Etsy sent an email to sellers Thursday morning informing them they must verify their bank accounts using a third-party service called Plaid. "Nothing like checking in this morning, and once again having Etsy ratchet up my anxiety levels," one seller wrote.
If the issue sounds familiar, it's because last month Etsy ran a test of Plaid
, and some sellers were leery of the requirement they enter their bank account number and *bank password
* into Plaid's system.
At the time, Etsy's help page
stated only the following:
"US sellers may see an option to connect with Plaid to add their bank accounts. We're testing an easy, secure way of verifying your bank details to help ensure you'll receive your deposits without trouble. If you're asked to connect with Plaid, follow the prompts. If you're in the US and aren't asked to connect with Plaid, you don't need to take further action to verify your bank details. Learn about Plaid's security measures."
Etsy has since updated the help page to include more information about Plaid, including the following FAQ:
Do I have to enter an online banking username and password?
You don't need an online banking username and password to verify your bank account. You can verify with test deposits to your bank account by choosing Manual instead of Instant for How would you like to connect your bank account? when opening Plaid.
If you're able to use an online banking username and password, verifying is usually easier. Verifying with test deposits requires waiting for the deposits to arrive in your bank account and manually entering them on Etsy via Plaid.
Sellers remain concerned about providing Plaid with the password to their bank account. Longtime seller Trish O'Connor (Epiclesis Consulting LLC) posted on the thread on the Etsy boards about this morning's email and agreed that, as a former banker, providing bank-account passwords online raised legitimate security concern. She wrote in part:
"As a former bank fraud analyst, I would never, EVER give my online banking password to anyone, especially not by any form of electronic communication over the internet. One of the first rules users of online banking are told is that there is no legitimate reason for anyone to ask for their password. Remember, anyone who has that information can not only "verify" your account, but if they chose to do so, perform transactions on it, such as initiate payments to themselves. Even if the intent is only to perform required account verification, sooner or later, there will be a dishonest person either inside or outside their company who will see an opportunity."
While O'Connor indicated in the thread that she wasn't concerned about security risks of the manual option, which doesn't require sellers to enter their bank-account password, sellers are concerned that the manual process puts their payouts on hold for 5 days.
A seller who received the information today said they chose instant verification and wrote, "I just went in and did it and then after they verified it I changed my bank password, just to be safe. I have a lot of orders to ship today and I can't wait 5 days for payment."
Sellers discussing the issue on this thread on the Etsy boards
are not only concerned, but the following post helps explain the level of anxiety some sellers face:
"I am in tears. Etsy has never let me verify my account in the past when I have tried to change it. It says it doesn't match what they have on file. It's the only account I have ever had with them. And now, verifying it REALLY matters. This is all my family has for income and it may be taken from us if I can't get Etsy to fix."
To which another seller replied:
"Same! I am soo stressed out. It keeps saying it doesn't match but it's correct! I checked all my statements from 2016+, it's the same number! How is it incorrect when I'm still getting payments."
One seller advised sellers not copy and paste their account information, but rather, type it in, and another suggested, "Try not including any dashes, dots or spaces in your account number."
A seller who had the same problem said they used Etsy chat:
"I had the same problem, and went to chat, they reset it on Etsy so I could re-enter it. this has taken all morning, and once I got it done I found out I won't be getting any deposits for 5 days, CRAZY I'm beyond frustrated right now."
Update 8/26/2022: A seller wrote to us today pointing to a thread on Etsy where sellers discussed receiving the verification code. "Etsy has screwed up their own "verification" process (instructions)," the seller said, referring to the fact some sellers received only one verification deposit, which was enough to complete the process. Update 8/26/2022: Another seller wrote us today pointing to a thread started by Trish O'Conner (referenced above) where she shares her thoughts on secure banking.