The Truth about Anonymous Bank Accounts
Most experts agree: the days when it was easy to open a numbered or anonymous bank account are all but gone. This is particularly true for U.S. citizens. Some banks still offer some type of bank secrecy, but increased scrutiny and pressure from the U.S. government has made most, if not all, of these banks reluctant to offer anonymity to Americans.
Online Accounts with a Prepaid MasterCard or Visa is the Solution
This can be a problem, especially for online merchants that want to keep a low profile when it comes to their earnings. Here are a few facts to chew on.
You should know that a so-called anonymous bank account is not actually anonymous. You still have to provide documents proving your identity to the bank. If you open an offshore account, you have to give them a plausible source of funds. Otherwise, you cannot open an account. That is, at least not legally.
The only difference between a regular account and an “anonymous” account is some banks keep this information secret, and will only divulge it in extreme circumstances. Even then, you have no real assurance of anonymity.
If you truly do not want anyone to know your identity through your bank account, you have several legal workarounds. An extreme one is to renounce home country citizenship and moving to a country with less stringent banking requirements. Most people will not want to do that.
Less radical options exist, however. One is to establish a limited liability company and nominate a director to represent for you. Another is to establish a trust and put funds in there. You can also purchase gift cards preloaded with funds and use those. Your name will not appear in any of these options, at least not without some digging.
In the case of an LLC or trust, you will have to involve a lawyer to set them up for you, and that does not come cheap. You will also need a trustworthy agent to run your LLC.
These are not ideal situations, especially if you want easy access to your funds. It’s not easy to make or receive payments through these options. However, there is one other option you can consider.
Many businesses are now looking at opening an account with online banks. These perfectly legitimate entities have some unique features. Account holders can choose to transact directly through their online accounts, through a currency exchange platform, or using a prepaid debit card that you can use in many countries. Account holders can have some measure of anonymity in financial transactions without having to go through hoops. Some platforms even allow you to use cryptocurrency, which is the height of anonymity.
An anonymous bank account is no longer an option for many online merchants and business owners. However, an online account can give you some measure of privacy, and you can open one without much hassle or expense.