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Etsy to require US sellers to verify bank accounts

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Etsy

Etsy has announced that it will begin requiring sellers on its US marketplace to either self verify their bank accounts or do so through a third party, which asks sellers to input their financial information into technology platform Plaid.

The announcement follows the implementation of new anti-money laundering regulations in the region.

However, its decision has been met with much backlash on the marketplace’s seller forum, with many sellers expressing safety concerns over the sharing of private details.

Last year, Plaid was ordered to pay 58 million dollars after consumers claimed that the company had obtained and used bank account credentials and financial information without consent, according to filings in California’s federal court.

Etsy seller Trish O’Connor, who also said she was a former bank fraud analyst, posted a lengthy response to the change in Etsy’s forum, recommending that users do not use the third-party app for verification.

In her post, O’Connor said: “Usually, when someone receives an email with a link that takes them to a page where they are asked for this information, it is rightly called a ‘phishing scheme’, and we are widely cautioned by security experts to be suspicious of it.”

The backlash is one of many the marketplace has faced in recent months following new implementations to the platform.

In April, a number of the site’s independent sellers went on strike and closed their stores after Etsy announced a hike in transaction fees.

A petition launched in light of the changes garnered over 85,000 signatures and criticised the platform for ignoring and patronising its sellers while demanding the cancellation of the fee increase.