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Modulr Launches Confirmation of Payee to Help Crack Down on Fraud

The fintech Modulr has today launched Confirmation of Payee, a fraud prevention initiative spearheaded by Pay.UK, it is officially the first non-bank or building society to do so.

The feature provides an extra layer of defence to protect Modulr’s customers from malicious redirect payment fraud, also known as authorised push payment (APP) fraud. This is the second Modulr product launch to come out of its £10m grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) under the RBS Alternative Remedies package. Modulr, an authorised electronic money institution, is the first non-bank or building society to join Confirmation of Payee after the mandated institutions.

APP fraud describes when a person is tricked into approving a payment to a fraudster’s account, through social engineering, manipulation or deceit. These scams cost businesses and consumers millions every year – and there’s often little recourse to get back stolen money.

That’s because with push payments, users enter the beneficiary’s details and there’s an assumption of trust before the payment is made – as opposed to pull payments such as card-present payments where the user is generally protected by chargeback rights, or Direct Debits.

With Confirmation of Payee, Modulr’s customers will have greater assurance their payments are going to the right recipient when they’re paying a business or personal account. Confirmation of Payee calls on Modulr’s API and automatically checks that the recipient’s name and account details match the information held by their payment service provider.

If the details don’t match, the user will be warned so they can confirm the details with the person or organisation they’re trying to pay. Not only does this help protect against fraud, it also helps to avoid simple mistakes like accidentally mistyping account details when setting up a beneficiary.

The benefits for businesses will be significant. Confirmation of Payee can dramatically reduce the risk of direct financial losses incurred by fraud. It can also save operational costs by reducing the number of payments that need to be investigated or recalled.

Confirmation of Payee will be a powerful tool in industries such as lending. Lenders often rely on bank validation tools to protect themselves against fraud – but these are expensive, can become outdated, and are easy for fraudsters to opt-out of. Confirmation of Payee provides a much more reliable and cost-effective alternative, as it draws on the payee’s bank data in real-time.

Confirmation of Payee will also have a strong impact in the alternative banking sector. Neobanks are fighting two battles when it comes to fraud – they must protect their customers from becoming victims of scams and prevent customers from using their accounts to commit fraud. CoP can help to fight back against both, protecting the reputation of neobanks and their customers.

Myles Stephenson, Chief Executive and founder of Modulr, says: “We’re committed to delivering the very latest innovation in payments to our customers, and I’m delighted that we are the first non-bank or building society to offer Confirmation of Payee. Thousands of consumers and businesses fall victim to social engineering scams every year in the UK. Modulr is always looking for ways to help our customers keep their money safe.

“We’re pleased to announce the launch of Confirmation of Payee offers greater assurance to businesses and consumers when making payments. This is a crucial step forward in the ongoing battle against fraud and it’s going to help us build a safer payments ecosystem in the UK.”

Brian Cunnington, SME for the CoP project team, Pay.UK says: “We are delighted to see Confirmation of Payee now making a difference in the UK payments environment. The new service offers protection for consumers through the account name checking service, reducing errors and fraudulent misdirection of funds.”

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