All things Confirmation of Payee
Welcome to our 5th CoP Newsletter!
New HMRC Contract for Confirmation of Payee
On Friday 26th February, the HMRC issued a Tender Notice for Confirmation of Payee. The value is £9m, over three years starting 24th June 2021. Submissions need to be in by 29th of March. Interested in knowing more? You can find the listing on the UK Government's Contracts Finder service here, and the summary is below;
'The Authority [HMRC] has identified a requirement for the provision of confirmation of payment services in order to enable our customers to easily make bank transactions to and from the Authority.'
The Tender Notice itself can be accessed here. I think we can expect to hear a lot more from HMRC over the next months and years - large organisation they may be, but they have real ambitions to make payments and tax processing much more reliable, straightforward and easier in future. How long before we start hearing about the 'tax-compliant bank account'?
Phases 1 and 2 in CoP
The picture around Phases 1 and 2 continues to evolve. Recently the OB Directory went live with the Phase 2 implementation, which is good news. The actual launch of the service to participants however is not for some time. Phase 2 is (we gather) likely to be in several stages (I shall try and avoid using the word 'Phase' again here!) Stage 1 is planned to commence in July with what appears to be little or no change in functionality over Phase 1 except presumably the availability of a CoP-only role. What it does do however is enable on-boarding of new participants and parallel running. At some point everyone (including the PSR6) shall be on Phase 2, and speculation is that this could be by the end of this year. Onboarding to the new service continues to be a concern, but by then Dynamic Client Registration (DCR) should be in place. Even if achieved, that does not actually solve the headache - some Banks for example may have a DCR process, but have it backed up by an additional manual process that can take weeks.
The second stage of Phase 2 is around Q1 2022, and involves enabling the use of 'Secondary Reference Data' - this is when Financial Institutions such a Building Societies with Role Numbers can join. I can't help feeling that is way too long. The messages returned to a calling Bank when the called Bank is unable to confirm a Payee is a poor user experience and reflects badly on the called Bank - even though they may be totally unable to do anything about it yet. What this is basically saying is that the incumbent Banks have a user experience competitive edge over the challengers for at least the next year.
We Are Famous (Well Not Really)!
We were delighted to be able to contribute to an article on CoP in the Daily Express a few weeks ago. The level of public interest in this topic is quite impressive, and real. Just goes to show that CoP is not a dry topic as so many in the Financial Services world are - people are interested and expect it to be there!
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