Save, make, understand money


Three changes Nationwide will make to your account in January

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Nationwide Building Society is updating the terms and conditions for current account holders in the New Year. Here are three changes you need to be aware of.

The mutual confirmed the majority of T&C changes come into effect from 16 January 2023 and will impact current account holders.

Here are three changes you need to be aware of:

1) Withdrawal of Paym

Paym is a mobile payments service which launched in 2014, allowing customers of registered banks and building societies under the scheme to send money to contacts using just their mobile number.

Pay.UK together with the UK’s 15 banks and building societies that use Paym announced that the service will permanently close to customers on 7 March 2023.

This is due to “the rapid evolution in payments technology and services” and because “payment volumes have diminished over the past three years as fewer people sign up to use the service”.

However, Nationwide confirmed it is withdrawing this service two months earlier, adding that the decision was made before the industry exit date was agreed.

A Nationwide spokesperson said: “We started offering Paym back in 2014 as a new way to send and receive payments. However, only a tiny proportion (0.1%) of our current account members actively use Paym, with the overwhelming majority instead using faster payments.

“As a result, we are withdrawing from the Paym scheme from January 2023 to focus on the core payment services our members value and are using. Nearly all members (98%) who use Paym already send payments via faster payments, which they can continue to use going forward.”

The mutual added that as soon as it has more details, including the exact date of withdrawal, it will update the Nationwide Paym web link, and will write directly to members who are signed up to the service.

Instead, customers will be able to send money using faster payments. Nationwide added: “Even though you won’t be able to use Paym to make a payment from your current account, you’ll still be able to use our banking app, internet bank or branches or use open banking services to send money to someone using the faster payments service.”

Further, Paym will send you a text message if someone tries to pay you using their service after Nationwide has left it. No money will leave that person’s account. Nationwide suggests you should contact the person trying to pay you to find a different way for them to send you money.

2) Refusal of payments

Nationwide will be able to refuse to make a payment if it thinks it’s a scam or if it’s to a recipient who it “reasonably considers” may be “acting unlawfully”. This could include where the recipient is included on regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority’s Unregistered cryptoasset business, for example.

It said: “We won’t be responsible for any losses that may arise as a result”. This relates to consequential losses, such as where a gambling or crypto transaction is blocked due to fraud concerns. Nationwide confirmed it would not cover any loss from that transaction not taking place.

A UK Finance spokesperson, said: “Fraud has a devastating impact on victims and the money stolen funds serious organised crime, so the banking industry’s primary focus is always on stopping these scams happening in the first place. Banks have invested heavily in advanced technology to protect customers and hundreds of millions of pounds has been reimbursed to thousands of customers since the introduction of the APP [Authorised Push Payment] code.

“The industry is working closely with government and law enforcement to crack down on the criminals responsible and we continue to stress the need for cross-sector action, including online platforms, to help tackle the threat.”

Just last month, The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) confirmed plans for about 400 more financial firms to sign up to anti-fraud measure Confirmation of Payee (CoP). It is designed to reduce APP fraud in bank transfers by checking the name on the recipient’s account matches the details a payer has given to their bank. The name check tells payers whether there is a match or not. This means people can more easily spot when something isn’t right.

As part of its changes to keep customers safe, Nationwide will also be able to stop payments in and out of your account, or block access, for safety reasons.

This includes where you’ve not used your account for 12 consecutive months and it’s not been able to contact you.

It could also freeze your account where mail has been returned to it for as long, and until, you give it your new address.

“It’s really important that you tell us as soon as possible if you move house,” Nationwide said.

3) VISA exchange rates for overseas card use

Visa has changed the way it calculates the exchange rate which applies to most foreign currency debit card payments and cash withdrawals.

In most cases, it now uses the exchange rate which applies on the day you authorise the card payment. Before this change, it used the exchange rate which applied on the date it received details of each payment from the retailer or cash machine owner, which could have been later than the date you authorised the card payment.

Katie Brain, consumer banking expert at business ratings agency Defaqto explained that this move provides users with more certainty of the exchange rate they will be paying. But she added that as the FlexAccount and FlexDirect have a 2.99% charge for using debit cards overseas, customers may want to check out other fee-free alternatives on the market.