A New Security Measure for NETeller

11 December 2002

Amid heightening worldwide concerns over opportunities to launder money via online transactions, one of the most popular payment processors among I-gaming operators has commenced a practice that will enable it to "know" its customers better.

On Dec. 1 NETeller began requiring its users to provide Social Security Numbers. The company is believed to be the first I-gaming transaction processor to do so.

John Lefebvre, NETeller's president, said the move was made to remain "in line with government rules and regulations." The reasoning, he said, was that users can obtain credit cards using false names without much difficulty. Equally as simple once a credit card is been obtained, then, is opening an account with an alternative payment processor, like NETeller, using that false information. In addition to preventing such a scenario, the new measure creates another step through which processors can cross check information on a player's ID.

NETeller didn't specify which "government rules and regulations," if any, prompted the policy, but one Caribbean-based sports book operator said he was told by company officials that the changes were made to stay in compliance with the Patriot Act, a federal U.S. law providing mechanisms to inhibit the funding of terrorist activity. The operator, who requested anonymity, said NETeller is the only I-gaming payment processor with such a rule.

Lefebvre said the policy only applies to customers opening new accounts. He was unsure whether existing customers would be asked to provide the same information at a later date.