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An International Secret Spy Answers Your Questions About the Universal Payment Identification Code


September 22, 2020

An International Secret Spy Answers Your Questions About the Universal Payment Identification Code (UPIC)

UPIC- Cash Management - Universal Payment Identification Code

Financial institutions are committed to making your business’ payments as secure and simple as possible. That’s why we’d like to introduce you to the Universal Payment Identification Code (UPIC), a unique identifier that looks and acts just like a real account number on ACH payment transactions but doesn’t expose your actual banking information.

But rather than answer your questions about the UPIC ourselves, we thought we’d enlist the help of an international secret agent whose glamorous life of espionage, however surprisingly, closely resembles the way UPICs work and how they might add value to your business.

So put on your super high-tech night vision goggles and learn some top-secret tips about improving your payment processing. 

Customer: What is a UPIC used for?

Agent1839: The UPIC was developed to incentivize businesses to move their B2B payments from paper to an all-electronic environment, which is faster, more secure, and less costly. The UPIC is an answer to businesses’ reluctance to reveal bank account information, providing a secure way to receive electronic credit payments without revealing that sensitive information.

C: Does the UPIC replace my account number?

A: The UPIC does not replace your account number at your financial institution. UPICs are used in place of account numbers on electronic payment instructions, invoices, and the Internet but are linked to your account numbers in the database.

It works much like an elite agent code. I am known in the international intelligence world as Agent1839, but that doesn’t mean I no longer have a name—that’s classified information.

C: Do my business or my trading partners have to make system changes in order to implement a UPIC?

A: The beauty of UPICs is right in their name: their universality. They require no system changes or updates and are compatible with any cash management, accounting, or payment system. 

C: Who maintains the UPIC information?

A: Just like my agency is responsible for maintaining and securing the agent database, your financial institution manages the UPIC database and daily updates. You and I have to do none of the work. Well, I suppose that’s not exactly true on my part considering the high-speed car chases, explosions, torturous interrogations, lethal hand-to-hand combat, and shootouts I’ve been involved in.    

C: What if my business moves to a new bank or my current financial institution merges with another one?

A: Perhaps the single greatest benefit of a UPIC is its portability. If one or the other of those things happens, the UPIC stays with you and your current financial institution; only the underlying bank account information changes. This is advantageous because it eliminates the cost, time, and tedium of notifying hundreds or thousands of trading partners that your account information has changed.

Similarly, no matter what country I’m in, whenever my enemies hear my agent number, they know who I am—and they quake with fear.        

C: Can my suppliers use my UPIC to direct debit me?

A: No. UPICs allow for the initiation of ACH credits but cannot be used for electronic debit payments. This measure safeguards corporate accounts against fraud, mitigating the risk of unauthorized ACH debits, demand drafts, and fraudulent checks. As discussed in previous articles, fraud is very real—and rampant.

Speaking of credits and debits, I always make sure I’m in the black.

C: Who has access to my UPIC information?

A: A UPIC, like my identity, is top-secret and divulged on a need-to-know basis only to a select number of thoroughly vetted individuals. In your case: authorized employees at your financial institution.    

C: What types of organizations are using UPICs?

A: Nearly every country conducts secret intelligence—but none do it as well as mine, of course. (My country of origin is also classified information, and I’m not permitted to divulge it to unauthorized persons.) Oh, right—back to you. More than 30 industries employ UPICs, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Communications
  • Construction Services
  • Education
  • Health Services
  • Hospitality
  • Food Services
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Oh, bollocks. I’ve got to run. This computer is set to self-destruct in…

UPIC and U 

Well, our international spy had to leave unexpectedly. But don’t worry. We might not look as rugged, sleek, and lethal leaning up against our Aston Martin, but we can deliver the information you need. If you’re interested in using a UPIC, simply contact us and one of our cash management officers will supply you with a code.

To learn more, please visit

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