Let’s say you met somebody on a dating app and decided to meet in person. But before you do, you need to know they are who they say they are. You must ensure they have the merits you want in a partner because you’re not looking for something casual. You are looking for something serious and long-term.
If this is true in your personal life, it’s even more important in a business interaction.
Every person has something to bring to the table—their merit. As a merchant, understanding a person’s merit can add significant value to your business, especially in industries with high-volume interactions like banking and car rentals.
At Metamap, we help merchants validate their customer’s merits, allowing businesses to connect with potential customers without worrying about fraud.
But before we dive deeper, let’s understand what exactly constitutes a merit at MetaMap.
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What are merits?
A merit is a piece of personal data recognized by MetaMap that’s useful to at least one merchant. It’s the smallest level of data that we provide. For a data point to qualify as a merit, it has to meet three criteria:
- Each piece of personal data must relate to an identifiable person.
- We should be able to verify its legitimacy by using a verification process or cross-checking the information with a relevant data source.
- The information should help at least one merchant make a decision about the person.
Following this vetting process lets us confirm that the merit is actually useful.
For example, the DNA sequence of a person is invaluable information. It’s a unique identifier and can be reliably verified through companies like 23andme. However, not many businesses find this information applicable. So, although they have much potential, DNA sequences don’t qualify as merits since they’re not valuable to a merchant.
With that in mind, we can define a merit by the following logic:
Merit = Process(Data) …if a merchant will use it
While not all data qualifies as merits, we believe that everyone has enough data—or merits—to participate in the world economy. The issue is that the data is often inaccessible or disorganized.
We help organize the data and make it accessible to government bodies and companies. This allows everyone to prove their existence and, more importantly, their inherent value.
Merits are the lowest level of information that we provide merchants. We can categorize them into three types:
- Financial merits help you analyze the customer’s financial risk. They include merits like customer transactions, account balances, and account information.
- Work merits help you perform a comprehensive background check of the customer, like checking criminal and legal records.
- Compliance merits help ensure both customers and merchants meet the region’s compliance requirements. These include merits like anti-money laundering (AML) watchlists, ID documents, emails, and much more.
Merits provide merchants with relevant information about their customers. However, they become truly valuable when grouped to form merit blocks.
Merit blocks are a group of merits frequently used together to perform a specific process. For example, document verification is a merit block that uses merits like name, address, ID number, and address to verify the customer’s identity.
A merit is a piece of personal data, verified by MetaMap and useful to at least one merchant. A merit block is a group of merits frequently used together.
You can use the same merit in multiple merit blocks, which speaks to a merit’s flexibility. This allows you, the merchant, to choose the merits and create processes to interact with your customers. Just like building with Legos, you only need to connect the relevant merits by mapping them to your unique logic. This logical process that solves your pain point becomes your workflow.
For example, consider a merchant who needs to onboard new drivers. Our API will allow them to create a workflow that uses one or more merits—like name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number—and apply the verification processes like document reading, template matching, or alteration detection to validate the driver’s identity.
Mapping our merits
Once we access the data source, we put them through our vetting process to separate the mere data points from reliable merits. These data points are then validated with government databases and other tools to ensure their trustworthiness.
The vetted merits perform two vital functions for the merchant:
- The merits are objective: The merits we provide are facts about the person, which make them extremely valuable to the merchant. For example, the “average monthly spend” tells you about the customer’s spending habits, which you can then use to guide your customer retention and retargeting strategies.
- Merchants gain access to verified customer data: Verifying the data with external sources like government databases ensures that the data is trustworthy. However, merchants don’t want the liability of having access to the data source. Using our services means merchants can access valuable merits without worrying about data validity or security.
Using merits, merchants can create a trustworthy process, or a workflow, to verify their customers. This is the highest level of data that we provide.
A MetaMap is a group of merits bound by a certain logic that produces a business outcome for a merchant.
The overall goal for us, as a company, is to develop and securely share a massive database of merits. Institutions, organizations, and countries can use the database to create standardized maps that connect all possible user merits to whatever service they need, anywhere in the world.
“We want to connect industries with the right customers and facilitate a better relationship between them built on mutual trust. Joining us will mean growing and accessing a secure network of reliable user-controlled data to improve verification processes and automate workflows.”
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