truss1
Member

freelancer location requirement & bank account information

In order to apply for a job with a specific location, I'm being asked to provide my bank account information. I'm not comfortable providing Upwork with my bank account information. The posting about this requirement by Upwork states the following: "And, only freelancers with a U.S. location in their profile settings (verified by bank account or other means) will see these job posts and be able to submit proposals." What are the "other means," as I would like to use them. I'm guessing that other people who have heard of hackers, scams, and fraud would also like to know the answer to this question.

40 REPLIES 40
mackdiesel
Member

No one with any common sense should be happy about turning over their bank account information to anyone that doesn't legitimately need it.

 

I too would like to know what these "other means" are as I'm a US citizen who lives in the US and has been in business longer than UpWork itself but now I'm apparantly a second class citizen since I want give UpWork my banking info.

 

Verifying a users location by bank account doesn't even make sense...SMH

I have been waiting for 3 days for my account to verify. Something seems wrong here. I am a new freelancer so I don't know 100% how this site works. The verification process apparently takes up to 5 business days, but if the account doesn't verify UpWork service requires other documentation to prove location (bank account statements, legal citizenship documentation, etc). Having UpWork request such information has mad eme uneasy, but with so many other users I assumed they all had to submit the same information. Is this not true? 

 

Thanks in advance for any response!

V.S.

Hi Vanessa, 

 

You should expect to see two charges posted to your bank account to verify in the next couple of days. When you sign in to Upwork, there will be a link at the top of your account to enter the charges to verify your bank information.

 

As far as the verification process to confirm your location, please rest assured - you are only providing the details to Upwork and the information is secure and confidential. 

While Upwork may have it's clients best interests in mind, how can it not be startling to someone in 2017 when they first set up a profile on a website to be, at the end of the process, prompted to give their bank account information?  I physically jumped when this happened, and I suddenly felt like Upwork was a scam operation.  

 

Even if Upwork does what it can to protect information, hackers don't care quite so much.  Having one's credit card information compromised by a data breach is a far cry from having one's bank account info.

 

Again, there must be a better way to verify that one is inside U.S. borders.  Therefore, I'm still looking for an answer to what the "other means" are that Upwork offers to prove my location.  Pray, do tell asap!


@Trevor R wrote:

While Upwork may have it's clients best interests in mind, how can it not be startling to someone in 2017 when they first set up a profile on a website to be, at the end of the process, prompted to give their bank account information


Anyone you ever wrote a check to has the same data. What is the big deal?

 

You don't have to provide that info, it just means you don't have access to a few jobs which are set to "US only"


@Petra R wrote:



Anyone you ever wrote a check to has the same data. What is the big deal?

 


 Very true. In absence of that How will you withdraw funds?

 

They will also ask you for SSN# to issue 1099MIsc.

 

Here is what you can do.  Open another small bank  account with very little money (it is also useful for keeping track of income/expenses)...get a ITIN#.

Agreed. Why not let us submit a utility bill or a driver's license?

I completely agree with you Trevor.  I was leary too.  I don't think this should be a requirement upon building a profile and applying to jobs.  In the beginning, this information wasn't required and I'm curious as to why it's being required now.  It just doesn't seem right. 

Hi Nakesha,

 

You'll still be able to apply for jobs that don't have a U.S.-only requirement. However, you'll need to complete the verification in order to use your bank account for withdrawals and confirm your location. We've considered several ways to confirm freelancer's location and continue looking into other options. At this point the only way to confirm your location is to add a verified US bank account.

~ Valeria
Upwork

You can have my bank account info if I'm hired. With the rampant fraud and theft, it's ridiculous to require that up front.  Times have changed. So if that's what you require, then I'm out.

Besides, a local utility bill will prove our address. 

 

I'm sorry but this site seems way too sketchy for me to give up my account info.  I did set up paypal through it and that seemed to correct me not being able to apply to US required freelancer jobs.  However now I'm back to not being able to apply without giving my bank account. 

 

This practice needs to be ceased and an alternative <such as sending utility bill or driver's license photo> instead.  In this day and age NO one wants to give out that kind of information and you know it.  Please let me know when you have an alternative.  I will not be using your site until then. 

Julie

Hi Julie,

 

Thanks for sharing your feedback. While users' banking information is secure on Upwork, we have been working on alternative ways to verify freelancers' location. More information is coming so stay tuned.

~ Valeria
Upwork

I also just signed up and refuse to provide my bank account information. That seems absolutely ridiculous. There must be another way to be verified of location?

Hi Pam, 


Thank you for sharing your feedback. We'd like to assure you that your information is secure with us and will only be used to verify your location. 

As Valeria has shared, please stay tuned for more information as we look for more ways of verifying your location other than providing your US bank account. 


~ Avery
Upwork
truss1
Member

Since no one has been able to provide a solution to my question:  Here's another angle to find an answer.  Is there any way to actually ask someone a question at Upwork?  I found a way to begin that process, but it always ends by sending you either to this community forum or back to Upwork's pre-written solutions, which don't work in this case.

I agree 100%.  I paid more for a bigger group of work and am not comfortable giving my bank account information. However, every job I try to apply for wont let me if I dont put in my account information.  And, I cannot get an actual human to speak with me.  Very frustrated.

Hi Stefanie,

 

I understand your concern but please rest assured that your information is safe with us. We considered several options for verifying users' location and bank account is the most efficient and reliable way to do it. So in order to be able to apply to those jobs, you'll need to complete the verification.

~ Valeria
Upwork

If you are not comfortable providing your bank account details to Upwork, you DON'T HAVE TO.

 

You can still apply to jobs that don't specifically ask for U.S. freelancers.

 

Also: You can obtain the same benefit by using this simple technique:

 

Set up a new bank account specifically for Upwork payments.

 

This can be a savings account with minimal funds in it. You can provide Upwork with this bank account number, and you can withdraw funds to this bank account. You can move all money from this bank account to your main account(s) whenever you receive money.

 

This will satisfy Upwork's bank account verification request, without requiring you to provide any of your main account numbers to Upwork.

@Preston

I was under the impression that we do NOT have to use this bank account information to receive payments.

Has this changed?
For those of us who receive and make UpWork payments via a different means I was a bit curious.

 

BTW-

I'm still waiting for someone at UpWork to let me know if this information can be removed from UpWork once our "location" has been verified?

re: "I was under the impression that we do NOT have to use this bank account information to receive payments."

 

You are correct.

 

In the context of this thread, having a U.S. bank account has nothing to do with receiving payments.

 

There are indeed many other ways to receive payments.

 

Here we are ONLY talking about having a U.S. bank account - and providing account information to Upwork - as a way for a freelancer to verify that he does indeed live in the United States.

Why does having a US bank account really mean that a person resides in the U.S.? Many persons live and work at various times in different countries.  

Hi Daniel, 

This initiative was announced to the community last April and we have been slowly expanding the test to more clients in the U.S. Upwork securely stores all confidential information, such as banking and financial information. If you do decide to verify your bank account to confirm your location, please remember you are not required to use it as your payment method.

 

I would like to reiterate what Valeria has shared above - To confirm a freelancer's location, we have requested for users to provide us a verified U.S. bank account. We also take into account a number of other factors such as W-9 information, and/or a user's login activity. 

 

 


~ Avery
Upwork

Why can't you just use the log in info? My profile has all of the info needed.....

Robert,

 

We looked at a number of factors, including freelancer's login activity, but determined that adding a bank account is the most accurate and easiest way for now. We are working on developing alternative ways for U.S. freelancers to confirm their location.

~ Valeria
Upwork

I provided my information weeks ago and still have not receive the two small deposits required to complete my verification.  Any advice?

Hi Shari,

 

I checked and Upwork initiated the two verification charges when the account was added. You can check with your bank about the amounts and also please confirm that the account and routing numbers you added are correct for receiving ACH direct deposit.

~ Valeria
Upwork

No, I don't have any advice because I'm not going to provide my bank info up front.

That's not a  very realistic suggestion considering how difficult it can be to open a bank account at least here in NYC. Minimum amount requirements, etc.

@Valeria

It is the statement below that I find troubling...

 

"We considered several options for verifying users' location and bank account is the most efficient and reliable way to do it."

 

This statement not only seems to make little sense it also does not seem to be true.

As I previously mentioned...one does not even need to be a US citizen to open an account nor can my bank or bank account determine in any way where I may be located.

 

 

Mack,

 

We have decided to check if a freelancer has a verified U.S. bank account as a screen to confirm location, but may also take into account a number of other factors, such as W-9 information and/or login activity. 

 

I'm checking with the team regarding the question below and will update you once I have more information.

 


@Mack D. wrote:

I'm still waiting for someone at UpWork to let me know if this information can be removed from UpWork once our "location" has been verified?

 

 


 

~ Valeria
Upwork

How can you verify for sure that one's bank account data is safe with UW. You just put our words. What is your title at UW?

 

Prove it in a legal document that is shown somewhere on your web site and have it signed by your top execs and verified by  one or more lawyers and an expert on Internet security.

 

I have been on Uwork for several years.  No biz at all.  So losing UW no big  deal to me.  I have never been a fan of bid for work web sites. I tried many of them before using UW.  Really a time waster since so many persons don't  really want to pay what they should for qulialty freelance work. Plus I have to raise my stated UW fee since you take so much out of freelancer fees.

 

I have been freelancing for many years. I decided to see what bid for work stuff is like. Not good experiences. I quit all the others.  UW may soon join that group.

Rest assured? This is 2017. You can't just blanket trust what's online. How do we know who you are? We can't talk to you. How can we verify YOUR location? Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau? How do we know YOU are legit? If you approve me for work, THEN I should have to give you my bank information.

 

karynolson
Member

I am frustrated because my name does not match my bank accounts and I am not willing to change them. I changed my name when I got married and my maiden name is more "marketing friendly". Further, I already did a video chat to verify my identity before. Why force me to go through all this? I agree with others here. Where are the "other means"? I can provide social security card, birth certificate, passport with my legal name on it and satisfy the requirement that way.

Otherwise, I will just stay away from the US location only projects.


@Karyn O wrote:
I am frustrated because my name does not match my bank accounts and I am not willing to change them. I changed my name when I got married and my maiden name is more "marketing friendly".

 As your Upwork account has to be in your real legal name as it appears on your ID documents you'll have to change it anyway,

upworps72
Member

I totally agree. I just found out about this requirement 1 day ago. Today is June 14. I would have to know a lot more informaton about the company to  give it that info.  And I need to get an email statement from its top execs that my data would be very safe.  I have never heard of this requirement at any other job web site.  I have never gotten any biz from Upwork over several years. So leaving UW no loss.

I am newto this service and I have been following this thread and I agree that this seems to be a bad way of verifying location - if you can check the log-in info, why not just go with that and maybe something else? With all of the hacking taking place, I find it almost impossible to believe that this info is "secure"....and setting up an additional bank account (with associated fees) seem to be quite arduous....

dizwarner
Member

I just encountered this requirement for this first time today and for an assignment that is an unusually good match.  But I just can't bring myself to risk posting my bank account. It feels much too careless.


@Jo Ellen W wrote:

But I just can't bring myself to risk posting my bank account.


 Then don't. Simple.

 

Upwork have had the details of my bank account for many years. They use it to send money. I like that 🙂

 

you are not being asked for anything that is not printed on every single check you have ever written...

 

You are also not asked to "post" it anywhere. Entering it into a system that is encrypted is a lot safer.

 

But as I said, nobody is forcing you. If you don't want to you'll be no worse off than all of us who have no access to / can not even see "US only" jobs in the first place.