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ShawnA, CPA, Professor, CFP. CGMA, Business Consultant, Professor, PFS I have decades of experience answering these questions.
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2884
Experience:  CPA, Professor, CFP. CGMA, Business Consultant, Professor, PFS I have decades of experience answering these questions.
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I want to use the services of a US order fulfilment

Customer Question

Hello, I want to use the services of a US order fulfilment company and I am concerned as they want me to fill a credit application form with all my personal and bank information. My question is: Is it safe to give all this information and is there the risk of my information being used in malicious way and get me troubles and problems? Also, is there some other better and safer option that I could offer to the fulfilment company to be used for payments and funds transfers? Maybe a paypal or other method, but I don't know if they will accept that. Thank you in advance for any help on that issue. Best Regards, Slavian.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Angie replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question! I hope I am able to help you! Many companies require this type of information if you are opening an account in which you will be using a "line of credit" to purchase products from them. This is the company's method of checking your credit worthiness. Similar to opening a credit card or applying for a loan, the company will want to check your credit history to weigh the risk of sending you products before they receive payment. If you wish to pay for each product before they ship them, the company may be willing to keep a credit/debit card on file to bill your purchases. And, as you mentioned, paypal may be an option, however you would need to speak with a representative of this company to learn their policies. Often, when filling out applications that require banking information, you can write "will provide at a later date" rather than include your account numbers at the risk of them falling in the wrong hands, this may result in the company contacting you by phone to get additional information. Since you mentioned paypal, you could use a paypal debit card for this and you would still be covered by paypals protection. I would recommend that you do a google search on this company , specifically search for reviews of this company. This will allow you to see what others have said about the operations and how they were treated. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before you make a decision as to what information you will provide them. I hope this has been somewhat helpful, feel free to ask additional questions .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Angie,

thank you for your response. I am not actually applying for any credit or loan and will try to avoid taking any credits with this or other fulfilment company.

I am not going to buy products from this company, I will use their warehousing and fulfilment, packaging and shipping services for my products that I will send to them.

So if they want me to make any payment in advance, I would be ready to do so, but I will prefer to avoid filling the credit application form or any similar, containing the mentioned sensitive information.

I would be ready to use for that purpose paypal or any other payment method that is more secure in regards ***** ***** and banking/financial information. But I guess, that I will have to ask the company about that, whether they will accept other payment method.

I wanted to know if filling such "credit application" form is a common practice in this or other fields( fulfilment, e-commerce, retail, warehousing, product importing). And if there are any cases of missusage and problems to other people after filling such credit application forms.

Also, please tell me whether I should be worrying about providing such information online (or off-line) and if my worries are justified. I understand I should make some research on the company and I will, but the company isn't very big or famous and there may not be much information about them.

They also have some testimonials of happy customers(as almost every other company), but I am not sure if I can 100% trust these reviews and testimonials.

Thank you again for any assistance on my case.

Expert:  Angie replied 2 years ago.
I understand your concerns. My best advice would be contact the company by phone and tell them your reservations about giving this information since it would not be a credit account and you are willing to pay in advance.

Any time you provide anyone with your sensitive information there is a risk that it can be misused, even if the company is very reputable. Sometimes employees are not. You may ask them about their privacy policy and how they protect your information to see if you are comfortable with their business practice.

What would benefit you the most is to have a conversation with someone who has used this company and would be considered impartial. That scenario isn't very likely unless you personally know someone who has.

My advice on this topic is mostly opinion, as it would require you to speak with a company representative to ask about payment options and opt out of providing personal information. However the company probably requires this information as they are assuming a small risk of what types of items you will be sending them, your trustworthiness etc, but if you have concerns, speaking with a representative may help alleviate them.

I will opt out so that you may be assisted by another expert.
Expert:  ShawnA replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Different expert here. I fully understand your situation.However this is a normal industry standard. I would not hesitate to prove this information to them.They may run a background or credit check on your various reasons.