Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the UPIC.
1. What is a UPIC?
A UPIC (Universal Payment Identification Code) is a banking address used to receive electronic credit payments. A UPIC acts exactly like a bank account number, however the UPIC protects your sensitive banking information. Your actual bank account number and your bank's routing/transit number are masked by the UPIC, which is used in conjunction with the URT (Universal Routing/Transit) number. Only credits to your account can be initiated with a UPIC. All debits are blocked, increasing security and control.
2. Why would I want UPICs?
UPICs provide important benefits to corporate customers:
- UPICs mask confidential banking information, reducing the risk of fraud while facilitating secure electronic payments.
- UPICs are restricted to credit payments, preventing unauthorized debits.
3. Does having a UPIC require my company or my trading partners to make system changes?
No, UPICs are used exactly like bank account numbers. Therefore, they work with your current processes and systems without changes.
4. Can my known suppliers use my UPIC to direct debit me as they do now?
No, the UPIC is a credit only payment method. You must give your actual account information to the suppliers that you authorize for direct debits.
5. Who maintains the UPIC information?
The information in the UPIC database is updated daily by the financial institution that maintains the bank account to which the UPIC is linked.
6. Does the UPIC replace my account number?
No. The UPIC masks your account number but does not replace it.
7. Can UPICs be used to originate wire payments as well as ACH payments?
Initially UPICs will be used only for ACH payments.
8. Will the UPIC work in conjunction with my bank's routing number?
No, UPIC payments must be originated with the URT (Universal Routing/Transit) number. Payments originated with a UPIC and your bank's routing number will be returned.
9. What effort does it take to implement UPICs? Where do I get them?
Implementing a UPIC is easy. Simply obtain the UPIC from a participating bank and communicate it to your trading partners, along with the URT (Universal Routing/Transit) number. It generally takes one business day for UPICs to become activated, depending upon your bank's policy.
10. Who has access to my UPIC information?
Selected employees at your bank, who are authorized to maintain UPICs, have the ability to view and change information on your UPIC record. Other banks, if they have been given the UPIC number, have view-only access to a limited amount of non-sensitive UPIC information.
11. What kind of security and controls does the UPIC database have?
Only participating banks can connect to the UPIC database, through a dedicated and secure data line. Users are authenticated and all messages are encrypted.