Policy for account verification and first payouts


#1

I did research for what was required, before entering contests, as I am not a US resident. When submitting my W-8BEN form recently to receive a recent payout, I was told new policy was introduced for account verification. These two new steps, required submitting a billing statement, and a gov’t document with photo ID.

I have no issue with submitting billing statements, as these can be easily verified through regular credit checks - especially if it’s a bank statement. My concern is with submitting gov’t documents, as a non US citizen.

My questions are (a) how is squadhelp as a private company, able to verify non US government documents, applicable to a different country? And (b) for non US residents only, if squadhelp is unable to verify these submitted documents, how does squadhelp regulate whether these documents are fraudulent or not? Is it at their own discretion, for example?

These new policy changes were implemented for a legitimate reason, no doubt. But it would be nice to have an explanation to the necessity of supplying non US government ID, which can only be substantiated by the authorities within those individual countries. It may just be a communication issue, and the new policy changes haven’t been explained in full. Which is why I am submitting this feedback. I understand the need for a legitimate verification process, but can international government photo id, be legitimised outside it’s jurisdiction?


#2

@Criley - The validation process is a cross check. Ensuring a match between all documents helps us protect the integrity of our platform.


#3

Thank you for publishing my feedback, and your response. Photo ID, cannot be cross checked however. This is unique information, which has nothing to be checked against. Bank statements containing information, such as name and address, however, can be.

Storing unique information in order to pay Creatives, makes them liable for identity theft, should your system be hacked. I’ve had this happen to me, through Paypal before. I was, but a number of many. Paypal learned the hard way, to implement policy which not only maintained the integrity of their platform - but essentially protected the information of their users too.

Have you considered when designing the verification policy, if you’re asking to collect unique information which is unnecessary? What is the risk to your Creatives, and your business, if that information is stolen? Only ask for information which can be reasonably validated in your business operations.

If you can trust Contest Holders as a virtual entity, exchanging only relevant baking information (without risk to your platform) then Creatives can be treated with the same respect, upon payment.

Who I am, as a virtual user, is not an issue for Paypal, Google, Youtube, Ebay, Esty, Instagram and a whole host of other virtual platforms. Exchanging money both ways, does not make me a risk to their platform, because they only have my contact details and banking information. Why is it a breach of integrity for squadhelp’s virtual platform, if you don’t have my unique photo ID, applicable only in my country - or if I travel to yours?

Please reconsider what you as asking for in your policy, and protect your Creatives when doing business with them.


#4

Thanks for your feedback. It is important for us to confirm the identities of our users in order to maintain a trusted environment for conducting business. One of the reasons we have this in place is actually for the benefit of all creatives who participate in the contests. In the past, we’ve had a few situations where the contest holder awarded the contest to another user account which was created by themselves. We have taken several measures (such as this one) in order to ensure that the contests are run as fairly as possible. We will continue to evaluate our verification processes, and will keep your feedback in mind.


#5

If SH cannot verify international documentation, then they cannot protect Creatives with this policy.