Identity verification required to re-enable card payments

Why do we need to provide verification documents?

Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations in Great Britain require our payment provider, Stripe, to verify that schools are making authentic transactions. Click here for more details on how our payment provider complies with Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.

To help comply with this, you may be required to provide additional identification documentation, such as proof of address or an ID verification document (detailed below).

  1. Arbor collects the required information from your school and provides it to our payment provider.
  2. Our payment provider then verifies the information. If verification fails, the submission is manually reviewed. Then the account is manually verified, or rejected if the information cannot be verified.

When does this happen?

After you have just set up Card Payments, if the details you already provided for verification during setup were not adequate. This could be because:

  • you did not submit the controller or representative's ID was not submitted during setup
  • the ID was not readable
  • the details on the document did not match what was recorded during setup

You could also be asked to provide additional identification documentation if your school has processed a large number of payments totalling a large sum of money.

Stripe continuously review their thresholds for when verification is needed, so Arbor Support are unable to provide specific details as to why your school has been asked to verify card payments again.

How are we notified?

If a staff member with the Finance: Administer permission sees a banner on their Homepage they need to click the button in the banner. They'll be taken to a page where they’ll be able to submit this information.



What happens if verification is not provided?

If the document(s) is not provided when requested, the card payment account for a school will be marked as unverified.

This will shortly result in your school being unable to process card payments until the document(s) is provided.

If you were no longer able to process card payments because of this, just submit the documents and the card payments functionality will become available again.


What information could be requested?

For Identity verification, you'll only need to provide details verifying the details that were input during the initial card payments setup. These might include:

  • The school’s name and address
  • Your representative’s details - This is usually the person who set up card payments on your school site
  • Your controller/owner’s details - These are the people who are the lead controllers of your school’s data, such as the headteacher or MAT leads

Not sure who your representative or controller is? Go to School > Payments > Setup > Card Payments > Accounts for Card Payments. Click the account and you'll be able to see your representative and controllers in the slide over.

If your representative or controller/owners have changed, follow these instructions: Change the controllers/owners and representative for card payments

School controllers'/owners' or representative's ID

If ID verification of the representative is required, you'll see this page. Just upload the document then click the Submit button.


Proof of address

You might be asked for a document proving the address of your controller/owners or representative to help further verify that they are who you say they are. 

The following types of documents are acceptable:

  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • A letter of correspondence issues from a government institution
  • An identity card if you have not already uploaded this as your proof of identity document

It must also follow the same formatting requirements as any other ID documents submitted (see the requirements here).

If proof of the representative's address is required, you'll see this page. Just add in the details then click the Submit button.


Proof of school name and address

As an extra layer of security, our payment provider might request that your school verifies the school details you provided during the Card Payments setup.

If proof of school name and address is required, you'll see this page. You can edit the school's name and address here if the details we have are incorrect.

Then just upload the document then click the Submit button. Reviews can take up to 24 hours for our payment provider to complete. Please note, the details on the verification document must match the school name and address specified during the card payment setup or the new details you've added on this page.

We recommend using one of these documents:

  • Your school's Ofsted inspection report (you can get this from here). Just type in your school's name or URN (find this in School > School Details) and click on your school to download the Full inspection report (a shorter report won't be sufficient).
  • Utility bill in the name of your school
  • Bank-issued document in the name of your school
  • Companies House Document
  • Charity Commission Document


Other details

If you’ve provided all the specified required details, but our payment provider cannot verify your account, we’ll get in touch with them to resolve the issue. All you’ll need to do is to contact us, and anyone with the Finance: Administer permission will get a reminder of this in a banner on their Arbor Dashboard.



Identity verification FAQ

Why do you ask for the school controllers/owners and representative’s details (name, address etc.)?

The Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations in Great Britain require us to collect and maintain this information. This is then submitted to our payment provider to verify its authenticity.

The information you provide will not be used for any other purposes than identity verification.

Do I have to provide a photo ID?

You must provide photographic identification such as a Passport or Driver's License to verify that you are who you say you are.

We are bound by Governmental guidelines to check who our customers are by asking them to provide their name, date of birth and photograph on an official document which confirms their identity.

Because of this, you must provide a photo ID during the card payments setup process to be able to complete the process and use card payments in Arbor.

Is my data safe with Stripe?

Arbor uses Stripe as a payment provider and creates a Stripe Connected Account for your school when you start using the card payments functionality. 

Stripe takes privacy and security very seriously. The Stripe Privacy Policy explains how and for what purposes they collect, use, retain, disclose, and safeguard any personal data provided by Arbor.

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