fraud prevention, fraud, cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Europe Trending

HMRC Set To Carry Out Bulk Checks Against All Its Outbound Payments, via Natwest and Surepay’s API

In the UK, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is one of the most important departments in the government as it is responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support, the administration of other regulatory regimes including the national minimum wage and the issuance of national insurance numbers. With this in mind, protecting it from fraud and misdirected payments is extremely important: NatWest Group and SurePay have partnered to introduce Confirmation of Payee (CoP) to HMRC, allowing it to dynamically check high volumes of outbound payee details using a direct access Application Programming Interface (API).

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 major UK payment distributor, HMRC will now be able to carry out bulk checks against all its outbound payments, via an API. This API improves efficiency by ensuring the recipient payee’s details match those registered to the account outside of the payment process.

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. The bank is extending its relationship with the UK Government further, by partnering with its CoP partner SurePay to create this first to market solution, which will improve security, speed, and reduce 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.”


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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