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NatWest and SurePay partner to launch Confirmation of Payee for HMRC

By Joy Dumasia

December 17, 2021

  • API
  • Confirmation of Payee
  • CoP

NatWest Group and SurePay have partnered to introduce Confirmation of Payee (CoP) for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), using a direct access Application Programming Interface (API) to allow HMRC to dynamically check high volumes of outbound payee details to help prevent fraudulent and misdirected payments. This improves efficiency by ensuring the recipient payee’s details match those registered to the account outside of the payment process.

Confirmation of Payee was introduced in June 2020 to combat scammers and guard against customer errors and typically allows customers to carry out a check on individual payments through their online banking. As a significant UK payment distributor, HMRC will now carry out bulk checks against all their outbound payments via an API.

During the pandemic, NatWest Group was a key lender for the government’s business support schemes, distributing over £14billion in lending payments through the Bounce Back Loan, CBIL and CLBIL schemes to UK businesses. Through this announcement, the bank is extending its relationship with the UK Government by partnering with its CoP partner SurePay to create this first to market solution, improving security, speed and reducing fraud.

Bridget Meijer, Business Development Manager Global SurePay, said: “We are tremendously proud of our best in class Confirmation of Payee solution. Unlike conventional name matching algorithms, the SurePay algorithm is specifically designed for Confirmation of Payee from scratch, and it fully operates in line with Pay.UK requirements. Our algorithm and gateway combines cutting-edge data science techniques with profound knowledge of transactions and payer’s behaviour to help prevent fraud and mistakes whilst facilitating Straight Through Processing. This collaboration with HMRC and NatWest is testament to the quality of our CoP solution and services. Our technology is tried and tested in the Dutch market, which allowed us to improve our algorithm so that now we can offer by far the best solution on the market.”

James Hodgson, Head of Commercial Payments, NatWest Group, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with SurePay to provide a first-to-market solution to HMRC that will help them reduce fraud and losses using the Confirmation of Payee service. NatWest is committed to combating fraud at all levels for our customers and are confident that this new technology will vastly reduce the cost of fraudulent and misdirected payments for this customer. NatWest is committed to investing in the development of new and innovative services which are API enabled to allow customers to embed them into their own business. Our work with HMRC and SurePay is an example of our commitment in this space.”

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