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Citi asks for passport or green card as proof

Citi asks for passport or green card as proof

Old Jul 8, 2023, 9:58 pm
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Question Citi asks for passport or green card as proof

A few months ago, Citi sent me a pre-approved offer for a Citi Custom Cash credit card. And I decided to fill out the forms and apply. In a few weeks, Citi sent me another mail asking me to send them a photocopy of U.S. passport or permanent residence permit. And this is something I didn't feel good about. I have more than 10 credit cards from different banks, and my credit history is 15 years long with a credit score of high 700 (my social security is valid and has never changed). None of the banks ever asked me about proof like Citi did.

Mu questions are
1. What information a bank can request? Are there any regulations that limit what a bank can request from potential borrowers?
2. If a bank can ask for immigration documents, do they really have the means to verify it? Does the U.S. government provide verification of the immigration documents to 3rd party businesses?

I didn't send the requested photocopies to Citi because I felt it violated my rights (in the end, it was their initiative to trick me into applying, not mine). But what was surprising, Citi has never sent me a letter about their decision on my application. So my last question is,

3. Isn't a bank obliged by law to send a letter explaining their decision on the application case?

Overall, I didn't like my experience with Citi. Certainly, it was way below my expectations. I know Citi has issues with OCC, and they are probably not in great shape. Could it be enough reason to explain their mishandling? And, btw, I used to have a Citi Simplicity credit card since 2013, which I closed in 2017.

Many thanks!
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 11:23 am
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Sounds like a Know Your Customer (KYC) process. Banks in the US are required to verify that you are who you say you are.


https://www.businessinsider.com/pers...-your-customer
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Old Jul 12, 2023, 9:19 pm
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Unfortunately, I recently had a similar experience with Citi. I received numerous pre-approved invitation letters from them and decided to apply for the Citi Custom Cash card. However, I found the application process to be quite challenging compared to my experiences with other banks. Despite having more than 10 cards from reputable institutions such as BoFA, Chase, Capital One, Amex, and Discover, I encountered several hurdles.

After submitting my online application, I received a letter from Citi about a week later, requesting additional documents to be sent via mail. This unexpected request prompted me to reconsider my decision and ultimately led me to withdraw my application.

Here are a few points I believe Citi could improve upon:
  1. The pre-approved offer letter from Citi initially attracted me, but their inability to make a decision based on the information provided during the online application was disappointing. In contrast, when I applied with other banks, I received approval notices and physical cards within about a week.
  2. Citi should consider enhancing their online application form to include all the necessary information required for them to make an informed decision. This would not only streamline the process but also prevent delays caused by additional document requests.
  3. It's essential for the application process to be straightforward and smooth to ensure customer satisfaction. Clear communication and efficient procedures are crucial in establishing trust and maintaining a positive banking experience.
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Old Jul 16, 2023, 12:07 pm
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mia
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Originally Posted by olb2006
....requesting additional documents
Which documents?
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Old Jul 16, 2023, 1:08 pm
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They asked for a U.S. passport or permanent residence card.
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Old Jul 16, 2023, 9:51 pm
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"3. Isn't a bank obliged by law to send a letter explaining their decision on the application case?"

Only if you are declined & since you never sent the docs they requested your app wasn't "declined" but simply ignored.
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by philemer
"3. Isn't a bank obliged by law to send a letter explaining their decision on the application case?"

Only if you are declined & since you never sent the docs they requested your app wasn't "declined" but simply ignored.
I will not agree with you here. I have filled out an application online, provided the necessary details the bank has asked for in the application form (i.e., social security, name, address, phone number, etc.), and hit the button "Agree and Submit" after the completion. I have also had to check a bunch of checkboxes, including "With regard to my application, I will receive my application status/decision by email." So this was the application, indeed. And it was declined, but the bank gave no explanation as to their decision.
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by digiordi
I will not agree with you here. I have filled out an application online, provided the necessary details the bank has asked for in the application form (i.e., social security, name, address, phone number, etc.), and hit the button "Agree and Submit" after the completion. I have also had to check a bunch of checkboxes, including "With regard to my application, I will receive my application status/decision by email." So this was the application, indeed. And it was declined, but the bank gave no explanation as to their decision.

Clearly it wasnt declined until you abandoned it. Citi told you that, in order to make a decision, they needed additional information from you. If you feel they violated laws or regulations, feel free to complain to the CFPB. Complaining here isnt going to help.
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
Clearly it wasnt declined until you abandoned it. Citi told you that, in order to make a decision, they needed additional information from you. If you feel they violated laws or regulations, feel free to complain to the CFPB. Complaining here isnt going to help.
I have not abandoned my application; you didn't read the thread carefully, I assume. Although I am not complaining - I don't see complaints in my original post with the three questions - but thank you for suggesting CFPB. Indeed, CFPB is the right agency for filing complaints. As to the questions I've asked, I hope you are not trying to silence my post and prevent me from inquiring about legitimate concerns publicly.
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by digiordi
I have not abandoned my application; you didn't read the thread carefully, I assume.
I am sorry if I misread this:

Originally Posted by digiordi
I didn't send the requested photocopies to Citi because I felt it violated my rights (in the end, it was their initiative to trick me into applying, not mine).
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 12:24 pm
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I reread your OP and it does not say you were declined only that you refused to send in the required Docs. That's what I based my 1st response on.
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by philemer
I reread your OP and it does not say you were declined only that you refused to send in the required Docs. That's what I based my 1st response on.
Right, I submitted the application online, then received a letter from Citi requesting additional documents (proof of passport or permanent residence card). I haven't replied to it. I think the bank should have had some time frame to make some decision on the application; I don't think they could just ignore it because the application has been submitted through the formal channel.

Probably, I would have accepted if they just replied after some time saying something like, "we have declined your application because we were unable to verify (blah-blah)." But at least I would have received a formal response. Only because the entire process was so strange, it triggered me to try to understand it in some detail. At some point, I even thought, is it possible there were some perpetrators in between asking for such documents? Again, this is the first time in more than a decade that I've been asked passport or green card for the credit card application. And so I asked my questions here.

I didn't intend to offend anyone, and maybe this is just not the right forum to ask these questions. But if anyone has detailed knowledge from the legal perspective, I would certainly appreciate it if you can share.
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 1:09 pm
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An internet discussion board is not the place to seek legal advice. We can only suggest different ways of thinking and acting.

When anyone applies for a Citicard they read and agree to these terms. When someone does not respond to a request for documentation or information they are abandoning the application. It's better to provide something in response to a request than to ignore it, and it's seldom advisable to take a legalistic approach unless prepared to employ legal representation.

Identity Verification
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW ACCOUNT - To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. This means that we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you when you open an account. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents; and obtain identification information about you or any Authorized User you add to your account.

Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Disclose Your Social Security Number Verification - You authorize the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify and disclose to Citibank, N.A. through Experian for the purpose of this transaction whether the name, Social Security Number (SSN) and date of birth you have submitted matches information in SSA records. Your consent is for a one-time validation within the next 90 days.

ABOUT USING YOUR MOBILE PHONE TO APPLY FOR AN ACCOUNT ONLINE

You authorize your wireless carrier to use or disclose information about your account and your wireless device, if available, to Citi or its service provider for the duration of your business relationship, solely to help them identify you or your wireless device and to prevent fraud.
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Last edited by mia; Jul 19, 2023 at 2:46 pm
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by mia
An internet discussion board is not the place to seek legal advice. We can only suggest different ways of thinking and acting.

When anyone applies for a Citicard they read and agree to these terms. When someone does not respond to a request for documentation or information they are abandoning the application. It's better to provide something in response to a request than to ignore it, and it's seldom advisable to take a legalistic approach unless prepared to employ legal representation.
While I don't seek legal advice per se, I am curious about the issue and shared my story. There are many knowledgeable people on the internet who could potentially answer, so I don't understand why I can't ask these questions on internet boards. If you are not curious, it doesn't interest you, or you find these questions irrelevant, just pass on. It's totally fine, no offense, really.

Now, I don't think it is an acceptable answer that "if you agreed to the terms, then Citi can ask you for anything now." Citi has specifically asked for a passport or a green card, and not driver license or other less sensitive identification documents. And so are my original questions 1 and 2.

Just a thought - if I were a bank, and I wanted to decline an application without an explanation, can I ask for sensitive information that the customer will not accept to provide? Just to claim he/she abandoned the application, hiding behind broadly defined terms and conditions. Just wondering if it begs for stricter regulations then...

Thanks!
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by digiordi
Now, I don't think it is an acceptable answer that "if you agreed to the terms, then Citi can ask you for anything now." Citi has specifically asked for a passport or a green card, and not driver license or other less sensitive identification documents. And so are my original questions 1 and 2.

Just a thought - if I were a bank, and I wanted to decline an application without an explanation, can I ask for sensitive information that the customer will not accept to provide? Just to claim he/she abandoned the application, hiding behind broadly defined terms and conditions. Just wondering if it begs for stricter regulations then...
Why do you feel a green card or passport is more sensitive than your drivers license or state ID? My passport has been photocopied countless times at hotels all over the world (in addition to being stored in airline and immigration computer systems).

When you apply for a credit card, you are essentially applying for a loan. Its not unheard of that banks want to know who you are and what your financial situation is before they give you a piece of plastic that represents a loan of thousands of dollars. Some applicants have been asked for tax returns to demonstrate that the financial information on the application is correct. That I personally would decline to provide (but only because I generally dont really need another credit card), but a copy of an ID? I wouldnt mind.

I dont think we need stricter regulations based on your use case.

What happened since your original post - any update?
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