To mark Financial Capability Week, Paym has taken a closer look into what consumers across the UK are most nervous about when it comes to talking about financial affairs. New research for the UK’s mobile payments service reveals sharing a sort code and account number is a scary prospect for three out of four Brits, with almost three quarters (74%) saying it makes them feel anxious.

Incredibly, it seems more people would be happy to share their most personal secret, with only half (50%) feeling anxious at the thought of revealing such intimate information. And while it may be a traditional taboo, Brits are also more relaxed about sharing their salary details – only 37% of people said they would be anxious revealing this information.

Britain’s top five secrets:

  1. Account number and sort code – 74%
  2. A personal secret – 50%
  3. Salary details – 37%
  4. Home address – 27%
  5. Secret fear – 27%

The good news for anyone who is anxious about disclosing their sort code and account number is that Paym makes it possible to send and receive payments straight to a bank account using just a mobile number.


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The service has the added benefit of letting the person sending a payment verify the name of the recipient before they confirm, so they can check they have used the correct mobile number and are sending money to the right person. Paym is offered by seventeen banks and building societies, making it possible to send a payment to a mobile number from more than nine out of ten current accounts in the UK.

Unsurprisingly, people are most reluctant to share their sort code and account number with a stranger – only two per cent of people would be prepared to do so.  However, the fear factor is not just limited to strangers – one in six (15%) would not share their sort code and account number with their closest friend and only 13% would share them with their closest family member.

For anyone that does not use Paym but does want to receive any other type of electronic payment, it is sometimes necessary to share a sort code and account number, as this is the information used to address the payment. But it is important to remember there is lots of financial information that you should NEVER share.

Take Five, the national anti-fraud campaign, has five top tips to stay safe from financial fraud:

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  2. Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
  3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
  4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
  5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.

Craig Tillotson, Executive Chairman of Paym, said:

It’s really important to think before you act if you’re asked for your personal or financial details, or to transfer money  – and you should never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password. 

“For anyone that’s worried about sharing their sort code or account number, these days there’s no need. Paym makes it possible to get paid straight into your account using just your mobile number. No sort code, no account number, no problem.”