When an agency asks for personal information (bank, etc)
Thread poster: María Teresa Taylor Oliver

María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 20, 2003

Hello. I've recently been contacted by an agency, through my Proz profile, and this agency seems to be in good standing (it's listed on the Blue Board and all). However, since I'm fairly new to this, I would like to know your opinion on this particular matter:

When an agency asks for your bank information, such as bank name, branch code, SWIFT codes, etc., is this correct? Bear in mind that they're also asking about my rates, my personal info, samples, and verifying my data as it appears on my profile, and also, the message they sent me seems very professional in nature, with a proper signature and everything.

What's the best way to handle this? I'm wary about giving out any kind of information to anyone unless I'm sure it's the right thing to do.



Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
English to German
+ ...
This is part of your professional profile Oct 20, 2003

Hi Maria Teresa,
I cannot see anything improper here - after all, your bank details are part of your professional profile. For example, my company's bank details are stated on the company stationery. Details such as branch number/address, SWIFT BIC etc. are required for international payments.

Note, however, that a Blue Board listing per se does not guarantee anything; make sure to check the ratings on a regular basis. You may also want to take a look at the profiles of those members who entered a rating. (This is no criticism of the BB - I'm one of the people moderating it - but it should not be taken for granted.)

Your issue was also discussed in these threads:


HTH - Ralf


Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Bank info Oct 20, 2003

In Europe bank info such as account number, bank name and address, SWIFT code, etc. is not considered 'personal' information, in fact most companies will have it printed on their stationery and make it available to everyone. Since checks are hardly ever used here, bank transfers are the most common way of paying money and without complete bank info one cannot pay you.
Normally, such information is a part of invoice, but perhaps this agency keeps it in their data base for every contractor. It is not uncommon as well. I wouldn't hesitate to give it to them - but don't tell them your passwordicon_wink.gif



Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
They do that because they want to pay you! Oct 20, 2003

Bank information is a quite usual request. They are doing that because, I assume, they want to pay you via check or wire transfer.
My customers in USA send directly their payments via a check to my bank account in
Miami. For them (and me) it's cheaper than a wire transfer.
But the need to know the owner of the account, the number, and address. For a wire transfer, they might need your bank ABA code or Swift number.

Clarisa Moraña


María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you all! Oct 20, 2003

I'm really new to this, and I'm being very cautious, because I've heard of people who have been cheated out of payments, scammed, taken advantage of, etc.

Not that this seems to be the case, since everything appears to be legit, but I just wanted an opinion from the experts --> YOUicon_smile.gif



Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bank transfer Oct 20, 2003

is still the fastest (and cheapest) form of payment. Consider that a cheque has a clearing time (2 weeks for international) and that commissions may cut a great part off (especially when dealing with small amounts).

Cheques are still widely used in the US and the UK, but mainland Europe prefers bank transfers (and e-banking when it is available).

If your client uses e-banking facilities, MAKE SURE ALL THE DATA YOU SEND HIM ARE CORRECT. Some banks that process transactions manually are still able to verify data, but computers are notoriously stubborn when they come up against an error.



Helen Johnson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:56
Member (2003)
Swedish to English
+ ...
bank details Oct 21, 2003

Nope - nothing wrong with that, although I must admit companies have only asked me for my bank details once cooperation has already been decided and the company is saying it wants to pay by bank transfer of some sort. Maybe if a company asks for such details before a definite go-ahead has been given, it's simply being extra efficient to set things up all in one go.


Local time: 01:56
English to Thai
+ ...
Please help me, too. Nov 19, 2003

I am also new to international financial like this.
I did a small job for an agency. They would like to pay by paypal, credit card or cheque. (It's too small amount to transfer to my account.) I don't know which one would be the best.
Could anyone helpme, please...


sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:56
English to French
Stick by your guns Nov 19, 2003

sukung wrote:

I am also new to international financial like this.
I did a small job for an agency. They would like to pay by paypal, credit card or cheque. (It's too small amount to transfer to my account.) I don't know which one would be the best.
Could anyone helpme, please...

Where you are, none of these can be used, as far as I know, except the check but that means *you* will pay all the charges, more then the transfer charges, probably. How sweet!

So tell them to pay by bank transfer anyway, or via western union. "Up to them".

"The amount is too small" actually means "Now that you did the job, if you want the money, arrange it yourself". "How much it cost them to pay" is their problem, just as "how much it costs you to do the translation" is your problem.

Ask for payment in the way that's the most convenient for you. If they want to hire a Thai nationnal, they also have to be aware of the payment methods available. Really, payment is their part of the deal.


Local time: 01:56
English to Thai
+ ...
Thank you! Nov 20, 2003

Thank you ver much for your kind suggestion.

However, it's all my fool. +_+!


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When an agency asks for personal information (bank, etc)

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