Payments are blocked because the banks’ new security check has become a name game Capital

W.When the sale of Heather Lord’s house was completed, her transfer attorney attempted to transfer the money to her bank account. An automated message warned him that her name did not match the name on the account in which he was paying, and that the transfer would therefore be at his own risk. Lord was at a loss.

“I called the bank and asked who I was,” she says. “They told me I was Mrs. Heather Audrey Lord. The system rejected this too! Since we did not want to risk my money disappearing, I requested a check, it was transferred to Heather Lord, and it was processed without any problem.”

She is one of dozens Foreman Readers will be questioned about their identity after a new name-matching system adopted by banks refused to identify them.

A Confirm Payee (CoP) was introduced at the end of June to allow customers to verify that the name of the person they wish to pay matches the name on the account. Before that, systems only verified the account number and sort code. This gave fraudsters the freedom to disguise themselves as a trusted account holder and trick customers into transferring money.

With the increase in online fraud, the new scheme is designed to make bank transfers safer, and campaign activists claim they are long overdue. It should be simple: if a customer enters the name of an individual or company, as it appears in their bank account, the match – or partial match – must be confirmed. The problem is that it is so secure that some customers are unable to send or receive money without ignoring terrible warnings that they continue to operate on their own responsibility.

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Readers have reported angry builders, car reservations, delayed home sales and lost wages because the protocols used by different banks do not always match.

Louise Abbott-Little was unable to get a payment because the sender’s bank considered her name too long for a match, while Judith Mallinson found out that her corporate name had been extended by her bank for matching purposes. “Our business is called BowWowMiaow Doggy Day Care, which can be tough enough to get it right,” she says. “Our bank insists that the name on our trading account is BowWowMiaow Doggy Day Care Ltd. T / A BowWowMiaow Dog and we have received reports from two people that they were unable to prepare the payments.”

Some systems do not recognize initials, relative family names, or conjunctions. Some require a middle name or surname, even when they’re not included on bank statements, while joint account holders find that only one name – often a man’s name – is accepted for matching purposes.

Robert May shares an account with his partner. “A friend tried to transfer money using my partner’s full name, using and without the middle initial, and it failed in all cases. It only worked when they changed my name,” he says.

Celia Pillai was frustrated when she tried to transfer money from her account to a joint account with another bank that she kept with her husband. “I have failed the CoP test five times, even when I used the account name as printed in the checkbook,” she says. “I was told at the end that the payee, for the purpose of this system, was only the main account holder. I don’t know how I was supposed to know this.”

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Banks state that the name must be entered as it appears on the account, which leaves customers guessing when the trade name is different from the registered name, or if there is a personal address listed. Wilfred Underwood tried in vain to pay the only companies and merchants who used the name on invoices. “I can give someone my name from my bank statement, my debit card, my checkbook, or my credit card – only two are the same!”

Clients can choose to bypass the mismatch message and proceed, but they are warned that their money may not be recovered if it ends up in the wrong account.

Lucy Walsh says she had to either ignore this message or endure long waits on the bank’s helpline on multiple occasions, when a properly formatted name was marked as invalid. On each occasion, despite the caveat, the amount was deposited into the intended account. “I am concerned that this system, in its current form, is protecting banks rather than clients,” she says. Clients can only complete the transaction by ignoring the bank’s warning, thus freeing the bank from any liability. If the amount is large, I transfer a small trial payment and contact the recipient. “

Banks tend to blame each other. Freelance worker Machteld de Waard was left out of her pocket because a Lloyds customer was unable to bypass CoP to pay on her nationwide account. Many calls to nationally Failed to solve it.

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When Foreman It stepped in, Nationwide blamed Lloyds for incorrectly inserting a comma, and Lloyds blamed Nationwide for not allowing at least a partial match. Nationwide eventually paid £ 100 goodwill and admitted that matching protocols and algorithms are complex, and that banks are still looking for an ideal approach.

The retail payments authority, Pay.uk, has set the rules and standards for CoP and says it is an important step to protect customers due to approved payment fraud, as customers are deceived into paying money into a fraudulent account, which rose by more than 40% last year, and its cost was 455 million pounds. Sterling.

“There is a set of industry-wide rules and standards for CoP, but within these there is a degree of flexibility for individual banks to develop their own matching standards. This reflects the fact that different banks use different name formats.” The cases of clients having problems are very low compared to the number of requests made. Successfully processed. As a best practice, customers should use their full first name (not initials) and last name, or the full name of the business they are paying.

Reader Joe Driscoll despair. Three people failed to get a matching name when trying to transfer payments from three different banks, even after their bank confirmed the correct formula.

“They all paid the money anyway, after they were warned that it was at their own risk, and the money arrived safely,” she says. “If others are not prepared to take the same risk, I will not get paid. Checks are gradually being canceled, so where do we go from here?”

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