Do you need to check your business customers’ bank account ownership?

In a previous blog I discussed the case for checking the ownership of business bank account details when setting up and paying suppliers. But what if the businesses you are paying are not suppliers but beneficiaries?

Who does this affect?

There are a number of reasons why you might be paying other businesses, particularly if you are a bank, financial services or insurance company. The kinds of payments you may make to your customers can include business loans, insurance claim settlements and commercial mortgages. Those making payments in the form of business grants will also be affected as will legal companies who are acting on behalf of corporate clients, particularly in property and conveyancing matters.

What problems are businesses experiencing?

When making business to business payments to beneficiaries the issues you may need to tackle fall into two main areas:

  1. Avoiding fraud
    Fraudsters may attack using tactics such as phishing and social engineering to replace the bank account details of your genuine business customers with their own. There are of course legitimate reasons why your customers might want to update the bank account details they supply you with and so spotting the often convincing approach by a fraudster can be difficult.
  2. Improving efficiency
    When setting up accounts, the faster and more efficiently you can do this, the better for you and your customers. You will need to be sure that you are entering the correct bank account data for your client, traditionally this has involved asking for paper based proofs which you then need to process and securely manage. In entering information such as bank account numbers and sort codes into your system it is relatively common for mis-hearing and mis-keying to occur, this error can lead to costly payment failure if not corrected before a payment is initiated.

How can electronic bank account verification help?

By independently making the link between your customer and their bank account you can be sure that you are only making payments to legitimate beneficiaries. This will reduce your fraud risk and also ensure that your genuine customers receive the payments expected.

By checking the validity of bank account data at account set up and verifying electronically that the bank account details of your customer are genuinely theirs, you will be able to streamline the account set up process, make it more reliable and offer better customer experience.

Electronically checking the ownership of UK business bank accounts is a new approach which could revolutionise how you set up and pay business beneficiaries as well as protect you from significant losses. For more information about Bank Wizard Absolute for checking business bank account details please click here to email us.