Why Merchant Service Providers Require Personal Information When Signing an Account

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Why Some Personal Information is Required to Open a Merchant Account

According to the 2001 U.S. Patriot Act, providing your social security number and home address is required when opening a merchant services account. It helps ensure identities are protected and protects against illicit activities.

In today’s world, being able to accept credit cards is a vital part of any business. In order to do so, you would need to open a merchant services account. Once you decide which provider you would like to do business with, there will be an application process. The application will ask for to fill out some personal information, such as your social security number and home address.


Why is Providing my Social Security Number Required?

The simple fact is that providing your social security number when applying for a merchant services account is required because it verifies and protect identities. Requiring this information falls under Section 326 of the U.S. Patriot Act, which was written in response to the evens of September 11, 2001. The Patriot Act is enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This office is responsible for overseeing financial transactions done within the U.S. Because of this, merchant service providers must comply with their requirements. This request helps prevent illicit behaviors such as money laundering and drug trafficking.

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