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Ecommerce Forum

Bank account number
Is there danger in giving out companies' bank account number to customers?

 5:35 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

A customer is asking for my company's bank number so he could pay for an order. I am not too sure about this, yet I don't really see any real danger in giving it to my customer.

For some reason I am very skeptical in requests like this one. But I do know that this is a common business practice. I buy samples from Korean companies many times and I always transfer money to their bank accounts directly.

Any suggestions? Thanks.



 6:28 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not much. It is only useful to Scammers if you also provide other stuff like your letterhead, signature etc.

We have our bank details on all our invoices.


 6:31 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I place my sort code and account number on all invoices because some companies prefer to transfer the money online.

You won't have a problem.


 6:35 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

every check you write has got your bank account and sort code on it.

Corey Bryant

 7:07 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is actually easier to transfer money out of your account than into a US checking account. (if you are in the US.) Just make sure you know who the customer is, etc before giving out this information.

It can easily be the start of someone stealing your identity.



 8:07 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

The information is not on our web store, but it is available to any buyer interested in making a purchase. Of course, I don't give it out to customers that want their stuff shipped to Nigeria, Indonesia, or Romania. ;)


 8:14 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> the start of someone stealing your identity

uh, if someone acquires your bank account number they can already pull money from it and then acquire all the rest of your info from there.

pretty easy really, I wouldn't give anyone my bank account number unless they are committed to protecting the personal information that I have now shared with them.

better make sure you trust them, it is a big deal.


 8:24 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do not know this person at all. He is just another customer.

What Corey Bryant and jatar_k wrote sounds scary. What can they do with just my bank account number?


I searched on google for "give out bank account" and there are quite a few government sites telling you NOT to give out bank account numbers. This government site from the UK even go as far as "Giving your bank details is like giving a burglar your front door key and telling him when you’ll be out."

What really puzzles me is, most business, especially import export business use this method for many overseas transactions. It is very hard to imagine this is not a safe way to do business overseas.

[edited by: Raymond at 8:37 pm (utc) on April 4, 2005]

Corey Bryant

 8:33 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

It all depends. Once they get the bank account information - let's pretend that they get your secret word. They can easily transfer all the money from your account to theirs. Of course, this might be a little paranoid (and it is) but when you have people involved - mistakes will be made. If you get someone on the phone that might go ahead and release some of that information, then it can be used in the next phone call to get more. You would be amazed at what I have tried out on my own bank account from time to time just to see if they are following rules



 8:36 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

it is easy enough to use that bank account number in concert with an online payment provider that supports ACH pull which means they could pull money from your account. The banks dont really check very much information on those transactions.

just as easy as if someone has your visa number, actually probably easier.

If you dont know or trust them, dont give them you account number, let them send you a cheque or some other type of payment.


 9:22 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Keep different accounts - the account number you give out is the one with zero balance, and no overdraft facility.


 8:50 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Spot on Longen, that's how any big business that accepts bank transfers works. All monies paid into that account are swept across into their main account and a zero balance is maintained at all times.



 5:11 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is also the point that your bank may well charge you for transfers into your account--particularly international ones. So check your bank for the fees. (For someone like me a $25 international fee is more than many of my transactions)


 6:01 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

yeah play it safe, but as someone else mentions, evgerytime you write a cheque (check for everyone across the pond) you give out your bank account number, sort code AND a copy of your signature. When you give it to a shop they may even take your credit card details.


 6:53 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Has anyone ever had someone withdraw money from their account using ACH due to a fraudulent customer?


 6:54 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)



 9:21 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

The specific receiving account was what our bank suggested. You open an account that you only use for receiving money. Make sure no overdraft, credit line on it, or auto-link(where they transfer money from another account to cover that account.) Then as soon as the money is received, transfer it to your main account.

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