Following recent claims that dating sites don’t do enough to screen users before they are accepted onto a site, a new Florida-based brand has launched with user safety at the core of its service.
ValiDATE want to eradicate common safety fears often associated with online dating, by carrying out background checks and identity verification on all of its members.
The site not only does this to confirm that users are who they say they are, but also to check that all members have “clean” histories.
The new service was created by a team of licensed private investigators, former law enforcement personnel and a popular dating columnist.
Speaking about the site’s purpose, ValiDATE co-founder Bob Birdsong said: “Our goal is to make online dating as safe as it can possibly be.
“It’s our priority to provide maximum security measures for our members and create a safe environment for people to meet.”
Each member will be subject to background checks every six months, so the site can check that its members are ValiDATE qualified and true to their initial reasons for joining.
The company also uses a patent-pending IP tracking software to ensure that each member’s computer is not linked to any criminal activity, and is located in the same city in which they registered.
ValiDATE has also launched an exclusive partnership with the Child Rescue Coalition, which enables it to cross reference members with the organisation’s database of known paedophiles and child abusers.
In terms of using the site, only validated members are able to see each other’s profiles and connect with individuals who share similar interests.
Memberships to the site are available in three, six and twelve month subscriptions, ranging from $89 to $119 for a full year.
ValiDATE does not save the credit card or billing information of its members, adding another layer of protection to its safety system.
It’s interesting that the company has paired its assurance of safety with a high monthly subscription, and this “safety = premium” idea could well be something we see more of in the future, as online daters become more concerned with privacy and safety.
However sites like these are always going to struggle with user acquisition, and convincing potential customers that the positives of safety outweigh the negatives of a lengthy and very personal sign-up process.
The service is currently only available to residents in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
However the company plans to expand to the rest of Florida by early 2016, and nationally by summer next year.
Find out more about valiDATE here.