Published: September 2021

Requiring SSN collection by peer-to-peer payment services puts consumers at risk

Consumer rights groups sent a letter to Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo of the Senate Finance Committee regarding a proposal under consideration in the budget reconciliation bill that would require peer-to-peer payment apps such as Square Cash and Venmo to collect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) for virtually all payee accounts. Because, unlike businesses, most individuals do not hold a separate TIN from their Social Security number, these companies will be collecting the SSNs of millions of Americans, potentially putting their privacy and financial health at risk.

Consumer Action joined consumer groups in urging Congress to reject the U.S. Treasury Department’s proposal to expand the mandatory reporting rules for private financial information that would require peer-to-peer payment app users to disclose their Social Security numbers (SSNs). Instead, advocates urged Treasury to explore ways to improve tax compliance that do not put Americans’ SSNs at risk. At minimum, the expanded reporting requirement should be scaled back to apply only to business accounts or to individual accounts with a high level of transactions. Peer-to-peer payment apps and other similar services that currently do not collect Taxpayer Identification Numbers should not be required to do so under the new reporting requirements.

Lead Organization

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

Other Organizations

Chicago Consumer Coalition | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Action | Constitutional Alliance | Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) | Media Alliance | National Workrights Institute | Virginia Citizens Consumer Council | Columbia Consumer Education Council (South Carolina)

More Information

To read the letter in full, please click here.

For more information, please visit EPIC’s website.


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