Everybody likes to get student discounts. But not everybody who asks for one is a student, so SheerID helps ecommerce companies by verifying whether someone really qualifies for ecommerce discounts, exclusive offers, or other deals aimed at students. Today, the company is announcing it can do instant student verification in 191 countries.
SheerID makes it possible for brands to use gated offers to engage college and university students — the primary customer segment for marketing to Gen Z. Gated offers are a privacy-friendly strategy for marketers looking to initiate long-term relationships with these influential consumers.
The largest generation to date, Gen Z comprises 2 billion people worldwide and is projected to account for 40% of consumer spending by 2020. As true digital natives, three-quarters of Gen Zers name smartphones as their device of choice, said Sai Koppala, chief marketing officer at SheerID, in an interview with VentureBeat.
SheerID has been working on this challenge for eight years.
“Getting data was hard,” Koppala said. “Once we had authoritative data sources, that’s when the market started taking off. It’s difficult to start, but then the network effect happens.”
SheerID’s own survey found 87% of Gen Zers report that keeping their personal information private was more important to them than popularity measures such as getting “likes” on social media. SheerID delivers on these requirements, enabling students to opt into gated offers and verify eligibility based on minimal, easy-to-remember data, such as name, email, and school.
“Analytical skills are essential for today’s students to be successful in the workforce,” said Courtney Totten, senior manager of academic programs at Tableau. “By easily verifying student eligibility and quickly denying fraudulent requests, SheerID has helped us expand our program and reach hundreds of thousands of students around the world.”
SheerID also announced enhanced fraud prevention for international markets, which gives brands added protection from the perils of a global marketplace.
Traditional methods of verifying student status, such as checking email domain, can result in fraud and abuse rates of more than 35% and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. This risk increases in many fraud hotspots around the world where there is a higher occurrence of identity spoofing (adopting an identity that is not yours), constructing false identities, and other subtle patterns of abuse that can be easily shared on social media.
SheerID’s latest update addresses these challenges with an additional layer of fraud protection by cross-checking specific identity attributes (e.g. name and IP or email address) with third-party sources. It also uses sophisticated algorithms to identify suspicious activity and images.
SheerID’s Verified Identity Network includes 1.3 billion consumer attributes across nearly 9,000 authoritative data sources, and it instantly confirms enrollment status for students at higher education institutions in the 191 UN-recognized countries.
Brands can use SMS to re-engage students who don’t complete a purchase, and to nurture the customer relationship over time with ongoing exclusive offers and experiences. Students simply take a picture of a valid document and upload it for review — all from their mobile phone.
A localized user experience in each country is made possible with support for 25 of the world’s primary languages. Additional language support is also available.
Founded in 2011, SheerID is backed by Voyager Capital, Centana Growth Partners, and Arnold Venture Group.