Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

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Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:32 pm

Here is an email I recently received from (supposedly) a Square Inc employee. Now I did have a charge to my customers card for a large amount, but it was a swipe with a CCV code entered and signed by them. I have also had transactions for a few grand by them before. This charge was a bit larger, but still well under 10 grand (not to give away any details). My personal feeling is that they should be contacting me directly via the phone, and some of these questions are TOO much in my opinion. Does anyone else agree or know anything about law enough to agree that some of the information they are asking me is complete crap? Sounds more like they are in the statistics business trying to sell information off the highest bidder IMO. All they should need in order to confirm the payment is my customers information that was provided with the CC number when running the transaction.



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Hello Welch,
Thank you for using Square. We're committed to protecting the financial security of all Square users.
We've noticed some unusual activity on your account. In order to keep you and your customers safe, we need to learn more about your business. Please respond promptly, via email, with the following information:
1.   Describe the goods and services you provide. Please provide signed copies of the invoices or service contracts for your most recent transactions (including the customer's name, phone number and address). If the payments are for goods, please provide a copy of the purchase orders from your supplier.
2.   Describe your relationship with customers. Do you usually meet your customers in person? Have you ever had a customer dispute a transaction?
3.   Describe your business. How long has your business been in operation? What are the three most popular goods or services that you sell to customers? Please provide a copy of your state business license or equivalent government-issued document.
4.   Links to your business's website or Facebook page and links to third party accreditation such as BBB, Yellowpages or local newspapers.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
Sincerely,
Rajon


Also a bit unprofessional to not include a contact number, or verify their own indentity. I'm about 90% sure its legit since I have not received that payment posted to my account yet, which was made on Friday.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Sounds like complete crap to me. It's overly vague, which is the major red flag.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:36 pm

Ask for a formal request from their legal department, as well as a phone call.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:57 pm

Actually, I'd first try calling Square's fraud prevention department to see if this is a legitimate request. They may be responding to an inquiry from the credit card company, to ensure that there isn't fraud. I doubt you need to provide all the info, but my guess is that if this is a legit request, then the more info you provide the less hassle it will be to get the money from the credit card company.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:59 pm

While I agree they could do a better job of making the request more securely, they can make this kind of request per their User Agreement. See item #4 Here.

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4. Verification and Inspection.

If your request to open a Square Account is approved, Square may request additional information from you at any time. Square may ask you to present invoices from your suppliers, a government issued identification such as a passport or driver’s license, or a business license. Square may also ask for permission to inspect your business location. If you refuse any of these requests, your Square Account may be terminated. We reserve the right to suspend or terminate the Square Account of any user who provides inaccurate, untrue, or incomplete information, or fails to comply with the account registration requirements.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:11 pm

Sounds like your size and/or volume of transactions have triggered a red flag in their fraud/suspicious activity department, and now they want to cover their backsides with more documentation before continuing to do business with you. Money laundering, drugs, tax evasion, identity theft...they've doubtless seen it all, and have to follow up whenever certain "flags" are tripped.

If it were me, before doing anything else I would get over to the bank or credit union that handles my business checking account and produce a copy of the email, a copy of the Square, Inc. user agreement, and a brief description of the problematic transaction. Then see what guidance they can offer, if any. They may tell you that they have no additional info to offer, they may tell you to do what emkubed said, they may tell you to get a lawyer and have him do what emkubed said, or they may push back on Square, Inc. from the back end. Regardless, it's the first thing you can do that you've already paid for; after that, you pretty much need to pay up a business lawyer for an opinion.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:17 pm

Well I'm sure its legitimate now, I know for a fact that the payment I have been waiting on has been held along with this email. I sent them an email detailing PART of the information that they requested

My business name, my business license, details about what I do with my business, the type of transactions that occurred for this client (service, computer repair/IT consulting) and for the most part why the charge was as high as it was. I also cited the previous payment that cleared with Square for the same customer on the same CC. Gave them all of the contact info including the website for that client.

What I'm refusing to do is send them information about the top 3 things I do in my business, invoices from vendors on what I buy, ect. I don't believe any of that is their business, and to be honest it sounds like an easy way for them to sell information off to someone else for a profit (statistics are worth lots of cash).

Damn things have gotten so much more complicated in the world than they have to be, I too read through their EULA after receiving this email and noticed #4. The sad thing is that no matter how many things they promise on their website, they can basically turn back to the EULA and point to a rule that says they don't have to guarantee ANYTHING regardless of where ever on their own site it may say that they do. Hell one part even says they aren't liable if the program (their apps) have viruses in it...... WTF!?

We need some serious reform in this country as far as legal agreement go.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:59 pm

Welch wrote:What I'm refusing to do is send them information about the top 3 things I do in my business, invoices from vendors on what I buy, ect. I don't believe any of that is their business, and to be honest it sounds like an easy way for them to sell information off to someone else for a profit (statistics are worth lots of cash).

Well, that is a position I am sympathetic with, but I would be prepared for the consequences of that - you might never see that money unless you settle things up with your client another way and you'll need to get yourself another payment processor. Card payment processors should be understood to be short term lenders. They are fronting money to you for up to 60 days in which your customers/clients can back out of a deal for nearly any reason. So, when they say jump - if you want to continue doing business with them - you'll have to ask how high.

If you want completely out of this I might recommend taking only cash or getting into Bitcoins - and both of those setups have their own pile of risks.
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Re: Square Inc - Asking for too much information?

Postposted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:21 pm

Errr, the bitcoins thing scares me a bit after the second heist that just happened. I understand they act as a lender per se, but if you look at Squares ToS, they actually don't fall in as a Bank or any institution similar to that. Probably because they don't send you your cash until they have received the cash first. True they still have to worry about charge-backs and the like, but if you look at their ToS they have pretty strict rules on what sort of services/business you can be involved with and use Square. I'm sure this is to minimize the chance of having charge-backs. Things like "Infomercial sales" and all aren't allowed to use Square, probably due to the shady nature of their business and increased risk.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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