Advice and answers from the Apartment Therapy Team

Apartment Therapy Marketplace is temporarily removing the payment platform to completely rebuild it. As of May 22nd, sellers will no longer be able to request payment from buyers using the secure payment platform. Creating or updating a Seller Payment Account will be disabled after June 1st. For users with an existing Seller Payment Account, the withdrawing funds tool is available until June 30th. You can also contact customer support at payments@apartmenttherapy.com for assistance withdrawing funds manually (via check or PayPal).

In order to set up a payment account, a Social Security number (SSN) is necessary. This is a requirement of all payment processors for sellers, not unique to us. However keep in mind that we do not store your full SSN, just the last four digits and those are encrypted. Here is an except from our Payment Terms of Use:

Security is one of the biggest considerations in everything we do. When using Apartment Therapy Marketplace Payments, social security and tax ID numbers, credit card and bank account numbers are securely encrypted, transmitted to and stored with Stripe, our payment processor. Absolutely no credit card, bank account, social security and tax ID numbers are stored on our servers nor do we have access to the un-encrypted data. Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor, and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available. Any other sensitive data that is stored on our servers is securely encrypted.

Why do payment processors require it?

In recent years, financial transactions have become more scrutinized because of potential money laundering specifically for terrorism, etc. The United States introduced new laws for the Internet where it is illegal for a seller to collect money without the following minimum information: For individuals: First/Last Name + SSN; and for businesses (additionally): Legal Corporate Name + Employer Identification Number. Again, this is a legal requirement for any seller.

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