TL;DR: A bank ban for trading Bitcoin has resulted in a system offered by Equifax to prevent me from holding an account with non banking related industries, such as a Gas Electricity Provider.
A few weeks ago, I posted a thread here showing a live update on my quest to open a bank account for my Bitcoin trading business here in Australia (OP: https://redd.it/6fl0i3).
While pretty much all of these application requests were denied, one bank did respond with an application form (Albeit, the email felt a bit generic – but figured I'd give it a try none the less)
I submitted my application and everything was going great.. Until I was informed that I had failed their ID verification process and to submit it again. It was an online form I had to fill out and I thought it was strange that it didnt request my ID information, just Name, DOB, address and phone number. I thought it may have been a glitch, so submitted the form again. Still no request for ID.
Two days later, I received a phone call from this bank, stating that my ID verification had been denied, as my details had been "red flagged" for fraudulent behaviour, and I would have to get this fixed up before submitting again. I was told to contact "Equifax" to get the issue resolved and that was that.
I Immediately contacted equifax (the recent purchaser of VEDA), and asked if I could speak to someone regarding a "rejected ID verification". After bouncing through a few people, it came apparent that no one had any idea as to what I was talking about, and that they only dealt with Credit Reports.
So I ordered my credit report (for me personally and my business) to see if there was anything on there to be concerned about. Nothing. Just some old credit card applications from 2013, and a car loan. No "Red Flag", No "Suspicions activity reports". Nothing.
By this point I thought maybe the bank was trying to shift the blame, so they could avoid the conversation of telling me they couldnt offer me a bank account because of my business nature. But before I made the phone call to them, I figured, a quick google search wouldnt help.
Sure enough, Equifax DOES have an ID verification system called IDMatrix – and as spotted, the bank I was dealing with was one of their clients, and a bank I had been BANNED from in the past was also a client.
Now that I had a name to the face, I called Equifax bank, and requested to speak to someone from IDMatrix, regarding some verification issues. The closest I got was speaking to someone from their sales team, who put me through to the credit report department, who put me through to "customer service", who put me back through to the IDMatrix sales department, who were then closed.
Getting no luck with the phone calls, I decided to draft up an email to IDMatrix, and sent another email to the bank, requesting they provide proof of this ID rejection, so I could send it onto IDMatrix, in case they try to stone wall me with "We have no idea what youre talking about" answers again.
When I was going through the IDMatrix website earlier, I noticed that they provided their services to non financial businesses as well (Such as a large Electricity and Gas Provider here in Australia). Out of curiosity, I started the application process to apply for a new electricity connection to my house, to see if the result would be any different to what the bank got. A few tick boxes later, and sure enough, I was not eligible for an electricity connection with them!
I was shocked. Dealing with bank bans was one thing, but dealing with the rejection from a basic household utilities company was another. What significance does my business activity have to a utilities provider? I'm sure they have no issue with providing electricity to hydroponic set ups, or a gas connection to a meth lab? At least ive never heard of electricity or gas being cut for that reason. I would assume they couldnt give two stuffs what they do in their spare time. But a Bitcoin Trader? Thats some risky business. (Yes I am aware this isnt the Utilities company's fault – rather IDMatrix's, just using the hypothetical for comparison).
To wrap this up, I have emailed my solicitor to get advice on the matter, and I'm not "banking" on much to receive any response from the bank in question or Equifax. But thanks for the vent reddit. Appreciate it.
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