TOPIC: Acceptable Use

Account verification requests from Accuity or AVS

CEO at a credit_union ($38MUSA)
I am a Pennsylvania financial institution.  I receive numerous account verification requests from a company called Accuity although they also go by the name AVS or Asset Verification Services.  The requests include a person's name, address and Social Security number and some are requesting monthly balance information for the past year or more.  There is a line for the person to authorize the disclosure of the information but the line always says "Signature On File" in place of an actual signature.  I have asked Accuity/AVS to provide me with an authorizing document showing that they have been authorized by a government agency to do these verifications.  Instead they told me to Google it and sent me a copy of part of the 1940 Medicaid AVS Legislation that shows that "a State may select and enter into a contract with a public or private entity meeting such criteria and qualifications as the State determines appropriate....."  I understand that a State can outsource it but I assume there should be an authorizing document to provide to those of us they are requesting confidential information from.  On top of that, I've asked them to actually provide the signature of the person that authorized release of their confidential information and Accuity/AVS has told me they don't have the technological capabilities to do that.  A large quantity of these requests aren't even my customers which means they are sending me confidential information for loads of individuals in the hopes that I might verify the account information of a few.  They told me this is because of a fraud algorithm they use that attempts to check with a variety of institutions in case the person is hiding funds somewhere other than the account information they initially provided to the agency.  I am very uncomfortable with divulging financial information to an agency that refuses to prove they are authorized to request it using a form without a legitimate signature sent to numerous arbitrary institutions in the hopes of catching wrongdoing on the part of the applicant.  I wouldn't even give this information to law enforcement without a warrant or subpoena.  Does anyone else have a problem with this?  This feels similar to an unlawful search.
  • SVP at a bank ($1.6BUSA)
    The problem is that if you don't do them, you could jeopardize your customers benefits.  Without verficiations, some government entities will stop sending monthly payments. We get them from Accuity and SSA on a regular basis. I do wish they would ONLY send requests for our customers. It is extremely time consuming to look up every one and disregard so many that have no accounts with us.