Prove it's yours!

I’ve been asked by a client wishing to make payment if I can prove that my Starling Bank account is indeed one registered to my company. It seems a very fair question, but what do you suggest might prove it?

Most things I can think of could easily be faked!

Isn’t that what the Confirmation of Payee system is designed for?


What an odd request. Are they worried you aren’t who you say you are?

Not sure what would be best in that instance. You can generate a one day statement (would reduce what’s shown on it) for him.

CoP clearly as well would be the ideal thing for this. Maybe test what is valid if you’re a sole trader.

I don’t really understand otherwise… he could call you directly then he knows it’s you giving him your bank details. Does he expect your going to defraud yourself somehow…

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This sounds like a trust issue between you and your client. Why would the client make a point of asking you to prove your bank account is yours?

Or is this just because your client isn’t familiar or has actually heard or even know that Starling Bank is a fully licensed regulated UK bank? I wonder, if you were asking the client to pay to one of the High Street legacy banks, would they be asking the same question?

Perhaps you should ask your client to prove they are who they say they are.

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You ask them to make a nominal deposit with a unique code that they don’t tell you. You then advise them what the code is when it appears on your statement. A la Paypal authentication. QED


For confirmation of payee:
Sole trader accounts have to use your Personal name. (This led to a very confused customer last week)
Limited companies company name.

Authorised push payment fraud is a real problem. Perhaps this client has been stung before? @thewinelake doesn’t say how much the client is looking to send but I think it’s reasonable for them to want to make sure it’s going to the right place.

@Apache’s suggestion of a nominal deposit with a unique reference is good. That said, it wouldn’t prove the account is actually registered to the business name. If the client wants proof of that specifically, then a redacted statement should suffice. Don’t know why they’d want to check that though.

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I don’t know if this client has had a problem before, but I do know that it’s a real problem. If only banks had the equivalent of SSL certificates where one could specify the name of the company that the money was for and check it out.
It’s not a huge amount of money.
The only reason the client is suspicious is that our normal HSBC account has been frozen (someone - I don’t know who - deposited some money there fraudulently. It was recovered, but left a stain on our reputation). I told them via a support ticket that they could use our Starling account (which we generally keep away from public view) as I trust them (they’re a longtime customer). I don’t think the customer regards us as dodgy as such, but it’s fair to say that this is an irregular occurrence.

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In fact it’s more that a small deposit of the appropriate amount could be credited to their account on our system - that would prove that, if it was a fraud, it was an all-pervasive one!

You could do this yourself, but there’s a lot of manual steps. you can sign the details of your business accounts with a pgp key, but you’ll need to give them your public key probably in person so they know it’s your key. And they’ll need to know how to check signatures.

There’s not many other ways to do such a thing with the same amount of confidence in trusting the keys. That’s also why it’s never become popular outside very security sensitive needs as it’s to combersome for them average person.

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A phone call is not a bad idea.

Perhaps suggest they send a cheque if they are concerned about using bank details they haven’t seen before and which are not publicly associated with your business

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