Verify Your Customers with Stripe

Sneakers

That’s right, sneakers. Designer streetwear, like sneakers, is just one example of an industry that uses faux scarcity as part of their marketing strategy. By only making available a limited quantity of a product in a ‘drop’, sneaker companies like Nike and Adidas can virtually guarantee a sell-out every time — and get the PR that goes along with that to boot. The problem is, such a big underground market exists that there is a large incentive to cheat the system. Flippers buy products they know there will be a high demand for to sell at 3x a markup on a marketplace afterward. Some of them even use bots to purchase dozens of pairs.

Fraudulent Order Prevention

It can also be an effective fraud prevention method. For high value orders or in cases where the shipping and billing addresses are different, you can automatically request verification from the customer. This reduces manual intervention by customer service for fraudulent orders and prevents some automatic declines for legitimate orders. Longer term, implementing tools like this should reduce transaction fees, since a major component of those fees is to cover loss from fraud.

Alcohol

Americans spend over $230 billion a year on alcohol, but very little of it is done online. That’s not because people don’t want to though — in China, 55% of drinkers buy alcohol online. We’re a long way off at only 8%.

Online Dating

Popular dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble provide ‘verified’ badges on people’s profiles. But the verification being done is just to show you aren’t a bot — not to determine if you are who you say you are. There are definitely reasons to be concerned with the amount of data these apps have on you already, so to give them even more data about you is something to be wary of. But that has to be weighed against the benefits and safety it could provide. That is why relying on a third party could be a good way to go. None of the data would have to be processed or stored within the app, and is reliant on a third party that could/should undergo auditing to provide transparency. Rather than relying on a walled garden, proprietary solutions like in use now.

Traveling

While it may feel uncomfortable or invasive to send pictures of your license out into the void of the internet, but one of the things that brought it into perspective for me is travel. Millions of people a year, myself included, use services like AirBnb and Vrbo to find places to stay around the world. Think how crazy it is that you spent $1,000+ on airfare to Europe to stay at an apartment that you’ve never seen that is owned by people you’ve never met…

Creating a Private & Safe Internet

To go back to the quote I started with, “anonymity, ‘virality,’ interconnectedness” are the internet’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. Having a third party whose business is dependent on its reputation for secure data processing may be the best way to counteract some of these weaknesses in a way that keeps people’s personal information safe and secure.

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Dan DeSimone

Dan DeSimone

Digital Marketing & Ecomm Tech Specialist from Boston, MA