Worldwide, more than one billion people buy, sell, and trade on Facebook Marketplace every month.
It’s a wildly popular platform, but fraud runs rampant, with one in six consumers reporting being the victim of a Marketplace scam.
A technology company based in Toronto has launched a portable digital identity solution targeting trust and security enhancements in such online marketplaces.
Confirm was founded by fintech veterans Kirk Simpson and Peter Carrescia in response to a rapidly increasing and urgent need for more trust in online interactions, and especially in peer-to-peer buying and selling networks like Facebook Marketplace.
“In today’s digital age . . . proving identity and establishing trust is a big challenge,” the company states online. “There is no easy way of knowing who you are interacting with, and that puts you at risk from people with bad intentions.”
As a result, Simpson and Carrescia believe that “trust online has never been lower than it is today.”
Confirm’s goal, therefore, is to return trust to online interactions.
“Peer-to-peer markets like Facebook Marketplace are a tremendous opportunity for millions or even billions of people,” says Simpson, who is serving as chief executive of the startup. “By helping people be sure that the stranger they’re interacting with is who they say they are, Confirm instantly increases the safety and peace of mind in an online transaction.”
Using state-of-the-art identity protocols paired with intuitive user experiences, the Canadian fintech allows people to create a secure, verified digital ID called a “ConfirmID,” which proves their identity online—without oversharing personal information.
With Confirm, people can create a verified digital ConfirmID using government-issued ID like a passport or driver’s license. It is designed to work with any peer-to-peer marketplaces, including Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and eBay.
“We’re confident that each month Confirm will help millions of people worldwide feel safer and more confident in their online transactions,” stated Carrescia, whose role at the startup is head of strategy. “And we envision a future where Confirm’s verified portable identity as well as other verified authentic data will be available to use in online environments and interactions, ranging from social media to financial services, talent management, and commerce.”
Simpson and Carrescia last worked together on Wave Financial, which was acquired by H&R Block in 2019 for $537M.