APP Scams Steering Group publishes consultation responses

The APP Scams Steering Group has today published the responses to its consultation on a draft voluntary code to better protect consumers from authorised push payment (APP) scams.

A total of 53 consultation responses were received, including submissions from consumer groups, payment service providers (PSPs), trade associations, public bodies, media organisations and members of the public. The Steering Group is now considering the diverse range of responses as it looks to publish the revised code as quickly as possible.

In an APP scam, a criminal tricks an account holder into authorising a payment to another account. The draft voluntary code aims to reduce the occurrence of APP scams and the harm caused to victims, setting out how consumers can take reasonable steps to protect themselves, whilst giving them greater levels of protection and support from their banks.

The consultation on the draft voluntary code set out several outstanding issues that need to be resolved. The Steering Group is continuing to work to address these issues, taking into account the responses received. The Steering Group has also established four working groups to look at these issues in more detail:

  • Evidential Approach Working Group: focussed on producing recommended guidelines for PSPs to show compliance with the voluntary code, and the evidence expected from consumers in meeting their standard of care under the code.
  • Contingent Reimbursement Funding Working Group: tasked with identifying and recommending possible sources of funding for reimbursement where a victim of an APP scam has met the requisite level of care, and so should be reimbursed, but neither the sending or receiving PSP has breached any standards.
  • Reimbursement Process Flow Working Group: tasked with recommending guidelines to the Steering Group on the processes around consumer reimbursement under the code.
  • Timeline Working Group: tasked with providing recommendations to the Steering Group for the implementation planning of the final code.

The retail banks represented on the steering group have already begun to implement some of the standards set out in the draft code, such as the introduction of effective customer warnings.

Ruth Evans, independent chair of the steering group said:

“We know the devastating impact authorised push payment scams can have on their victims and the steering group is united in its determination to tackle these crimes and improve protection for consumers.

“That is why it is essential that we get the voluntary code right and it is clear from the consultation responses there are a number of matters still to consider. We are, however, acutely aware that time is of the essence and we are working hard to resolve these issues swiftly.”

– ENDS –

Press contacts

Portland PR

Charles Reith: +44 7597 575 664 | charles.reith@portland-communications.com

Nick Hargrave: +44 7496 841 375 | nick.hargrave@portland-communications.com

Notes to editors

  1. The Authorised Push Payment Scams Steering Group is led by an independent chair appointed by, and directly accountable to, the Payment Systems Regulator. Members of the steering group are appointed by the Chair and include an equal number of representatives of payment service providers and consumers – those key stakeholder groups that will be impacted by the introduction of the code.
  2. For administration reasons, the Payment Services Regulator collected consultation responses on behalf of the APP Scams Steering Group. A total of 53 consultation responses were received, of which two were submitted confidentially. The remaining 51 responses are available to view here.
  3. The draft voluntary code was issued for full consultation on 28 September 2018.
  4. Statistics released by UK Finance in September 2018 showed that, in the first half of 2018, consumers lost £92.9 million due to authorised push payment scams.