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Payments And Transfers - Payee Verification FAQs - Citi UK

Payments and Transfers

Payee verification FAQs

How does Payee Verification work?

To keep your finances secure online, Citi operates a 2-step activation process for adding a new payee with any UK bank account or International Citi account. You will be unable to make payments to new payees until they have been activated.

Step 1. Enter your payee's details and confirm.
Step 2. Activate your new payee via an SMS Activation Code we send to your mobile telephone.

Why is Citi adopting Payee Verification?

As a bank it is our priority to protect you and your account against fraud, and Payee Verification is an extra security measure we’re introducing to make it even safer for you to bank online. We use it to confirm it’s you who have requested to add a new payee so that funds will be transferred to the external account you intended.

If you have malicious software on your computer, there’s a risk someone else may be able to access your online account details and transfer money from your accounts to their own. By verifying your new payees, we can help stop unauthorised transactions on your account, giving you the peace of mind that your account is safe.

Why is Citi using SMS messages and not email for Payee Verification?

We use SMS messages to verify payments as we believe it’s more secure. If a fraudster has managed to find out what your Citi Online sign-on details are, there’s a chance they have also gained access to your email passwords. It’s less likely however that they will have access to your mobile phone and be able to access your SMS messages.

What services on Citi Online are affected by Payee Verification?

Only the process of adding a new payee via Citi Online is affected.

What happens if you don't have a mobile phone, can't get mobile phone reception, or the mobile phone we have stored for you is wrong - how else can you add a payee?

If this is the case, you will not be able to add new payees via Citi Online. To update your mobile phone information or add new payees please call CitiPhone with your t-PIN (0800 00 55 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5500; if you are a Citigold customer call the Citigold Servicing Team on 0800 00 56 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5600).

Please note: any updates to your mobile phone information will take up to 2 working days to process.

What should you do if the SMS Activation Code you enter online doesn’t work, or you enter it incorrectly?

An error message only appears when the incorrect code has been entered. The codes are unique, so please make sure you are entering the correct code for the payee you are trying to add. You have three attempts to enter the code correctly, and if all three fail you will need to request a new code or call CitiPhone with your t-PIN (0800 00 55 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5500; if you are a Citigold customer call the Citigold Servicing Team on 0800 00 56 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5600).

How long does it take for the SMS Activation Code to arrive?

Most SMS Activation Codes arrive within 1 minute. If you are experiencing issues or need to add a payee urgently, please call CitiPhone with your t-PIN (0800 00 55 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5500; if you are a Citigold customer call the Citigold Servicing Team on 0800 00 56 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5600).

What should you do if you receive an SMS Activation Code you have not requested?

Please call CitiPhone immediately with your t-PIN (0800 00 55 00, if calling from abroad dial+44 20 7500 5500; if you are a Citigold customer call the Citigold Servicing Team on 0800 00 56 00, if calling from abroad dial +44 20 7500 5600), as an unexpected message of this type could indicate your Citi Online sign-on details have been compromised and someone else may be attempting to fraudulently transfer money from your account.

Do you need to remember the SMS Activation Code for the future?

No, it’s a one-off unique code used only to activate a new payee and will then expire. If you add another payee you will receive another unique SMS Activation Code.

The SMS Activation Code will expire when you log out of Citi Online yourself, navigate away from activate payee screen or automatically after the 6 minutes of inactivity (you will be prompted after 5 minutes of inactivity). When this happens, you will need to request a new code.

How does Payee Verification work overseas?

If you are abroad or have an international mobile phone, you will still receive the SMS Activation Code so the process will not change.