Saturday, 11 November 2017

Change at YOU magazine

I've recieved a message from blog reader Chris - 

"... the new requirement at You magazine in S. Africa for a scan of overseas writers' passports before payment can be made on accepted stories. This is a new stipulation by the SA banks apparently and fiction editor Lynn Ely assures me that the information will only be shared with the bank in question. Still, I am very doubtful about the wisdom of sharing my passport details (showing photo, ID number, DOB, etc.) this way, given the growth in ID fraud. I've sold around twenty stories to You mag over the past few years and payment has always been promptly made by BACS transfer but this new requirement concerns me. Has anyone else had experience of this and what did you decide to do?"

I've not sold anything to YOU since this change came in, but have heard from others who've been asked to do this, and expressed concern. Have you been asked? What did you do? Can anyone reassure Chris?


  1. I'm afraid it is a requirement.
    With my joint account, they also required a scan of my husband'a passport, and the invoice to be made out in both our names.
    I wasn't happy about this, and neither was my hubby.
    We got around it by taking my husband's name off the joint account. The bank were able to do this, and carried the change out fairly swiftly.
    Iv heard that the Australian mags don't require scans of passports.
    I don't honestly know what to advise if you haven't got a passport or are not willing to let them have a scan of it. Maybe just focus on other magazines instead?

  2. Thanks for the response, Sharon. Yes, I do have a passport and scanning it wouldn't be a problem. My concern is that with identify theft such a big issue now, it's not worth the risk of sharing my details this way. I'll continue to send my work to mags here in the UK and overseas but You mag was one that I always enjoyed seeing my stories in. As you know, they pay reasonably well, with the bonus of being happy to see work that has already been published outside SA. If there's no other way around this, I will be sad to lose that market.

    By the way, my own bank assured me that they don't require passport scans before handling BACS transfers and could offer no good reason why SA banks would do so. I just hope other countries don't decide to follow suit.

  3. I too have sold stories to You. Unfortunately it looks like I may well have sold them my last. No way would I send a scan of my passport...

  4. Another one bites the dust! I've only sold two to YOU magazine, but found Lyn Ely very nice to work with and liked the idea of an additional market, but I won't be sharing my identity details, either. Real shame. Kate Hogan

  5. Thanks for your input, everyone. You're right, Kate, Lynn is a helpful editor and I know she would have done her best to find a way around this if there was one, but she tells me they have no facility to make payments by PayPal, or by cheque. So, sadly, as things stand, I won't be sending my work there any more. A real loss.

  6. I scanned my passport and emailed an invoice with my bank details on. My mum was concerned about this but I feel that it will only go to You and their bank and no one else.

  7. Julie, thanks for the response and congrats on the sale. I'm sure you're right, in theory any scan should only go to the people who need to see it. My concern is that the internet is vulnerable, with some very big companies, ones that you'd expect to have the best security possible, having been the victims of hacking. That's why I felt I had to decline.


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