when you make a new payment.
We’ve worked with other UK banks and the regulators to make changes recently to the steps you need to make when you make new payments. The reason for these changes is to help you be as sure as you can be that your money goes to the right place.
For a step-by-step guide on how to pay or transfer money online, please visit our Online Banking Guides
When you make a payment to an individual or business you haven't paid before (a 'new payee'), as well as the account number and sort code, you'll now need:
- The account name exactly as it appears on the account
- The account type - personal or business
Since December 2019, we’ve been responding to requests from other banks for payments you receive. You’ll start seeing the changes to the way you make payments from May 2020. If you have an account with another provider, you may not see the changes straight away as the banking industry is making these changes over a period of time to minimise any potential disruption. They’ll happen between the end of 2019 and early April 2020, but not all banks are participating straight away.
We’ll check the details you provide against the details on the new payee’s account and let you know the results before you make the payment. There will be a few outcomes:
1. The name and account type match
If you use the correct name and account type, you’ll receive confirmation that they match the account you’re trying to pay, so you can proceed with the payment. No payments will be made automatically. Even when the name and account type match, you’ll always need to confirm that you want to go ahead with a payment.
2. The details partially match
If you’ve got a partial match, you’ll be given the actual name or account type of the account holder, so you can check and update the details, or contact the person or organisation you are trying to pay.
3. The name doesn’t match
If the name doesn’t match, you’ll be told that the name is not correct and advised to contact the person or organisation you’re trying to pay.
Unless we’re unable to check the account details, you’ll be given an option to proceed with the details you originally provided. If you choose this option, the funds may go the wrong account and we may not be able to recover the money.
If you’re paying a business account, you’ll need to provide the business name. The business name should be as stated on the invoice or other payment instruction you’ve been provided with. (Please note that some businesses may have trading names that differ from their registered name).
If you need to pay a joint account you’ll need to ask for the name of one of the joint account holders, exactly as appears on the account.
These checks can help you avoid simple mistakes like mis-typing account details when you set up a payment. They also help tackle some types of fraud. They offer increased protection against authorised push payment scams, which are payments you initiate and authorise from your account, usually through Online Banking (they may include transactions such as a single Faster Payment when sending money to friends, family or organisations, setting up standing orders or setting up a single CHAPS payment.) The checks also aim to reduce the chance of you falling victim to the different forms of maliciously misdirected payments.
From May 2020, we’ll start checking Faster Payments, standing orders and CHAPS. International transfers, credit cards and BACS payments - including Direct Debits – aren’t included for the time being and this feature won’t be available for cheque payments.
To check that payee names are right, banks will use a secure directory. We’re one of several of the UK’s largest financial organisations to implement these changes. Other institutions include: Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS and Ulster Bank.
Customers of the participating banks will automatically be included so that we can make these checks to help our customers pay the right account. However, if you’d rather opt out, you can let us know and we’ll make sure that your name won’t be validated and presented back to anyone sending you payments. If you’d like to discuss opting out, or understand the implications, please call us.
Never set up new or change existing payment details without first verifying the request directly with the person or company you're paying, preferably using existing contact details.
You’ll already be familiar with changes we made a while ago:
- When you enter the sort code of the account you’re paying, we show you the name of the bank so that you can check it’s the right bank.
- We ask you to choose a reason for the payment so that we can help protect you from scams.
- Before you go ahead with a payment we ask you to make sure all the information is correct and that you’ve read the messages we’ve shown you.
Never set up new or change existing payment details without first verifying the request directly with the person or company you’re paying, preferably using existing contact details.