Online customer verification service SheerID recently partnered with military outreach initiative Birdies for the Brave to provide discounted tickets to active, retired and veteran military personnel, and their families, for select PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Web.com Tour events.
The verification service is available on the Birdies for the Brave website where people click on a map labeled with the various golf tournaments sponsored by the support organization. After an event is chosen from the map, a window opens that asks for basic personal information. With that information, SheerID verifies in real-time peoples' identities against its database of military personnel records. Once verified, individuals print out tickets or vouchers they then present at golf events.
Jake Weatherly, SheerID co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, said the online solution is especially beneficial for military veterans and retirees because those soldiers must also provide the date when they left the military. When personnel are at events, "not everyone walks around with their DD Form 214 separation papers in their wallets," he said.
SheerID's service also applies to other spheres, and the company is interested in partnering with ISOs for loyalty programs. The service is designed to help businesses verify targeted consumer groups to increase customer bases and decrease identity fraud.
"We look at ourselves as in essence a verification gateway, very similar to a payment gateway, in that there is a step in the customer experience that is a thumbs up or a no go, very similar to entering your card information and the 'auth' and then the capture that happens in the background," Weatherly said.
For example, SheerID performs student enrollment verification for businesses and organizations that offer discounts to students. "Some software companies offer free licenses to students," Weatherly noted. "And so we confirm students' enrollment instantly as part of that experience."
SheerID collaborates with marketers to modernize programs and increase efficiency and conversation rates, even as it lowers fraud, Weatherly said. He added that some companies have outdated systems that ask potential customers to fax documents to verify identities over a 48-hour time span, while other organizations still use the honor system.
"In those cases, they are really being heavily damaged by fraudsters who are claiming that status or claiming that eligibility in order to move forward," he noted. "It makes it that much easier and seamless for an individual who qualifies to move forward with the offer that's specific and exclusive to them, but it also protects against the fraudsters who come in and say, 'Hey, I'm a student because I want this discount.'"
SheerID's service is thus driven by big data and how it can be employed to target customers more effectively. It isn't big data culled from consumer payment data, however, but from organizational databases. It gives a different flavor to a loyalty application, Weatherly said; the eligibility check allows organizations and businesses to better understand and communicate to their targeted constituencies - "in essence speak their language a lot more accurately, and therefore create loyalty."
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