CertSimple does EV HTTPS certificates, the kind that match a real-world identity to a public key. The biggest aspect of this isn't the HTTPS part, but rather the background checks involved. We focus on not wasting customer's time by automating as much of the EV process as possible:
GoDaddy, Symantec or Comodo collect your money first, get you to provide some details about your company next, ask you to to make keys, and then start looking for companies that match, resulting in a back and forth communication as you collectively try and get all the artefacts needed for to pass the EV checks. Oh and there might be a lawyer or an accountant writing letters too.
We match you to an active, registered business, create keys for you, try and spot anything that would stop you from validating before you pay us, identify the fastest relevant QIIS and help you get verified there too, and help you through the rest of the process.
This approach means we reject a lot of orders prior to payment, but the orders we do take we can fulfull in a reasonable amount of time: as a result, we smoke all our competitors.
We also analyse every order - to work our how we could improve that process, when doing that, one question kept coming up:
We've spent a bunch of time thinking about this. Clear communication certainly helps. But we can't get people to answer the phone right? Nobody can automate human interaction.
Or can they? In April 2004, two researchers ran an experiment: they set up a loyalty card system for a car wash:
In both variants, the customer still needed to purchase eight stamps. But after distributing 300 cards:
Not only did the second version improve the completion rate, the customers came back more often and the time between washes got shorter and shorter as they got closer to the free car wash.
This is called the endowed progress effect (PDF) and goes something like this:
CertSimple don't need any tricks here since we've already confirmed a bunch of things by the time people have got to payment. Making the user's existing progress more apparent though was important. The previous version of our product - CertSimple version 3 - already had a post-payment workflow, which looked something like this:
CertSimple version 3: Pay, recieve thanks, check email, log in, set password, see live order update status.
But we knew a whole lot of users weren't even checking the live ordering page: there's a bunch of other things between the first and last of those steps that could potentially distract users.
So we reworked it:
CertSimple version 4: Pay, see customised live background check status.
This has been in production for around two months now, and is doing well. Users understand how far they're through the process already, and respond faster.
There's also a net reduction in code which makes our engineers happy!
This is one of many things we're working on help tie real world identities to public keys on the web.
Mike MacCana, founder at CertSimple.
An EV HTTPS certificate verifies the company behind your website. But getting verified is a slow painful process. CertSimple provides EV HTTPS certificates 40x faster than other vendors. We check your company registration, network details, physical address and flag common errors before you pay us, provide verification steps specific for your company, update in realtime during the process, and even check your infrastructure to help you set up HTTPS securely.
Verify your site now!