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Verification Of Payee

The Verification Of Payee (VOP) scheme provides a set of inter-payment service provider (PSP) rules, practices and standards in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)  to be complied with by participants who adhere to the scheme. It also sets minimum conditions required in the Payment Service User (PSU)-to-PSP space. The technical Inter-PSP space specifications for the VOP scheme will be based on Application Programming Interface (API) technology that makes use of ISO 20022 resource elements.

The Scheme is applicable in the countries listed in the EPC List of SEPA Scheme Countries.

How the VOP scheme works?

The scheme allows the PSP of the payer (the Requesting PSP) to instantly send to the PSP of the payee (the Responding PSP), a request to verify the IBAN and the name of the payee as given by the payer (the Requester), and potentially in addition, an unambiguous identification code (e.g., Value-Added Tax (VAT) number, an Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), social security code) about that payee. The reason for this request is that the payer intends to initiate a SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) or a SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) transaction to the payee. 

The Responding PSP will then instantly verify whether the received data match with the concerned data registered for that payee at the Responding PSP. The Responding PSP immediately provides the Requesting PSP with a VOP response (e.g., match, no match, close match with the name of the payee, match/verification check not possible). The Requesting PSP then immediately passes on the response to the payer.

The scheme has been in first instance developed to support PSPs in SEPA who will be required to comply with legal obligations on the verification of a payee in the case of credit transfers as outlined in the future EU Instant Payments Regulation (IPR) amending the SEPA Regulation.

The scheme also provides a common basis on which VOP scheme participants and other VOP scheme-based solution providers can offer new and innovative services.

The scheme provides PSPs with a messaging functionality. It is not a payment means or a payment instrument but it allows the payer to verify certain data about a payee. It cannot be relied upon to identify a private or a legal person. 

VOP scheme evolution calendar:  

  • Between 20 February and 19 May 2024
    Three-month public consultation on a draft VOP scheme rulebook
     
  • September 2024
    Publication of the first VOP scheme rulebook (entering into force on 05 October 2025)