What name should be given out when receiving a payment... full legal name or preferred name?

What name do you think should be given out with my account number and sort code ( I’m assuming it’s never the same with Monzo users worldwide )…

Full legal name ( or the initials, for example J B Jazz)?

Or preferred name?

Whatever name is printed on the card, I would suggest.


It can be anything at present. I believe there is work being done to reject – or at least warn – when you’re sending funds to an account where the payee name differs to the name of the actual account. But right now you can add anything. (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/business-45900955)

e.g. the payee name for my Barclays current account in Monzo is “Barclays”.

Ok just to be clear. If someone wanted to send funds to my monzo account and I gave out my preferred name ( not my full legal name )… id still get the funds?

And will the payee be able to see my full legal name of funds are sent afterwards? Or I’ve got the privacy?

Currently there’s no check on the payee name. So the name can be “abcdefg” and the payment will go through.

As far as I’m aware it won’t change to your full name or preferred name on the senders end.

Although, as @mcmullen says, there’s work at the moment that will change the above. Soon, the payee’s name will be verified, and if there isn’t a match, the payment will fail. This is an industry wide initiative to help circumvent fraud.

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How would the initiative work if say for instance you are transferring between your own accounts I currently name my accounts to pay things like “Monzo Account” “Dozens Account” etc so I know where it is going. With the initiative this doesn’t appear like it would work would it?

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In the new system it will see if it matches the account name and give you an ok to proceed if it does.

If it’s fairly close to it, it’ll show you the account name you are sending to and say is this it? And give you the option to proceed or reject.

If it’s completely different then it won’t let the payment proceed at all.

@phildawson. So it still reveals your full legal name on the sender’s screen? Not your preferred names? So there’s no privacy at all? Hmm

In which case, what is the overall benefit? If you vaguely know someone’s name the system will remind you and let you go through anyway.

The issue also still stands of then having to remember each of your own personal accounts if you are “internally” transferring money - albeit I agree this is more of a can I be bothered issue.

Ok so I am getting payment from an unknown source and I wouldn’t want to use my legal name ( id rather give out the preferred name ) are you saying my legal name woukd be displayed on the senders screen?

I believe it has to be whatever the account name is set to which usually needs to be your legal name or business name. Rather than a preferred name.

I think it has to be a very high match to show it:

So if ‘Phil Dawson’ or ‘Phill Dawson’ or ‘Philip Dawson’ was entered it would ask please confirm you are sending to ‘Phillip Dawson’. Would you like to proceed?

If ‘Fred Dawson’ was entered it’ll just nope, and won’t show what it should have been.

So it’s either “Yes” :white_check_mark:, “No, please check” :question::thinking: or “No, the name is wrong” :x:

The benefit is just there to stop people falling victim to scams by pretending to be a person or business. This comes at a cost of privacy for the individual.

I should add this isn’t going to be coming in this year, it was meant for 1st July 2019 that the banks must send confirmation of payee but been delayed to 2020.

It’s probably a good chance they delay it again next year.

Edit: Closes 05 06 2019
Our proposed deadlines for introducing CoP are:

  • From 31 December 2019: Directed PSPs must respond to CoP requests.
  • From 31 March 2020: Directed PSPs must send CoP requests and present responses to their customers.

I believe so, if your legal name is the ‘account name’. I’m not sure on the rules of getting your ‘account name’ changed to something different without proof of an official name change like a marriage certificate or such.

It would obviously be a loop hole if I wanted to impersonate a ‘Joe Blogs’ to fool someone into sending me money and asked my bank can you set my name to ‘Joe Blogs’ they’d be like sure if you show us the deed poll doc as proof otherwise no dice.

It’ll be interesting to know if the rules allow substituting the ‘account name’ with a ‘preferred name’ field when the API is called, and if so Monzo will be planning on doing that? @Rika ?

When Confirmation of Payee goes live with Monzo, it will use preferred names.

We strongly believe that if someone sends you a payment, they should use the name you prefer to be known as. :slightly_smiling_face:


Out of curiosity - how will Monzo know that? (its been ages since I signed up so can’t remember what info I actually gave!).

Will legal names works as well or just preferred names?

Your preferred name is the one that shows everywhere in the app.

Your legal name is the one that must match some kind of ID or paperwork (including deed poll). It is not shown in the app but is used where we are legally required to (the key one unfortunately being the sender name when sending Faster Payments).

Both can be changed through customer support. In the majority of cases (and there are important exceptions to this), a preferred name should be a reasonable derivation of a legal name. The most common use is to shorten names (Alexander :arrow_right: Alex) and dropping middle names.

I’m not sure if we’ve made a decision on falling back to checking against legal names if a preferred name doesn’t match.

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Thanks @Rika for the speedy reply. Good to hear Monzo will be doing this. :+1:

Is this based on the chat advisors discretion? Or are there guidelines they follow when deciding?

Could I have either Lip, Fil, Pip, Phillbert, Phill, Phyllip, or Flip as my first name based on valid nick names of Phillip?

I assume a different surname wouldn’t pass? Or would you allow somebody with O’Sullivan to have just Sullivan? Or simplifying double-barrelled surnames? Or something like Jørgensen as Jorgensen

Could it be something different to ‘Phil’ if I preferred to be known by a different name that I hadn’t officially changed?

In my opinion if there is a validation process coming in place for Payee to be ‘Standardised’ then surely this should be the Legal Name (This should be what is on your Card) with Middle Initial at a guess.

All you have to do is pick the correct ‘Account’ that it goes to… You should still be able to put a ‘Reference’ of ‘Dozens Account’ so that’s what it shows up on your Statement. Me personally I can’t see it being an issue.

This however then opens a can of worms - of which I don’t think I have enough experience in to talk about effectively but one of the issues would be ‘dead-naming’ those who are in transition. Or on the other hand, those who just have never been called their legal name - I know someone whose real name is William - not even his parents call him that. As long as like @Rika says, it makes sense and isn’t just a nickname like “two beers will” then I think there is a happy medium.

Of course, if the most recent reference is clearly visible beside the account name and details - but if not then it is going to be a case of me having to remember lots of sort-codes :rofl:

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I should be clear that Confirmation of Payee is broadly just “are you really sending this to who you think you are sending it to?”.

It’s designed to be another line of defense against common scams that occur where someone is tricked into sending money to an account that a fraudster claims is a business or even the bank itself where it is actually the fraudster’s own account. It’s not trying to ensure that you have checked the ID of everybody you’re paying. :sweat_smile:

Your card is not a piece of ID, we give you the choice of putting your legal or preferred name on the card during signup (this option can be changed through support).

Names and identity are a complex topic, if you try to standardise anything, you’ll quickly create thousands of edge cases (my favourite assumption people make being that everybody has at least two components of their name).