Payment methods and KYC

Many online services and exchanges claim to offer anonymous services, yet they often require the use of payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, Revolut, or bank transfers to complete transactions. These payment methods can be used as a form of KYC.

Payment methods and KYC
A grocery store of the future. Stable Diffusion v1.5.

Many online services and exchanges claim to offer anonymous services, yet they often require the use of payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, Revolut, or bank transfers to complete transactions. These payment methods can be used as a form of Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure, in which an individual's identity is verified.

However, the KYC process is typically more comprehensive and privacy-invasive and may involve additional steps such as reviewing government-issued identification documents, obtaining information about an individual's financial history, and even bio-metric data.

While in most cases the use of online payment methods may be only used to facilitate payment transactions, it is important to note that this information could potentially be used to identify an individual if necessary. Also, the payment processors (Stripe, Paypal, Banks...) may be gathering such information, which could then be analysed.

This means that the services offering such payment methods as options will not necessarily use such information to identify you and keep track of your identity. It is more likely that they just offer the payment method as part of their service and nothing more.

Nonetheless, you should always keep in mind that such methods could be used to identify you if needed. Therefore, it is important for individuals to carefully consider their threat model and act accordingly.

One way to use online services and exchanges in a more anonymous manner is to utilize local payment methods that do not require the use of personal information or financial accounts. Gift cards are usually a good method for this too. The use of virtual credit cards or prepaid debit cards for online payments can also provide an extra layer of anonymity, as they do not require the use of a traditional credit card or bank account. However, it is important to keep in mind that even with these types of payment methods, there may be limits on the amount that can be spent or the types of transactions that can be completed.

It is always important to carefully research and consider the privacy and security implications of any online payment method before using it. If you need total privacy, just use cash as no other method can provide you the same level of anonimity when using FIAT money. There are many sellers accepting it in LocalMonero, AgoraDesk, Peach Bitcoin, Bisq and most P2P exchanges.

There may be certain trade-offs to be made in the pursuit of anonymity, but we must make them so we can keep our freedom safe.

KYCNOT.me and payment methods

When listing a service on kycnot.me, I don't take into account if the offered payment methods can potentially be used as KYC. The main requirement for a listing is that it does not ask for a KYC procedure. For example, in LocalMonero you can pay with Revolut and still, the platform is not asking for KYC at all. It's your choice to use such method.

Services such as Relai do not ask for KYC up to €1000 payments. But still the only payment method available is credit card. I had a hard time with the decision whether to list them or not, because in the end, you must use information that can identify you in order to exchange there.

This issue can be handled if you are using some kind of prepaid or virtual card, but you could still trust Relai and use their service with your card. They are clear about what information they are storing and its purpose on their privacy policy. After thinking about it, I thought the service is worth listing, as there are almost no exchanges where you can buy without requiring a KYC process. This is why I decided to list them.