Saturday, February 16, 2019

PayPal | Confirming Identity

Last 09 February, as I was doing transactions from my PayPal account as I usually do, cashing-in to GCash, I received an email from them with a subject "Please complete your identity confirmation".

Part of PayPal's email said "As part of our continuous efforts in complying with regulatory requirements, we need you to confirm your identity at a particular milestone with us. You're about to reach this milestone with the total transactions on your account approaching your account limit."

And to confirm my identity, I needed to provide more information.



Instead of clicking on the provided link, I chose to go directly to PayPal's website and logged in my account to check if there's a notification about it.

And there is!


And when I clicked on the dashboard, I was redirected to this page:


In this page, there's 4 tabs in total.

Personal: (1) Contact details (2) Proof of identity
Business: (3) Proof of business address (4) Business information


The screenshot was taken after I submitted my documents for the Proof of identity but before I did that, only the Contact details and Business information have green check marks meaning that's the only information that's been verified with me.

With the Proof of identity tab, I was asked to submit two (2) IDs.

As expected from me, I again, forgot to take screenshot of the page! But it was just super fast.

There's only 3 choices though.

1. Driver's license
2. Passport
3. National ID

Fortunately I already got my passport so that's one.

And I chose the National ID for the second one (my Voter's ID).

After uploading my first proof of identity, I clicked on Submit thinking that I will be asked to upload for the second one, but it pushed through with just one document uploaded and got the green check mark beside the Proof of identity tab already.

So I moved on with the next one which is the Proof of business address.


Here I think I got a problem. 😆

Because I am just an individual doing freelance and getting paid online.

The document options to upload are Utility bill, Bank or card statement or Government issued documents.

Since it is not applicable to me, I searched for an option to change my account type from business to personal. I can't even remember how I registered my account and turned into a business account (although my business account was named after me as well 😳).

But as to what I've read, there's no option to do that. I can only downgrade my account from business to premier.

So I searched the difference between the two.

According to PayPal's FAQ section, all PayPal accounts allow you to receive and make payments for goods and services.

The difference between business and premier is that:

Premier is recommended for casual sellers or non-businesses who wish to get paid online, and who also make online purchases. (This suits me!)

Business is recommended for merchants who operate under a company/group name. It offers additional features such as allowing up to 200 employees limited access to your account and customer service email alias for customer issues to be routed for faster follow-ups.

So I decided to send them a request to downgrade my account.

From the FAQ section, I scrolled down and clicked on Contact us.


Clicked on Email us.


And filled up the necessary fields.

With the "What can we help you with?" I chose My Account, then chose Changing Account Type, then Downgrade my account and typed in the Message box my reason, etc. and sent the email.


I emailed them on 10 February and still waiting for their reply regarding my request. (Received an email confirmation from them after a month. You can check it out here: PayPal | Downgrading to Premier Account)

As for my account, I am still able to do transactions even though I haven't completed my identity confirmation.

But I received a reply from PayPal on the evening that I still haven't met all the requirements.

It said that the information on the document I submitted for my proof of identity has been covered or masked out, and is invalid as a result and been asked to provide with a clear document. (tinakpan ko kasi yung information sa baba ng passport ko eh)

As for the Proof of Address (yes, yun na ang nasa email nila hindi na Proof of Business Address), according to the email, they accept a copy of:

- Utility bills (phone and broadband services, health insurance, gas, water, electricity, etc.)
- Bank or credit card statements
- Any other government-issued letters or statements in my name

They do NOT accept:
- Purchase receipts/invoices
- Partial documents
- Screenshots of your online banking or service pages

My problem is that (1) the utility bills I am paying monthly are not under my name, but my aunt's!
(2) I have a bank account, but I am not eligible even for an e-bank statements! I can only download my transaction history but it does not include my address.
(3) I could not think of any government-issued letters or statements in my name which meets their important note:

  • The name and address on the documents must match those on my PayPal account.
  • The proof of address document must be dated within the last 6 months (all of my gov't-issued docs are way past more than a year or two)
  • They do not accept P.O. Box address as physical address verification

So I squeezed my brain to think of a valid document that I can submit to confirm my address.

I thought of the Atram statements I receive every time I invest money on GCash. I checked the PDF they sent and saw they included in there my address. But! There's a discrepancy in my address there! It is incomplete!

I checked my GCash profile and they based it on my current address which should have been the same with my given permanent address but I don't know what happened and why it's incomplete!

I sent a chat message on GCash Care to correct/update my profile on Monday, 11 February but given how slow their response is, which takes days to weeks, I can't just wait.

So I had to think of another document to submit.

Luckily I saw some of my government-issued docs such as my SSS registration, my PRC results and my Philhealth Membership Data Record/MDR. But! It has dates printed or issued below and it's around 2013-2015!

Then I thought of an idea. I tried registering an online account on Philhealth's website and see if I can print to PDF another MDR from there.

The summary of my experiment? It worked! I was able to print my MDR with the date freshly printed for the day, 11 February.

Just another problem is that, there's a typo in my address in Philhealth's MDR! But whatever. I decided to just follow it and edit my address in my PayPal account to match it.

Taking my chances again, I headed on to PayPal's website and logged in.

This time I was able to take a screenshot of the Proof of Identity tab as the green check mark has been removed.


I re-uploaded my Passport and my Voter's ID (I combined in one photo its front and back). It allowed me to drag and drop 2 files in the box section and clicked on Submit.

And on the Proof of address I uploaded my Philhealth MDR and made sure it matched the one in my PayPal account and clicked on Submit.

Now all I have to do is wait until PayPal has verified all the documents I submitted. Fingers crossed.

Come next day, 12 February, I received an email from PayPal.


My identity is now confirmed! It worked! 😆

And it was followed by another email from them:


So I've finally gone through another milestone with PayPal huh.

As for my request with GCash, they still haven't replied to me as of this writing...

And I haven't received a confirmation from PayPal if my request to downgrade from Business account to Premier has been successful.

But nevermind. All is well again so there's no need for that.

That's all for now.

Adios~

~~~~

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