OPW INTERVIEW - Aug 30 - Integrity ID is a membership association for people committed to integrity and honesty. We thought this was worthy of further investigation and an interview. - Mark Brooks
What is your founding story?
A couple of years ago I talked to a female friend who was in early 40’s, single, and was having a very difficult time finding quality men. She heard ‘horror’ stories about online dating. That began a process of a lot of research, talking to women about what they were concerned about in online dating and finding a way that could allow people to see that they are safe. That idea of screen in vs. screen out, how to find the good people is the origin of Integrity ID and that led to lots of research and a business model which is very unique.
How unique? What are you doing differently?
Several things. We're not an online dating company or a background checking company. Our members voluntarily make a commitment to integrity and honesty and undergo rigorous background checks so that other people can see that they are safe and then they can identify themselves through their membership number. Other people can easily find out if they are a member of Integrity ID by verify them at integrityid.com.
We 'screen in' vs. 'screen out.' We are not trying to identify the bad people. We are trying to allow the quality people to get seen and noticed and get credibility for that. We have a very high quality screen. We use the same type of FCRA quality screen that would be used for employment. We are providing a screen on behalf of those who have concerns on safety and would be interested in engaging with other members.
How would somebody report someone who stated they were married, but were in fact not?
When you become an Integrity ID member you self report your marital status. If we receive a credible report that a person has lied then we will contact them, ask for an explanation and we reserve the right to disqualify their membership based on the fact that there is evidence that they lied about their marital status.
How often do you run the background checks?
We have an initial background screen, when people join, and then we have an algorithm that we developed with our background check service provider to randomly check others through the course of their membership. So people know they’ll be checked initially and that they can be checked at anytime.
What kind of checks do you offer? I imagine there is the basic sex offender check as a basic one, but how involved do you get with the checks?
It’s actually a very extensive check. We create a screen that members must pass through. That includes the pledge of integrity, honesty and respect of others. A rigorous background screen and ongoing membership qualification and submission through additional background checks. Any felonies are a disqualifier for membership. In addition to felonies are misdemeanors that involve violence, fraud, sex offences or drug crimes which would be ground for disqualification or non-qualification for membership.
My understanding of background checks is that the magical piece of information to have is social security number. Do you collect the social security numbers?
We have a preferred vendor. You submit your social security number to them and it’s securely stored there. We never see it. There’s a very high level of security.
How much does it cost?
We charge a onetime application fee of $39.99 and offer memberships for 6, 12 and 24 months. The 24 months membership would be least expensive $199.99, a little over $8 a month. If you want to verify I’m a member it costs nothing’. You pay to join like joining a club.