With other sneaker marketplaces, anonymity reigns supreme. You don’t know who you’re buying from and they don’t know who they’re selling to. It’s all transactional with the seller and platform focused 100% on profits while buyers hope the shoes are legit. While there can be benefits to anonymity, gone are the connections that were once commonplace when buying, selling, and trading.
Meeting and conversing during sneaker exchanges brought an element of trust that’s missing on online marketplaces today. We’re looking to restore that connection with our marketplace, COLLECT. That’s why we integrated Know Your Customer (KYC) technology into the COLLECT App.
What is KYC? It’s the identity verification process integrated into COLLECT. This is the very same process that banks and other financial institutions are legally required to work with in order to prevent financial crimes and fraud. The verification process is simple– we’re asking users to submit a government-issued form of identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.), along with a selfie (taken within the app). Two simple steps and you’re on your way.
To best handle verifications we’re working with Stripe to conduct KYC. A leader in the space, Stripe has built technologies used by companies across the globe like Amazon, Google, and Zoom. Until verification is complete, your app functionality will be limited (you’ll be unable to list items for sale, buy an item, or submit any offers), but don’t fret, verification is usually completed in a few minutes.
So how does it work? You’ll upload images of the front and back of your government-issued ID, along with your selfie (taken within the app)*. Stripe’s automated technology will then review these images to verify their authenticity and your identity. Their technology was built to decipher distinctive physiological characteristics of your face (known as biometric identifiers). Think of all of this like handing your ID to a bank teller. They’ll quickly verify the validity of your ID and ensure that your face matches the picture on the ID. This is the exact same thing—it’s just a little more high-tech and a far more accurate way to identify you as a unique person.
*Note that this data will not be shared with any other company and it will be used strictly to verify member identity. The data lives with Stripe and never even hits our servers. All we can see is whether your identity has been confirmed and nothing more.
This is all well and good, but you’re probably wondering “why is KYC integrated into COLLECT?” KYC allows us to ensure COLLECT is a safe and fair environment for everyone.
Most marketplaces cater to sellers. Think about it, every time you see a promotion that says “lower seller fees” or “list an item for free,” that’s that company’s way of empowering mass sellers, and encouraging others to resell. But what about the buyers who are true sneakerheads or just everyday people who want to wear their kicks? That’s who we built COLLECT for. Our mission is to create a fair marketplace where buyers can collect the sneakers they want with confidence. We understand that buying, selling, and trading has always been a part of sneaker culture and we feel this is a safe and fair way for that to continue. Additionally, we will have policies and technology in place that prevent mass reselling to ensure transactions are done in good faith between members. A space where people can connect. A space where fees and profits don’t come before the love for sneakers.