PSR’s New Reimbursement Requirement and Lessons for UK Banks from European Counterparts

The Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) new reimbursement requirements for UK banks and payment firms, in the backdrop of rising Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, could mark a fundamental shift in the UK’s financial ecosystem. To maintain trust in the digital payments space, UK banks and payment companies can draw inspiration from the success of European banks and their adoption of innovations like bank-verified digital identity. 

Understanding APP Fraud and the need for change 

APP fraud happens when individuals are deceived into sending money to fraudulent entities posing as legitimate payees. It cost UK customers and banks £485 million in 2022. The ever-growing volume of online transactions and the fact that 97% of APP fraud occurs over Faster Payment systems underscores the urgency of these directives.   

In 2024, the PSR is set to implement two vital changes

1. Customer Reimbursement Requirement: Reimburse all in-scope customers who fall victim to APP fraud.  

2. Shared Cost Burden: The cost of reimbursing victims of fraud will be evenly split (50:50) between sending and receiving banks. 

Empowering Banks through Digital Identity Verification 
This change could raise the cost of fraud by 66% for banks and payment companies. The need to explore innovative ways is more pressing than ever. These new technologies should be adopted with the view to shift the focus to prevention over detection. Implementing rigorous fraud prevention measures that will deter fraudsters much before they reach the payment rails – instead of reacting to it after the fact.  

Bank-verified digital identity services are the simplest way of doing this and are already being used widely in Europe. Bank-verified digital identity verification uses the bank to check and validate the details entered by an individual – in real time.  

APP Fraud

The Success of Bank-verified Digital Identity in Europe

European countries, especially the Nordics, have been at the forefront of implementing bank-verified digital identity solutions, offering valuable lessons for the UK: 

BankID in Sweden: What started as a 24-hour service to validate their identity online has become a way of life for Swedish citizens. Sweden's BankID has witnessed exceptional adoption, averaging two uses per day for every adult and facilitating a staggering 6 billion transactions annually. This attests to the trust and security that bank-endorsed digital identity solutions bring to everyday transactions.

BankID in Norway: Norway has the same name – BankID – for its version of bank-verified digital identification services. It started with the Norwegian Banking Sector coming together to create a joint infrastructure in 2004. Today, over 4.5 million people use the service to verify their identity online. The use of the system has also brought down payment fraud from
1% to 0.00042% of transactions.  

itsme in Belgium: With over 6.5 million users, itsme® has become a cornerstone of digital identification in Belgium, overseeing 25 to 35 million monthly actions. Its widespread adoption across various sectors showcases the versatility and practicality of a bank-verified digital identity system. 

OneID®, Securing UK’s Digital Infrastructure 

Drawing inspiration from these European success stories, the UK has the potential to revolutionise its digital ecosystem. OneID® stands ready to verify approximately 50 million UK citizens, filling the gap in the country's digital landscape. By instilling confidence in online interactions, OneID® could pave the way for a safer and more efficient era of digital transactions. 

Banks and payment companies in the UK should look at PSR's new reimbursement requirements as an opportunity to shift their approach to combating Authorised Push Payment fraud. The industry must not only adapt but also innovate. Learning from the success of bank-verified digital identity solutions in Europe provides a blueprint for the UK to follow. By embracing robust identity verification tools like OneID®, the nation can fortify its digital ecosystem, making online transactions safer and more secure for all stakeholders. 

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