Steam is the world’s largest digital game storefront with over 30,000 games available for purchase. As an online marketplace, Steam requires users to verify their credit card information before unlocking full marketplace access. This verification process is quick and easy – here is a complete walkthrough:
Why Steam Verifies Credit Cards
Steam verifies credit cards for two main reasons:
To confirm the card belongs to you – This prevents fraudulent purchases on stolen cards. By verifying small test charges, Steam ensures the cardholder is making the purchases.
To unlock marketplace features – Until a credit card is verified, new accounts face restrictions on buying/selling on the Steam marketplace. Verification lifts these restrictions.
The verification places two small temporary authorizations on your card, usually less than $1 each. After you confirm these charges, the holds are removed within 5-10 business days.
When Steam Requires Verification
Here are the main situations when Steam will require credit card verification:
Using a new credit card – The first time a card is used on Steam, verification is required. This applies even if you’ve used other cards before.
Large purchase attempts – If your account tries to make an unusually large purchase, Steam may trigger verification as a fraud prevention measure.
Using a new device – Logging into your Steam account on a new computer or device can also prompt verification.
Suspicious account activity – If Steam detects shady patterns like login anomalies or location changes, credit card verification may be required.
The Verification Process Step-By-Step
Verifying a credit card on Steam follows a straightforward sequence. Here are the steps:
1. Initiate a Purchase or Sale
First, you’ll need to take an action that requires verification. This is usually making a community market purchase or listing an item for sale.
Adding funds to your Steam Wallet can also trigger verification. Big game purchases may prompt it too.
2. Check your Credit Card Statements
Shortly after your activity, Steam will place two small temporary authorization holds on the card. The amounts are variable but usually under $1.
Check your card statements – online or on your mobile app – to view the two charges. Make note of the exact authorization amounts.
3. Enter the Authorization Amounts
Back in Steam, you’ll be prompted to “Verify this card is yours” by entering the two authorization amounts.
Carefully type in the exact dollar and cent values shown on your statements. Double check for accuracy before submitting.
4. Confirm the Verification
Once submitted, Steam will check your entered amounts against the authorizations they placed.
If the values match, your card is verified! If they don’t match, you’ll be prompted to retry entering the exact amounts.
5. Use Steam Marketplace Freely
That’s it! The verification lifts all restrictions on buying, selling, and trading on Steam.
The two authorization holds will disappear from your statement in 5-10 business days. And you won’t have to repeat card verification unless you add a new payment method.
Tips for Smooth Sailing
Follow these tips for a quick and easy verification experience:
Use your primary card – Verify your “go-to” card that you’ll use for future purchases. Avoid pre-paid cards or rarely used cards.
Check statements ASAP – View your statements immediately after Steam places the authorizations so you can enter the amounts before they expire.
Get exact values – Enter the authorization amounts down to the cent. Rounding will cause mismatch errors.
Try again if needed – You can retry entering the values if your first attempt fails. Just re-check your statements for accuracy.
Call support if issues – If you’re still unable to verify, contact Steam Support for assistance troubleshooting.
Common Verification Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Steam’s credit card verification:
Do I have to verify?
- You can browse Steam without verifying, but it’s required to access marketplace features like trading and selling. Verification is recommended.
What if I use the wrong amounts?
- If your entered amounts don’t match, Steam will prompt you to re-enter them correctly. Refer to your statements for the real authorization values.
How long do the authorizations last?
- The two verification authorizations expire and drop from your statement in 5-10 business days.
Can I use a different payment method?
- Yes, each new credit card or payment type added will require going through Steam’s verification process.
Does verification work internationally?
- Steam’s verification works for cards from any country. Just be sure to enter the raw authorization amounts shown on your statements.
Do I have to repeat verification?
- You shouldn’t have to re-verify unless you add a new payment method. One verification typically gives permanent access.
What if I don’t have card access?
- Without ability to view card statements, unfortunately you won’t be able to verify. Contacting your card provider may help if possible.
Can I remove the restrictions another way?
- Completing credit card verification is the only way to lift marketplace and trading restrictions on new Steam accounts.
Verification for a Smooth Steam Experience
Steam’s credit card verification takes just a few minutes to complete when armed with the right information. By entering the small authorization amounts precisely, you’ll gain full marketplace access and remove annoying restrictions.
Just be ready to reference your card statements right after Steam places the temporary pending charges. Follow the steps outlined here for a quick and painless verification process.
With your card successfully verified, you can enjoy Steam’s online community with no limitations. Happy gaming!