Aha eCommerce Service to Use GuardTime Keyless Signatures to Eliminate Fraud and Close the Trust Gap

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA and REYKJAVIK, ICELAND--(Marketwire - Dec 9, 2011) - Aha (www.aha.is), one of the largest eCommerce companies in Iceland with its main focus on daily deals, selling Internet coupons for everything from spa treatments to Go-Kart racing, has teamed up with data integrity service provider GuardTime in order to bring Aha merchants peace of mind. With the GuardTime Keyless Signature Service, Aha will be able to solidify its business agreements, conduct tamper-evident coupon transaction auditing for all its daily deals, and wipe out the question of trust that can linger around the authenticity of the data.

Selling "deal of the day" e-coupons to consumers is hugely popular, as evidenced by Groupon Inc.'s recent $700 million initial public offering, the largest IPO by a U.S. Internet company since Google's 2004 IPO. There are plenty of other daily deals sites to reference as well, including U.S. and UK-based LivingSocial, which last week managed a national offer for McDonald's, the fast food chain's largest daily deal ever.

Yet with so much money at stake, fraud attempts are bound to follow. Aside from risks of coupon tampering, daily deals service providers typically have full control over their transaction-processing and data storage systems which can also raise doubt in merchants' minds concerning the handling of the data. Without a verifiable auditing system in place, how is a service provider to prove authenticity on its end in the event that a dispute arises?

For example, this week Groupon was accused of altering previously-sent emails which capture the details of its agreements with its merchants. Filing a class action lawsuit, BidMyCrib.com sued Groupon in a Chicago federal court for allegedly violating the Stored Communications Act by altering sent emails "in electronic storage." While GuardTime has no insight into either party's position on the matter, this is a case that would be easy to prove either way -- and could have even been avoided -- if Keyless Signatures had been applied.

Aha's daily deals service uses digital and printed coupons, allowing merchants to log any usage through QR codes and a secure merchant fulfillment web portal. The terms of service are also negotiated and agreed upon prior to merchant deals being offered to consumers. With the number of merchants, consumers, and transactions residing within the Aha service platform, it is critical to have proof of who is involved, what each party has agreed to, and what activities have taken place. All aspects of each agreement and every step of each transaction require a verifiable audit trail. This is where GuardTime Keyless Signatures come into play.

"The amount of activity on any one daily deals website creates a lot of traffic and a lot of noise that opens the opportunity for a tremendous amount of fraud, and even accidental mishandling of coupons by the merchants themselves," says Mike Gault, GuardTime CEO. "By digitally signing all transactions through a third party, Aha can strengthen its relationships with its merchants, converting trust-based handshakes into proof-based binding digital agreements."

"As a company with a strong focus on eCommerce, we see tremendous value in using Keyless Signatures," says Maron Kristófersson, CEO of Aha. "We currently sign 3-4 agreements with customers each day; with Keyless Signatures we envision a future in which all these agreements are finalized online, saving us paper, simplifying accounting, and saving a tremendous amount of time in our sales processes."

In addition to increasing efficiency and turning the data that passes though Aha's system into signed, tamper-evident data, the GuardTime Keyless Signature Service is also the only solution to provide Aha with the ability to independently verify the signatures without reliance on GuardTime or any other third party.

"With GuardTime we have bank-grade, tamper-evident security and can produce a verifiable digital audit trail for every action," added Kristófersson. "Merchants that use our system have practically eliminated the risk of processing false coupons as the success rate for coupon tampering is as likely as winning the lottery."

In summary, by using the GuardTime Keyless Signature Service, Aha receives the following benefits:

  • All business arrangements and associated agreements are recorded and maintained with lifelong non-repudiation.
  • Merchants can prove electronic coupon authenticity prior to accepting and processing.
  • All parties have proof of the status of electronic coupons.
  • Trust is now backed by mathematics.

About Aha
Aha.is, one of the largest eCommerce companies in Iceland, provides a daily deals service which enables multiple merchants to list online offers for goods and services that consumers can purchase at tough-to-beat prices. Aha's e-coupon system makes it easy for merchants to increase sales and reach wider consumer audiences while also providing a hub for consumers to find terrific deals on just about anything.

About GuardTime
GuardTime was founded with the goal of solving one of the biggest problems in computing: how to be sure electronic data is authentic. GuardTime's Keyless Signatures provide proof of origin and that not a single bit has changed since a specific point in time. The verification of the signature can be done offline without reliance on keys, secrets, or the existence of a trusted third party. GuardTime's mission is to change the world to one in which Keyless Signatures are ubiquitous and a natural part of the everyday data lifecycle, whether on disk, in transit, or in the Cloud. Visit http://www.guardtime.com for more information about using Keyless Signatures for signing your data.

All company names are trademarks of their respective owners.