When to give bank details
Thread poster: Sian Cooper

Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:03
French to English
+ ...
May 23, 2012

Hi, all. I'm new to this business, and am just trying to get myself established with some agencies. I have received a communication to register my details from an agency who appears to me to be quite legit. (I've gone through the risk management pages, and checked their email address, web page, the BB, etc.).

They have sent me to complete an NDA, which is quite standard and again looks fine; and a personal details form, which is where I have started to get a nervous twitch. Below is what they are asking me for (followed by employment history, rates, etc.); is it reasonable to give them all this information now? or indeed, at all, for some of it! If they are fake, they could steal my identity totally; yet at the same time, I quite understand that they want it - how can they transfer money without my bank details? It's just... scarey...

Thanks!

Personal

Full Name:
Postal Address:
Date of Birth (DD/MM/YY):
Gender (Male / Female):
Marital Status (Married / Unmarried):
Mobile Phone:
Home Phone:
Email:
Skype:
Nationality:
Highest qualification:
Are you a freelancer? (Yes / No):
Do you have a valid passport? (Yes / No):

Bank Account Details (For Translators Payment)*

Name of Account Holder:
Bank Name:
Branch Name:
Bank Address:
Account Number:
PAN Number:
Sort/SWIFT Code:
Tax Payee ID Number:


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:03
Member (2009)
French to English
First job at the earliest May 24, 2012

I would wait until I had done the first job for this agency at the very least. I cannot count how many agencies I have filed paperwork with and never received any work. To be honest, I would never give my bank information as I prefer to be paid by check or PayPal, however I the costs and standard policies are very different in Europe.

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Natalia Aksenova  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 19:03
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Wait a minute May 24, 2012

Dear Sian,
I am also very cautious when the company asks to provide the bank details.
I have only provided this information to 2 Australian companies which are my regular clients. For all other clients I use PayPal. In your case, they ask for information that is not relevant to your services. I recommend you to send them the bank details only after receiving the first PO.
I hope this would help.
Regards,
Natalia


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:03
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I agree May 24, 2012

Natalia Aksenova wrote:

Dear Sian,
I am also very cautious when the company asks to provide the bank details.
I have only provided this information to 2 Australian companies which are my regular clients. For all other clients I use PayPal. In your case, they ask for information that is not relevant to your services. I recommend you to send them the bank details only after receiving the first PO.
I hope this would help.
Regards,
Natalia


I agree with Jenn and Natalia. I see no reason to provide my bank details until I send the company my first invoice for an actual job.
We are not *obliged* to provide any of this personal information. What on earth has one's marital status, date of birth, validity of driving licence and so on got to do with one's ability as a translator?
In my experience too, many of the agencies which collect all this paperasse never subsequently offer any work at all.
Jenny


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:03
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Never a forehand May 24, 2012

Jenn Mercer wrote:

I would wait until I had done the first job for this agency at the very least. I cannot count how many agencies I have filed paperwork with and never received any work. To be honest, I would never give my bank information as I prefer to be paid by check or PayPal, however I the costs and standard policies are very different in Europe.


I agree with Jenn.

Bank and even full address information is not required in order for them to decide whether you are going to get the job or not. Upon first contact all that this agency needs to know is if you're qualified to do the job, and the references you have.

Everything else, especially the bank information, can wait until it's time to invoice the agency.



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trustworthy or not? May 24, 2012

The key is simple: if you TRUST the company or person to keep your details confidential, there should be no problem, as bank transfer is how many clients and agencies pay their providers. The question is whether you have a specific reason not to trust them, or if your concern is simply first-timer paranoia about data protection...

Sometimes you have to take risks to get anywhere. In any case, you could always open an account with a minimum deposit and only use that account for agency/client payments (I did this with ING Direct because they offered online transfers without huge commissions), while keeping your other,"main" bank details private.

PS: If the company is within a reachable geographic distance I tend not to worry because I can always go there in person and raise merry hell if any monkey business crops up.



[Edited at 2012-05-24 06:53 GMT]


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Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks :) May 24, 2012

Thanks, everyone - my instinct seems to be right then - caution; provide only what is necessary, when it is necessary.

neilmac, you are of course right about trust - I don't feel ready to trust that much first off! - sadly, I can't pop over to India to see them. And, for all that there are plenty of reputable companies in India, there are also plenty of dodgy ones, so my trust level is reduced.

Good idea about the bank account, though; I'll look into it. French regulations may be restrictive.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
India? May 24, 2012

S_Cooper wrote:
I don't feel ready to trust that much first off! - sadly, I can't pop over to India to see them. And, for all that there are plenty of reputable companies in India, there are also plenty of dodgy ones, so my trust level is reduced.


I wasn't going to post as I agree with others: fine if they are paying by bank transfer, but simply write 'to be advised' at this point in time. But India? Are they planning on paying by bank transfer? I doubt it and if they aren't, then they will never need those details. BTW, I should check with your bank before accepting this form of payment. It might be horrifically expensive.

Sheila


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some data they need May 24, 2012

The only details I don't think see why they need are your birth date, gender (though your name might be a clue), marital status and if you have a passport, which they don't really have a legitimate reason to ask for. Just tell them you won't provide this as you see no reason why they need it.

The only real question is when to give them the other data, If you don't feel comfortable giving them all these details then just give them your name & address and telephone, email, etc. and tell them you only give out your bank account details and tax ID once there has been an invoice issued.


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Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More thanks May 24, 2012

Alex Lago wrote:
only give out your bank account details and tax ID once there has been an invoice issued.


Yup, thanks, Alex, I had come to that conclusion, indeed

Sheila, I don't know how to multi-quote, maybe not possible, but thank you very much for chiming in after all; I will check their payment methods with them; and I shall retain un-needed details, at least for the moment.

Thanks everyone. I feel safer and more confident about (politely) refusing to give all this info.


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