A new online shopping site, ID.me, offers cash back on most online purchases as well as access to online military and veteran discounts. The free service rewards users for starting their purchasing process on the website. For example, ID.me credits users with 5.3% cash back on purchases made at Under Armour, a brand that also offers 10% off purchases at checkout for eligible military and veteran customers with a verified Troop ID account.
The ID.me shopping site is the brainchild of two Army Rangers, Blake Hall and Matthew Thompson. The co-founders and friends initially developed identity verification technology for military and students, universal logins called Troop ID and Student ID respectively, to help brands secure promotions offered online where checking an ID card is difficult to impossible for obvious reasons. With major brands such as Uber, Dell, Hershey’s, SeaWorld, and Overstock.com offering online military and veteran discounts through Troop ID for the first time, Hall and Thompson decided to start ID.me so that military and veteran families might easily find all of the brands that recognize military service with special promotions.
“Matt and I noticed many brands wanted to recognize service, but, in order to protect the program from fraud, they were asking service members to upload copies of their military IDs, which is illegal, or asking veterans to bring in copies of their DD 214, which basically incentivizes veterans to show their social security number to a stranger.” notes Hall. “Once we solved that problem with Troop ID, the next logical step was ID.me so military and veteran families could easily discover the brands that treat them to special discounts.”
To get credit for cash back on purchases, users need to register for ID.me and then to visit the brand’s online store by clicking a link on the ID.me website. Once a purchase is completed, the brand recognizes that the user came from ID.me and gives ID.me credit in the form of a commission on the sale. ID.me then splits that commission with the user who made the purchase. Checks are mailed to users every three months.
While any member of the general public can shop and get cash back, ID.me requires users to verify their group status e.g. military, student, first responder, teacher, etc. before they can unlock special coupons from brands intended only for those groups. 1800Flowers is one example of a brand that treats military customers more favorably than the general public. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, 1800Flowers is offering 20% off purchases to verified members of military and veteran families plus 4% cash back.
ID.me is free for all users, and, according to Hall and Thompson, will stay that way.