WHY is the verification process so heavy handed?



  • Let's be clear, the identification process for FI is ill timed and can be dangerously intrusive.

    Firstly... It's really not ok, to allow new customers to deposit thousands of pounds, then when they come to make a withdrawal, hold their account and money to ransom until they have passed a verification process. If that process is legally necessary... make customers do that before they can deposit the cash.

    Even though I trusted the company to give me my money, it still felt like I was being ripped off, after all, if I had lost the money, they'd never have needed to verify my account, so customers are allowed to deposit money and lose without verification, but it's not ok to win and withdraw without giving FI your inside leg measurements. How can that be right?

    Secondly... the wording on the identification process emails is outright intrusive.

    BetIndex Ltd do not need a bank statement to verify your address. They simply need a picture of your banks letter head, with your address and date on. Here's the one I sent in.

    0_1566936769549_Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 21.09.42.png

    I can only imagine that many people have sent in full bank statements which include information about themselves that they would sooner not hand over to a company, such as how much money they have in their bank, what their transactions were and their full bank account details.

    When I first sent the above imagine in as a png, I was told:

    "We are unable to accept the address verification document you have provided as it is a screenshot. Online statements must be submitted as a PDF. Please download and provide a PDF of this statement or an image of a paper statement."

    I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people, upon seeing that, downloaded a bank statement and sent it in. I simply saved the above image as a PDF and it was accepted. No personal details other than my address were needed. So why even ask for that level of information in the first place? In this world of data leaks, where billion dollar tech companies like Sony get hacked, should BetIndex really be asking for more information than they need?

    And that's not the only bit of woeful verification advice either.

    "When taking a photo of your card, we suggest you cover the numbers on the front leaving the first six and last four digits visible. On the back of your card, we suggest you cover the CVC code."

    How many people sent a photo of the back of their card, without realising the long number across the front of the card is fully visible?

    So if I'd have complied with their advice, BetIndex would have an email account with my bank statement, which includes my balance, transaction history, account number, sort code, address and now they'd have all the details on my bank card except my CVC. Not to mention, the image of my driving license.



  • I think forcing it upon registration would put a lot of people off. I'd like it to be self service, so you just know upon signing up that you have to provide it and there should be a secure portal to upload the docs. If you don't do it straight away you should still be at risk of a block until you do it.... But once blocked, should be able to use a quick self service.

    When I had to verify I was lucky to get someone straight away on live chat and had my account unblocked within about 10 mins. But I guess lots of people send an email and just wait hours/days with lots of frustration.



  • @Dan-The-Man Like you said these checks should be mandatory when you first open your account. if this was the case these checks would be done much quicker as they would want you to be able to deposit asap. It's a disgrace it's done the way it is, but all gambling platforms are the same.

    I hate gambling companies T&C's. Actually I hate gambling companies.



  • 0_1566944553569_31815098-3FFA-45B3-8D23-703955809397.jpeg

    Totally innocent, they just want your bank account details, credit card numbers and mother’s maiden name 😂



  • @Dan-The-Man it has to be so heavy handed, their forced to by the gambling commission. Maybe the statement thing is a bit OTT but i mentioned this on another thread, would you want FI to be fined massively because they arent following the rules, im sure this would come put of any future dividend increase. Most if not all betting companies now a days will do these checks upon registration, yes maybe they could do them sooner than your first withdrawal but when is the right time for the check to happen, its going to be annoyingat anytime. I do get its frustrating and annoying to the customer but it has to be done



  • @Vespasian32 said in WHY is the verification process so heavy handed?:

    I think forcing it upon registration would put a lot of people off.

    It would no doubt put a few people off. I think that shows why this is such an immoral practice though. It's basically forcing people to decide between their money and their privacy. As much as I want everyone in the world to sign up, customers should be protected from this.

    The self service portal you mentioned is how it should be but I believe that should be mandatory on sign up. I'm fairly sure SkyPoker, etc. required verification before I could deposit.

    When I had to verify I was lucky to get someone straight away on live chat and had my account unblocked within about 10 mins. But I guess lots of people send an email and just wait hours/days with lots of frustration.

    I placed a call to the team and I have to say, the guy I spoke with seemed like a really nice guy. I've found the email team to be perfectly pleasant to deal with and whilst the communications weren't instant, I wouldn't say they were terribly slow either. So from a customer service perspective my only complaints are... the things they asked for... and... I suppose they could have converted my PNG to a PDF, given that it's a 2 second job but I didn't mind doing that.



  • @Shippers

    Yeah, I'm not disputing the need for checks. The company has regulations to follow.

    I'm saying there's a right way and wrong way to do them and waiting until deposits have been made, then holding that money at ransom whilst asking for bank statements... is most definitely the wrong way.

    From my perspective, I signed up in December... made over 50% profit and went to withdraw some cash, then was asked to supply bank statements. My choice there is, throw away the 8 months I've spent earning that profit, or hand over sensitive information. That's a shitty position to put your customers in and the point is... they didn't need the bank statement. They just needed the letter head, with my address on.



  • Before we knock FI .....Again.......for following Legal guidelines.....

    can I just add that I used to work in finance and signed up many customers to accounts, ISA's and Bonds, including a £250K deposit, that required NO checking of ID at the time.

    But Know Your Customer rules mean banks and financials are obliged to carry out checks, sometimes randomly and sometimes at fixed amounts. telling you early on what is needed can also be deemed to be 'tipping off'

    So, bear that in mind



  • @Munchie63

    It's not a legal requirement to ask for a bank statement. If it were, they wouldn't have accepted that image and FI can absolutely choose to require that verification before they activate your account at sign up.



  • @Dan-The-Man

    that falls under proof of funds - proof of where you got the money from for money laundering purposes.

    Again, I have had this in a Bureau organisation. I managed a retail store that turned over £5Mill of currency every year. A set amount would trigger (and the system forced the staff) to have to ask And record details of ID and address.
    You're right it wouldnt have to be a bank statement, but they are withing their rights to say 'wheres this money coming from' and 'prove it'. Otherwise the local chippie making £1k a day can pay in 10k and launder money without any comebacks



  • Proof of Funds for Bookmakers
    A requirement your bookmaker may ask of you in relation to the Gambling Commission objectives is proof of funds. This is to satisfy the bookmaker that: You are betting with your own money and not a third parties. You can afford to bet with that bookmaker.



  • @Dan-The-Man i guess withdrawing money triggers something there end and most people wont take 8 months to withdraw, id rather these checks happen as they have to. I do get your point 🤤 and maybe they could revolutionise the process rather than following all other companies but then im not sure what the exact rules are and if they have to follow a certain process. I like @Vespasian32 idea, even a message as we click register or even an automatic email after registering with a link to upload the necesseray documents then if we dont at the withdrawal stage it says no thanks but then the counter argument could be would anyone trust this method as it sounds dodgy asking for it straight away so is there really a good time regardless



  • @Shippers They need the copies to be able to prove to AML that they Have been checking and Do know their customer.
    Thats why they need full sheets and not only half a page etc.

    I used to get 2 random AML checks a year, totally un-announced and they would check paperwork as well as asking staff questions, Head office used to take a depp breath and hope when they heard we had them in branch



  • @Munchie63 said in WHY is the verification process so heavy handed?:

    Proof of Funds for Bookmakers
    A requirement your bookmaker may ask of you in relation to the Gambling Commission objectives is proof of funds. This is to satisfy the bookmaker that: You are betting with your own money and not a third parties. You can afford to bet with that bookmaker.

    Surely that question needs to come before the bet is placed, not 8 months later.

    I think we're talking about slightly different things too. My issue is 2 fold. Timing and over reaching .

    If they don't need bank statements, it's over reaching to ask for them. If they need to verify an account, doing it at sign up or at least... prior to deposit is the best time, as it gives the customer the fairest opportunity to decide if that's what they want to do.

    Let me add this... my bank card had expired in that 8 month period. So, I asked them how to update it... they told me that the way to do that, is to make another deposit. So from my perspective... I hadn't been allowed to withdraw my own cash and they're asking me to make another deposit to get access to my money... talk about red flags.

    If it weren't for this forum and the wider community... I'd have had second thoughts about making that second deposit.



  • @Shippers said in WHY is the verification process so heavy handed?:

    the counter argument could be would anyone trust this method as it sounds dodgy asking for it straight away so is there really a good time regardless

    That's not really a counter argument though Shippers. It's basically giving the company a green light to trap customers rather than win over their trust. I mean, what happens if you chose not to send them your data? Is your money gone?



  • Little bit off topic other than card expiring but I’m still waiting on a large amount paddy power because when I withdrawn they asked for me to send me a picture of the front and back of my debit card which I did

    They then said not that card the original card of my first deposit most of you would guess the only reason you would add a new card is old card been lost or expired I tried explaining this and they refused to release funds

    Still In dispute but if I’d lost wouldn’t of been no issue worse still I’d already done there kyc procedure previously



  • @Dan-The-Man verification can be random. Thats how it works. In theory you dont know if you're going to be asked and arent asked at the start. That means they (or govt) have the funds, and if you cant prove they are legit....bye bye money.

    The proof of funds will usually work to trigger points. I know the banking ones but the AML guy in me won't type them out, I have seen people say they've been asked with XX amount deposited, and others say, 'but I've more than that and haven't' so may well be random for bookies.
    But the only way they know its your money and not the local gangster laundering through your account, is by asking for bank statements.

    I get why its frustrating. And I had to pass inspections and get 22 people trained up on this, so feel your pain, but breaching AML rules can be very costly.
    I left my old firm 6mths ago, but telling you the AML amounts now would leave me liable still for prosecution under AML rules.
    Not bigging my role up at all. Far far from it. Just a cog in a wheel. But I am trying to put a semi educated arguement behind their reasons for asking



  • @Munchie63

    I appreciate what you're saying...

    Here's the thing...

    FI could decide that from tomorrow onwards, they are going to ask for customer verification at sign up and they could clean up their language so that they are asking for the things that are actually necessary, rather than things that aren't necessary. That in my view, would be the proper way of handling this. It's the fairest to the customer, whilst checking all of the companies legal requirements.

    I'm certain you're right about AML rules pertaining to companies but I'm also certain that strict data protection laws exist to protect customers from excessive data requests. Asking for a bank statement, to prove your address, is excessive but now I've entered forum lawyer territory and that's never a good place to be.



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  • @Dan-The-Man said in WHY is the verification process so heavy handed?:

    How many people sent a photo of the back of their card, without realising the long number across the front of the card is fully visible?

    That's a good point. I didn't realise that. I didn't mind sending in a PDF copy of my latest bank statement. It was my current account which doesn't have much in it as it's where the bills are paid.

    It killed two birds with one stone. I was able to 1) verify my address with the statement and also 2) show them the source of my money. I explained from the statement that my money was transferred from my life savings account which was only displayed as my name on the statement. I did not provide the account number of my life savings but gave the sort code which is only the bank branch. They accepted it.

    I agree the ID checks should be done before you can open an account. The real stock market company I used to invest in before finding FI required that the ID checks must be completed before you can open an account.


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