For any sports fan, it’s uncomfortable to be standing outside a stadium before kickoff, waiting to collect a prepaid ticket from a stranger. After being swindled once too often, Conor Lyden decided to do something about it, so he created Trustap, a safer way to buy and sell with people or businesses you don’t know.
Trustap is an escrow-style platform that eliminates the risk of being scammed when transacting online or in person. Funds are held until the item has been delivered and the buyer is satisfied, or a 24-hour complaints period has elapsed.
Building trust online and in person
Founded in 2017 through the IGNITE start-up incubator program at Ireland’s University College Cork, Trustap now operates in more than 130 countries. The company, which is still based in Cork, supports people and businesses selling everything from books to aircraft. In 2022, Trustap became the exclusive partner for colleges and universities in the US to support ticket sales for football and basketball games.
Trustap is based on a robust onboarding process that allows buyers and sellers to transact with confidence. The platform uses Stripe Identity and Radar to keep fraudulent actors at bay as it has expanded into new markets.
“We've improved our authentication rate by over 3x and we've seen a 20% improvement in the false positive rate as well,” said Lyden.
Growing through difficult times
Over the last year, transaction volume on Trustap has grown as economic conditions have become more challenging. Lyden attributes the increase to price-conscious consumers opting for used products over new ones, and seeking to unlock value from their unwanted possessions.
“Historically, when economies are in recession, circular economies grow, and that's where we see a big opportunity,” he explained.
Trustap sees the economic downturn and changing consumer habits as an opportunity to broaden its international expansion. Later this year it will begin partnering with Mudah.my, the largest classified marketplace in Malaysia. Trustap will use the Stripe Payment Element to offer popular Malaysian payment methods such as Financial Process Exchange, recognizing that while trust is a universal good, establishing it requires attention to local customs.
“We're really excited to grow into different countries around the world, and that's something that we know Stripe will be able to help us with,” said Lyden.