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.”