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Troop ID opens the e‑commerce door to the military community

A Wash­ing­ton based start­up has devel­oped a means of bring­ing the USA’s 26 mil­lion-strong mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty into the dis­count­ed e‑commerce mar­ket­place, cour­tesy of a unique iden­ti­ty ver­i­fi­ca­tion wid­get.

For the first time, Troop ID has devised a secure way of sup­ply­ing vet­er­ans and active duty mem­bers with dig­i­tal cre­den­tials – some­thing they’ve nev­er pre­vi­ous­ly enjoyed.  In prac­tice, hav­ing to rely sole­ly on phys­i­cal ID doc­u­ments has meant that the mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty has been locked out of online dis­counts.  Despite wish­ing to offer spe­cif­ic dis­counts tar­get­ed at the mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ty, brands sim­ply weren’t able to ver­i­fy online that a cyber-cus­tomer real­ly was a vet or in active ser­vice.

An indis­pens­able e‑commerce inter­me­di­ary

E‑commerce ana­lysts and e‑commerce man­agers will sure­ly be impressed by Troop ID’s solu­tion.
A wid­get pro­vid­ing online traders with guar­an­teed ver­i­fi­ca­tion of a mil­i­tary customer’s ID.  All ser­vice mem­bers need to do is enter a pass­word and unique user-name on Troop ID’s web­site, where­upon the com­pa­ny ver­i­fies it against a Gov­ern­ment data­base.

Essen­tial­ly, the start­up acts as the mid­dle­man oth­er firms e‑commerce can’t do with­out, because they don’t direct­ly access Gov­ern­ment data but they do need the ver­i­fi­ca­tion if they’re to tap into the mil­i­tary per­son­nel e‑market.  And it’s quite some mar­ket, too.  Between them, for­mer and cur­rent US ser­vice mem­bers have a col­lec­tive house­hold income of around $800 bil­lion.

A new e‑commerce mar­ket opens

The firm’s founder and CEO Blake Hall, him­self an Iraq war vet­er­an, says that Troop ID has already received inquiries from giant brands like Microsoft and Home Depot.  The prize for first part­ner, though, goes to Bal­ti­more based sports­wear firm “Under Armour,” which has offered dis­counts to mil­i­tary per­son­nel for over a decade.  How­ev­er, the mil­i­tary-tar­get­ed dis­counts have so far gone to in-store cus­tomers only.  Ser­vice mem­bers couldn’t get dis­counts online because of the ver­i­fi­ca­tion prob­lem.

Hall believes that his firm’s ver­i­fi­ca­tion solu­tion will encour­age more brands to “set up mil­i­tary dis­counts because they see it can be done in a secure fash­ion.”  He added, “With­out a way to ver­i­fy mil­i­tary cre­den­tials, brands are unable to deliv­er dis­counts to ser­vice mem­bers and vet­er­ans online.  Troop ID solves that prob­lem.  On the sur­face, it looks like we are allow­ing brands to give ser­vice mem­bers dis­counts online, but what we are real­ly doing is let­ting ser­vice mem­bers and vet­er­ans know that Amer­i­cans care.”

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