But then I came across a reddit comment from the Hetzner representative.
Why do we ask for a copy of your passport? Let me explain:
Because of our very low prices, at Hetzner Online, we unwittingly attract many fraudsters and spammers who try to abuse our servers. Our servers are powerful machines. Therefore, once they are in the hands of a crook / spammer, they can do a lot of harm. That's why we have to be very careful about the orders we accept and those we reject. We have the responsibility to protect others on the Internet. This is why we take very seriously the verification of the identity of a customer. If we are unsure of the authenticity of the potential new customer, we ask him to send us a copy of his passport or other identity document to prove it. Of course, they always have the option of sending the documents in an encrypted mail.
In addition, we now offer an option available to people whose new accounts are marked but do not want to send an ID or whose ID was not helpful for our team. They have the option of making a prepaid payment with Paypal as a new authentication method.
This is good news, at least I thought.
Since Hetzner offers more powerful dedi at the same price, I decided to accompany them. I have created an account and yes, they have two verification options: send a copy of their piece of ID or make a prepaid payment of 20 € with Paypal. I have therefore paid 20 € with my verified Paypal account. Then you received a welcome email, etc. I thought the verification process was over. I proceed with order and have the server minutes later.
Then I received another email:
Dear Sir or Madam:
Thank you for creating an account with Hetzner Online GmbH.
As a new client, we kindly ask you to provide us with a copy (scan / photo) of your passport or identity card for authentication purposes. You can scramble or block information that is not necessary for authentication.
Please send the document by fax or as an attachment to this email address. The submitted document will be deleted from our system with immediate effect after verification.
Please send us the documents as soon as you can. If we do not receive them within 48 hours, we will see your account locked.
To which I replied:
I have already checked my account with a deposit of 20,00 € by Paypal.
Dear Sir or Madam,
with the 20 € you have activated your account. However, please send us your identity card.
Now, I am confused. What is the purpose of prepaid payment if they still need a copy of their ID card?