Acceptable Use Policy

Last updated February 25, 2022

Sila Inc. (together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, “Sila”), is a purveyor of financial technology operating as an agent of its one or more financial depository institution partners to facilitate their provision of banking and payments services (altogether, the “Services”) to Sila customers (each, a “customer”) and their platform application users (or “end users”). As an agent of a financial depository institution, Sila will perform certain approved functions on its behalf, including customer screening, onboarding, due diligence; provision of technology infrastructure and customer support; and other functions necessary to support its provision of the Services (together, the “Functions”). 

Every Sila customer (and each end user of the customer’s platform application and the Services) is strictly bound by this Acceptable Use Policy (the “Policy”). All customers and end users of the Services are independently responsible for complying with this Policy.

This Policy is incorporated into and made part of

  1. Sila’s Terms of Service;
  2. Sila’s Master Services Agreement; and
  3. every customer’s terms or conditions applicable against an end user of the Services upon reference in those terms or conditions.

This Policy may change periodically without notice, so customers and end users should review this Policy each time they use the Services. When this Policy is changed, the date of the latest revision will appear at the top of the page.

Companies that engage in or seek to support certain business activities or international transactions through use of the Services are either ineligible for the Services or subject to a high level of scrutiny by Sila and its principal financial institution. Sila enforces this Policy as part of its Functions to help support compliance with applicable law, regulations, partner requirements, payment system rules, and industry best practices.

This Policy is underpinned by four pillars, each an independent policy requirement:

  1. Prohibited Business Use
  2. Business Use Requiring Enhanced Review
  3. Prohibited Jurisdictions
  4. Jurisdictions Requiring Enhanced Review

Notice of Obligations: Sila customers must read, understand, and comply with each independent pillar of this Policy as a condition of initial and ongoing access to the Services. A customer’s violation of any pillar of this Policy constitutes a material breach of the Sila Master Services Agreement. An end user’s violation of this Policy constitutes a material violation of Sila’s Terms of Service and may result in expulsion from the Services and other legal action.


First Pillar:

Prohibited Business Use

No business or other entity is eligible to use the Services, either as a Sila customer or end user, if it assumes any of the following legally recognized forms:

  1. an entity that is formed in a foreign jurisdiction of which its beneficial owners are neither residents nor citizens;
  2. a business association that (i) is structured without active business operations or significant assets, or (ii) has any subsidiaries without active business operations or significant assets;
  3. a business association formed under the name of any federally recognized indigenous American tribe pursuant to the rights and privileges afforded to that tribe under the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. § 5112 et. seq.; or
  4. an entity whose bylaws or other chartering document permit the issuance of equity securities that are wholly owned by whoever bears the stock certificate.

Additionally, Sila customers and end users are strictly prohibited from using the Services to support any of the products, services, or methods of selling categorized below (each, a “Prohibited Use”).

If the nature of a customer’s platform application offers the potential for any end user of the Services to engage in any Prohibited Use, then the customer must not only incorporate this Policy into its end user-facing terms or conditions, but expressly prohibit every relevant Prohibited Use in those terms or conditions, in writing.

The description of each Prohibited Use below is simplified to offer guidance on what one or more activities are prohibited. The descriptions should be construed broadly; they are neither intended to establish legal or regulatory definitions of these terms nor guide you in any way as to the application of any law or rule. The word “including” as used in any description below should not be construed with limited scope and should be read as if immediately followed by the words “but not limited to.”

Sila and its partners prohibit these activities because they are either (a) highly susceptible to fraud and high dispute and chargeback rates; or (b) illegal or only legal in a limited number of jurisdictions or when complying with some specific set of formidable laws or rules. Sila customers are responsible for enforcing these prohibitions on their end users.

Prohibited UseDescription
Adult EntertainmentPayment for the support of or access to adult entertainment or pornography, either online or at a physical location, and regardless of whether or how monetized
Aircraft SalesPurchase, sale, or exchange of any kind of aircraft or aircraft part, excluding any drone or other unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
Cannabis Product SalesPurchase, sale, distribution, or exchange of any kind to effect the acquisition of a cannabis product of any kind, including CBD oil but excluding any hemp product
Card Network-Prohibited ActivitiesAny transaction type prohibited by any card network, including transactions for any business that sets requirements for minimum or maximum transaction amounts
Cash-Based MSB ActivitiesOperations of a licensed or unlicensed money transmitter or check casher or its merchants or agents that support cash payments
Cashless ATM PaymentsPIN-entry debit card payments at a merchant terminal device that processes payments only in incremental values, resulting in a cash disbursements to payers for the difference between the incremental value and the value owed to merchants
Chat and Dating ServicesMonetization of any business or social media platform that facilitates interpersonal connections among clients or users seeking romantic or sexual partners
Currency ExchangeUnlicensed exchange of one sovereign currency for another sovereign currency, either physically or online, either domestically or cross border, including where any digital asset may be used to intermediate the conversion
Escort ServicesSex trafficking or the marketing, sale, or facilitation of commercial sex acts, “companionship,” or other niche personal services, including the services of any type of “encounter” group or club
Firearm and Ammunition SalesManufacture, sale, or distribution of any firearm, firearm part, ballistics device, or ammunition of any kind, including any schematics or blueprints that can be used to independently manufacture firearms, whether with use of a 3D printer or otherwise
Firework or Explosive SalesManufacture, sale, or distribution of any firework or other form of highly regulated explosive
“Get-Rich-Quick” SchemesThe offer of a high rate of return on an initial investment without disclosure of how funds are invested or what risks are involved
Illegal Services or Product SalesMarketing, sale, distribution, or exchange of products or services of any kind deemed illegal by any level of government
Marijuana or Illicit Drug SalesPurchase, sale, distribution, or exchange of any kind to effect the acquisition of marijuana or any other controlled substance prohibited under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Schedules of Controlled Substances, 21 C.F.R. pt. 1308
Massage ServicesMarketing, sale, or facilitation of any massage or similar personal care services unless associated with a licensed spa or chiropractic care office
Multilevel Sales and MarketingSales supported by commission-based chain referrals or similar franchises (also known as “pyramid schemes” or “franchise fraud”)
Nested Payments or Money TransmissionThe resale or repackaging of the Services or the services of any money services business for use by any person or business seeking to facilitate transactions for its own end users
Online Tobacco SalesOnline marketing, sale, or distribution of tobacco products to consumers
On-Site GamblingPlacement of any wager or payout of any winnings in support of the operations of any land-based casino, on-track or off-track betting site, or other betting house
“Pseudo” Product SalesPurchase, sale, or distribution of any product that uses deceptive labeling or imitation practices or false names or endorsements
Rotating Credit and SavingsPooling funds among participants to facilitate unregulated investing, lending, or savings, including on a round-robin basis or otherwise
Tattoo ServicesPurchase, sale, or provision of tattoos as a product or service
Tax Anticipation ServicesMarketing, offer, purchase, sale, or underwriting of any kind of tax refund anticipation loan
Unfair, Predatory, or Deceptive PracticesMarketing, purchase, sale, or distribution of products or services of any kind that support fraud or engage in any unfair, deceptive, or abusive act as defined by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under 12 C.F.R. pt. 1041

Second Pillar:

Business Use Requiring Enhanced Review

Sila customers are prohibited from using the Services or allowing end users to use the Services to support any of the products, services, or methods of selling categorized below (each, a “Restricted Use”) except with Sila’s express prior written approval.

Before granting approval to a customer to engage in or support any Restricted Use, Sila will request, collect, and review specific documentation from a customer above and beyond what Sila and its partners require for standard customer due diligence. The customer’s supporting documentation must bolster Sila’s finding that the customer is suitably knowledgeable about and compliant with all law and regulation that may be independently applicable to its business and related activities. The customer must demonstrate it has adequate risk-based controls necessary to ensure ongoing compliance with its independent regulatory requirements and best practices within its one or more industries.

If the nature of a customer’s platform application offers the potential for any end user of the Services to engage in any Restricted Use not explicitly approved by Sila in writing, then the customer must, not only incorporate this Policy into its end user-facing terms or conditions, but, expressly prohibit every relevant Restricted Use in those terms or conditions, in writing.

The description of each Restricted Use below is simplified to offer guidance on what one or more activities are restricted. The descriptions should be construed broadly; they are not intended to provide you with legal or regulatory definitions of these terms. Any form of the word “include” (or “including”) contained in a description does not limit the description’s scope; it should be constructed as if immediately followed by the words “but not limited to.”

Sila and its partners prohibit these activities because they are either (a) highly susceptible to fraud and high dispute and chargeback rates; or (b) illegal or only legal in a limited number of jurisdictions or when complying with some specific set of formidable laws or rules. Sila customers are responsible for enforcing these prohibitions on their end users.

Restricted UseDescription
“As Seen on TV” Product SalesMarketing, sale, or distribution of any product currently or previously advertised on television in “infomercials” for direct purchase by mail order or phone order
Arcade Sales or Video Game Vending Arcade or video game play sales, or the provision, servicing, or leasing of video or arcade game equipment
Auction SalesPayment as part of any auction for the sale of property or services, either privately or to the general public
Bail Bond ServicesProvision of loans or bonds to any person who is charged with a crime for which she may be incarcerated for the purpose of posting bail with the court overseeing the charge
Charity and Nonprofit FundraisingDonation or financing of any nonprofit organization of any kind contributed by any person or entity of any kind
Credit Card SchemesOperation of a card payment network that solicits memberships from financial institutions for card issuing
Credit Restoration or Debt ReliefMarketing, purchase, or sale of any service designed to help consumers restore their credit score or seek debt relief by disputing reports with credit bureaus or negotiating with creditors to seek loan forgiveness
CrowdfundingPeer-to-peer fundraising by individuals or startups to raise funds from platform users for personal expenses or business ventures, either as a charitable donation or an investment in the enterprise
Cryptocurrency or Other Digital Token ActivitiesMarketing, purchase, sale, custody, or use of any kind of digital token, including if it is used merely to support a decentralized application, and including any of the following types of digital tokens:transactional token: cryptocurrency, stablecoin, etc.non-transactional token: platform token, utility token, governance token, etc.unique token: non-fungible token (NFT), social token, creator token, etc.security token: ICO token, digital security, etc.
Debt CollectionThird-party collection or recovery of funds from a consumer or business debtor on behalf of any creditor or biller
Digital Gaming or WageringDirect placement of a wager or the marketing, purchase, sale, or exchange of any credit used to place a wager on any game of skill or chance for the opportunity to win any kind of reward, regardless of whether the game is live or virtual
Direct Catalog MarketingMarketing or sale of any retail product or service directly to consumers using primarily a type of catalog or brochure, printed or digital
Direct Subscription MarketingMarketing or sale of any retail product or service directly to consumers primarily on the basis of a subscription or recurring payment of relatively low amounts or at high profit margins
Door-to-Door SalesMarketing or sale of any subscription, brand, product, or service, or the collection of commercial information by canvassing homes or public areas
Futures, Forwards, Options, or Swaps MarketsPurchase, sale, exchange, or provision of any derivative financial vehicle, including any futures, forwards, options, or swaps contract
Gig Economy Platform ActivitiesConsumer payments to independent contractors (or “gig” workers) in exchange for any services, either by contract or freelance
Government Grant-Funded ActivitiesProvision of services or support of operations using grant funds received by any government entity or arm
Government ServicesProvision of government services, either by a government-chartered entity, department, agency, or arm, or a profit or nonprofit business contracting with a government entity to perform services or carry out certain government functions
Group Savings or PaymentsCollection or pooling of the funds of any group of individuals or businesses to save or spend as a collective
Home-Based Charity PaymentsPayment supporting any sales, operations, or fundraising of any nonprofit charitable organization operated primarily out of the home or homes of its principals
Income PoolingCollection or pooling of the funds of any group of income earners under a multilateral contract governing use of the funds by its participants upon satisfaction of a condition or set of conditions
Insurance and Annuity SalesMarketing, offer, purchase, or sale of any type of insurance or annuity contract of any kind, including any liability insurance, life insurance, loan guaranty, or home warranty of any kind
International PaymentsAny transaction that supports or serves as any part of the transfer of value cross border between any U.S. state and any other jurisdiction, including any foreign country or U.S. territory or possession
Legal or Contractual ServicesAny transaction that supports or serves as any part of the transfer of value, either topay for or retain legal services of any kind; orsatisfy a condition of any legally binding contract supplied by a platform application for execution among end users
LendingExtension of credit or the marketing, offer, purchase, sale, or underwriting of any consumer or business loan of any kind, regardless of whether the lending product is commercial, collateralized, guaranteed, or otherwise
Loan ServicingCollection of regular or recurring payments from any kind of borrower, either on behalf of a lender or creditor or to service a debt purchased from from a lender or creditor
Lottery Sales or OperationsPurchase or sale of any ticket or token to the public lottery of any state or local government, or any payment used to help facilitate commercial or non-commercial lottery operations for any person or government or non-government entity
Modeling or Talent Agency ServicesPayment for the service or commission of any platform application or self-employed or corporate talent agent providing networking or professional opportunities, career development or representation for any kind of industry, including in art, music, acting, modeling, content creation, or competitive sports
MSB ActivitiesAny transaction that supports or serves as any part of the transfer of value for the operations of a money services business (MSB), including any of the following:handling or holding client funds for electronic money transmissionforeign exchange or cross-border remittanceissuance or sale of any type of money order, traveler’s check, or other payment instrumentsale or provision of any prepaid access to funds, such as a through use of a prepaid card or other prepaid programcustody, issuance, administration, transfer, purchase, sale, or exchange of any type of digital token offering a substitute for real currency
Nutraceutical, Vitamin, or Supplement SalesMarketing, sale, or distribution of vitamins, food additives, or dietary supplements regulated or exempt by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pursuant to 21 C.F.R. pt.170
On-Site Tobacco SalesOn-site merchant sale any kind of tobacco or nicotine product, including any kind of paper or tobacco wrap, e-cigarette, or e-cigarette refill
Pawn Shop ActivitiesMarketing, issuance, provision, or underwriting of any kind of loan  requiring delivery of possession of a borrower’s personal property as collateral for the loan
Pharmaceutical SalesMarketing, sale, or distribution of any kind of prescription medication or over-the-counter pharmaceutical regulated under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Schedules of Controlled Substances, 21 C.F.R. pt. 1308
Political FundraisingPayment supporting any kind of operations of or fundraising for any kind of political organization, including any civic league, political campaign or cause, candidate for public office, or political action committee
Precious Metals and Other High Value SalesMarketing, purchase, sale, exchange, or distribution of any kind of high-value tangible, including precious metals, gems, jewelry, watches, antiques, fine art, or rare collectibles
Prediction MarketsPlacement of funds to enter into a kind of futures contract derivative of potential outcomes or conditions of any kind of market or event that supplies useful information to market participants or broader economy
Private Marketplace or Bazaar SalesPayment to any private vendor or individual for the purchase or sale of any kind of good or service by any of the following means:via any private consumer mobile or online marketplace or secondhand listing serviceat any physical, open-air location, including any kind of farmer’s market, street market, bazaar, “flea” market, garage sale, tag sale, or yard sale
Raffles or SweepstakesPayment for admission to any contest to obtain something of value by lot or chance, entry to which eitherrequires payment of a flat entry fee; orcomes with the payment of a fee or independent purchase, as long as the fee or purchase is not required for entry
Real-Estate Sales or InvestmentAny transaction used to support or facilitate the transfer, finance, investment, or development of any kind of real estate, including any kind of domestic or overseas resort or retreat
Securities Markets and Private Equity FinancingMarketing, vending, offer, purchase, sale, transfer, custody, issuance, or redemption of any type of security, including any class or grade of company stock, government bond, debenture, or other, similar investment or in any special purpose vehicle (SPV), regardless of whether the security is registered or unregistered, nonexempt or exempt
Student Loan AssistanceMarketing, offer, or facilitation of any service offering to help a borrower to manage, repay, or seek forgiveness on a student loan
Surveillance Equipment SalesMarketing, purchase, sale, or distribution of any kind of electronic surveillance equipment regulated under the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security’s Commerce Control List, 15 C.F.R. pt. 774
Telecommunication or Cable ServicesMarketing, purchase, sale, distribution, installation, or servicing of any cable, broadband, satellite, phone, or other telecommunications services, software, or equipment of any kind
TelemarketingMarketing, offer, sale, or solicitation of any kind of product or service primarily over the phone or via short message service (SMS) or voice messaging
Ticketing, Reservation, or Delivery ServicesMarketing, purchase, sale, provision, or facilitation of any reservation, ticket, admission, or booking of any kind, or any transaction for the placement or delivery of any on-demand food, drink, or other product
Travel Agency or Tour Operator ActivitiesMarketing, sale, or provision of any kind of travel agency service for the arrangement of travel, tickets, reservations, or other planned activities outside the U.S.
Trust or Trust Company ServicesAny transaction supporting either thecreation or management of any kind of trust or estate; orprovision of corporate services, including the formation or legal or financial management of any kind of business association or other entities, assets, or vehicles
Vehicle SalesPurchase, sale, or exchange of any kind of vehicle, whole or by part, including for any car, truck, boat, yacht, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), motorcycle, moped, biped, or other motorized vehicle
Video RentalPayment for any lease or rental of any kind of video, video game, or other media stored in a physical medium, regardless of whether distributed by a physical retail merchant, vending machine, or parcel service

Third Pillar:

Prohibited Jurisdictions

No business or other entity is eligible to use the Services, either as a Sila customer or end user, if it is controlled by, or affiliated by common beneficial ownership with, any person or entity located in or politically or economically connected to any nation, sovereign, territory, or dependency listed below (each, a “Prohibited Jurisdiction”).

Additionally, both Sila customers and end users are strictly prohibited from using the Services to engage in or support any transaction that serves as any part of the transfer of value cross border between any U.S. state and any Prohibited Jurisdiction.

If the nature of a customer’s platform application offers the potential for any end user of the Services to engage in or give effect to any international transaction involving a Prohibited Jurisdiction, then the customer must, not only incorporate this Policy into its end user-facing terms or conditions, but, expressly prohibit transactions involving each Prohibited Jurisdiction in those terms or conditions, in writing.

Sila and its partners prohibit support for transactions and customers involved with any of these jurisdictions due either to (a) the threat of significant fraud, money laundering, or terrorist financing risks; or (b) restrictions imposed under the sanctions programs of the U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Additionally, every customer and end user is strictly prohibited from using the Services to support any transaction involving any person or entity covered by any OFAC sanctions program.

Prohibited Jurisdictions

AlbaniaMali
Bailiwick of GuernseyMalta
Bailiwick of JerseyMonaco
BelarusMontenegro
BeninMozambique
British Virgin IslandsNicaragua
BulgariaNorth Korea
BurundiRepublic of Congo
Cayman IslandsRussian Federation
Central African RepublicSerbia
CroatiaSomalia
CubaSouth Sudan
IranSudan and Darfur
IraqSyria
Isle of ManTurkey
LaosUkraine (including Luhansk and Donetsk)
LebanonVenezuela
LibyaYemen
MacedoniaZimbabwe

Fourth Pillar:

Jurisdictions Requiring Enhanced Review

Sila customers are prohibited from using the Services or allowing end users to use the Services if controlled by (or affiliated by common beneficial ownership with) any person or entity located in (or politically or economically connected to) any nation, sovereign, territory, or dependency listed below (each, a “Restricted Jurisdiction”) except with Sila’s express prior written approval.

Additionally, Sila customers and end users are strictly prohibited from using the Services to engage in or support any transaction that serves as any part of the transfer of value cross border between any U.S. state and any Restricted Jurisdiction except with Sila’s express prior written approval.

Before granting approval to allow a customer to use the Services (either (a) as a business with any connection to or affiliation with any Restricted Jurisdiction; or (b) to support any customer or end user transactions that make up any part of the transfer of value derived from, moving through, or destined for any Restricted Jurisdiction), Sila will request, collect, and review specific documentation from the customer above and beyond what Sila and its partners require for standard customer due diligence. The customer’s supporting documentation must bolster Sila’s finding that the customer, its end users, or its platform application do not pose risks related to any Restricted Jurisdiction that would otherwise be of concern for that jurisdiction. If a customer is supporting transactions to give effect to any transfer of value involving a Restricted Jurisdiction, then the customer must demonstrate it has adequate risk-based controls necessary to ensure ongoing compliance with its independent regulatory requirements and best practices addressing risks apparent in or unique to that jurisdiction.

If the nature of a customer’s platform application offers the potential for any end user of the Services to engage in or give effect to any international transaction involving a Restricted Jurisdiction, then the customer must not only incorporate this Policy into its end user-facing terms or conditions, but expressly prohibit transactions involving each Restricted Jurisdiction in those terms or conditions, in writing.

Sila and its partners restrict support for transactions and customers involved with any of these jurisdictions due either to (a) the threat of significant fraud, money laundering, or terrorist financing risks; or (b) restrictions imposed under the sanctions programs of the U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Restricted Jurisdictions

AfghanistanEcuadorNetherlands
AngolaGazaNigeria
Antigua and BarbudaGhanaPakistan
ArgentinaGuinea BissauPanama
ArmeniaGuyanaParaguay
AzerbaijanHaitiPhilippines
BahamasHong KongPuerto Rico (U.S.)
BarbadosIcelandRwanda
BelizeIrelandSenegal
BermudaJamaicaSierra Leone
BoliviaJordanSingapore
Bosnia and HerzegovinaKazakhstanSwitzerland
BotswanaKenyaTajikistan
BrazilKyrgyzstanTanzania
Burkina FasoLiberiaTogo
Burma (Myanmar)LuxembourgTrinidad and Tobago
CambodiaMacauTunisia
CameroonMagnitskyTurkey
ChinaMauritiusUganda
ColombiaMexicoUruguay
Côte d’IvoireMongoliaWest Bank
CyprusMoroccoWestern Sahara