After nine months of efforts, today I was finally able to withdraw my money from Moneybookers.com. I signed up at MB, because PayPal, the leading global online payment system did not work in Pakistan. I had to receive some money for the photographs sold at a website.
The buying website said that they could send me money by Western Union if PayPal was not available in Pakistan, but that would be too expensive and that they had alternate arrangement through MB. I happily signed up and the small amounts started pouring into my account.
On sign up, MB said that a letter containing a code would be sent on my provided address and I should put that code back into my MB account to verify my address. But the letter from MB never arrived and it dawned upon me that I could not withdraw my money without such a verification.
I contacted their support and asked them to resend the letter, but they said that it is sent only once and instructed me to send a scanned copy of my bank statement and a utility bill copy showing my name and address. I told them that I did not have any of utilities in my name as I lived in a rented house and all the connections were in the name of my landlord, but they did not budge.
Recently MB informed my that my account had been locked and it could only be opened if I changed my email and MB account password and send them proof of my ID i.e copies of my driver's licence, passport, national ID document and a copy of my bank statement.
Fortunately, the bank statement carried my home address and I sent it's scanned image along with passport and NIC images to them and the MB opened my account, but I could only withdraw 15 dollars test amount and they said that MB will send a six figure alphanumeric VRF code with the transaction.
The money arrived in three days and I called my bank and they told me the VRF code which I put in my MB account after which the MB informed me by email that the account had been verified. Once I saw this, I withdrew all my money to my Pakistani bank account because I do not want to take anymore chances with MB.
It is sad that citizens of nations afflicted by terrorism are being put through so many checks, verifications and counter-verifications that for many of them withdrawing their money from MB would never be possible. Though these verifications and counterchecks are essential to prevent terrorists from using these services, the MB should facilitate customers and if someone does not get the letter containing verification code due to patchy postal service in his/her country, they should be mindful of these realities and resend the letter.
Interestingly MB does not mind accepting or uploading funds by its customers and happily deposits money without any verification. In the name of fair business, they should not accept member's money until necessary verifications are completed, so that hard earned money of poor people of third world countries is not stuck in their coffers. Many frustrated MB clients on various Internet forums have accused MB of withholding their money for long times in the name of verification.