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What is Confirmation of Payee?

'Confirmation of Payee' helps protect our customers from 'authorised push payment scams'. This is where people are tricked into sending money to fraudsters pretending to be someone they're not. As well as protecting you from some types of fraud, it also confirms if you’re sending money to a valid account.

When setting up a new payee or new standing orders, or amending an existing payment you’ll see one of the following messages:

Details matched: The name of the account holder, account type and number, as well as any relevant reference you’ve entered, match those held at the payee’s bank

Close match: The name you’ve entered closely matches the details held at the payee’s bank.

We’ll show you the actual account name if this closely matches, to help you decide whether or not to send the money or edit the details and try again.

Not matched
: The name, account type, account number or relevant reference doesn’t match the details on the account.

Reference not recognised: Some organisations need a specific reference, e.g. a roll number for some building society accounts, or a 16 digit card number when paying a credit card bill.

For these payments, when you enter a sort code and account number, the reference will be checked to ensure the account name is correct (enter the account holder's name into the payee box, not the organisation name).

For all other payments this will remain an optional field and can be used as normal to help the payee identify who a payment is from.

If the details you enter don’t match or are not recognised, try going back to the person or organisation you're trying to pay to confirm their info. Double check their details before sending any money, as you may not get it back if you send payment to the wrong payee.

The best way to contact them is on the phone, rather than replying to an email. Fraudsters sometimes set up email addresses of the person or small business you’re trying to pay. Use a telephone number from a trusted source or, an official website (if paying a business).


You might also see one of these messages:

Unable to name check: The bank or financial service provider your payee banks with may not be registered with the Confirmation of Payee service.

Account not found
: You may have entered the account number or sort code incorrectly or the account may not exist.


Fraud alert

Don’t fall victim to a scam. Criminals pretend to be people you trust, like a company you’d pay bills to, the police or even first direct.

first direct will never ask you to move money, but criminals will. Find out more by visiting firstdirect.com/help/security-centre.

Be aware that fraudsters might try convince you to ignore the Confirmation of Payee outcome. If you feel uneasy that something isn’t right, please get in touch with us on  03 456 100 100, any time, day or night.

Confirmation of Payee - Outbound Payments - FAQs