What is UPIC?
Universal Payment Identification Codes (UPICs) are unique account identifiers that mimic and take the place of real account numbers on electronic (ACH) payments. They allow organizations to store external payee payment instructions internally, without exposing sensitive information. They also allow organizations to receive more payments electronically and protect corporate accounts from fraud by reducing the risk of unauthorized ACH debits, demand drafts, and fraudulent checks on corporate accounts. They are managed and maintained by participating financial institutions.
Why is it important?
As of June 30th, 2020, issuers of ISO20022 and NACHA payments will be required to mask payee bank account information through UPIC/URT numbers.
Who will be affected??
These required changes will affect all issuers of electronic (ACH) payment transactions (i.e. ISO20022 and NACHA). Companies are currently using UPICs in over 30 industries, including health services, education, and agriculture.
Key Considerations/Roadblocks to utilization?
UPIC numbers are currently only available for credit payments; all debits are blocked. They are also used in conjunction only with the universal routing number and cannot be used with a bank’s transit number.
Next steps for those needing to consider UPIC integration?
There are no required system changes with UPIC integration. Organizations only need to obtain UPICs and Universal Routing Numbers (URTs) from a participating financial institution and communicate them to trading partners and customers.