Frequently Asked Questions

What's it all about?

We witnessed and experienced the incredible flaws in modern information exchanged systems and the impact on ordinary people. We wanted to attempt to address the problem and spur deeper communication on the topic of people's privacy and the security of their information. Marq.Me's purpose is to help put people back in control of their data, simplify business at the same time and reduce the chances of fraud, and where it does occur, reduce the impact of it.

Aren't there already applications that do this?

There are applications tackling distinct elements of your online privacy or data security. Some are competitive, some are complementary. However, with so many differences across different sectors and nations, we've decided to approach the problem in a different way. We're looking at it from the perspective of Fraud and Anti-Money Laundering, ID Verification and Secure Money Transfer. We are developing a Security and Privacy-First Platform that we hope others will embrace and extend to offer features used in those numerous sectors and nations. The other solutions may even be able to work with us directly to help secure your information.

Critically, we are not a social network and have no intention of making your information available to others, especially not to profit from your information. In the UK, the Government is considering allowing Social Networks (who profit from your information) to provide Identity Services. This is a conflict of interest, so something better is needed.

3. Who are the main audience?

Small and Medium Businesses and the Public
Government/Council and Financial Institutions

4. What exactly is Marq.Me?

A place to store your identity securely and reduce the risks of fraud
A tool to connect with services providers and businesses for opt-in deals/offers/rewards
A way of thinking to protect your data and simplify form filling
A platform for live data exchange where you control your data

5. Why should I use it?

Your account is ad-free
We don't read, scan or open any of your documents, uploaded content or exchanged content unless we received a report of abuse or inappropriate content
We don't share any of your details with any 3rd parties unless a court order is presented and verified that we must do so.
We do not make money from your data
All your information will be secured between you and the people with whom you share it with access only to those to whom you give it

6. What will it cost me?

An account is free
You can create as many profiles as you want for free

Verifying your ID requires using an authorised and regulated company.
They may charge a fee to verify your ID
Since the service operates on the web and your mobile device, you may have to be careful about how much bandwidth is used and turn off any services that might make you exceed your data plan or you could be charged a lot more than you’d expect from your provider.

7. How does Marq.Me make its money?

If you have a business and create a business MARQ, which is then redeemed, e.g. a discount or offer, which is redeemed, then we charge between 0.5% and 1.5% of the product or service offered
Businesses only pay when they receive payment
We may bring online a market place next year, in which case any payments made between any 2 parties may also carry a percentage charge, but we will only charge when a payment is made, otherwise usage is free.
Opt-in marketing, where you have chosen to receive content from businesses may incur a charge to the marketing firm, depending on how many messages they send and how much bandwidth they use, but the end consumer will not pay for those

8. Why does it only work with iPhone / iPad etc

Currently, we've worked with a team to create an iPhone app for demonstration purposes for this show. Our intention is to release a more complete app for android, windows7, iphone and tablet devices during next year and we’re seeking investment to make that happen. The initial application was designed to get the fundamental concepts across in a practical way.

9. How do I benefit?

You can build a trusted network where information can only be shared with people you know and trust.
You don't need to hand out contact information to anybody if you're both using Marq.Me
Your data's protected and verified by a 3rd party, in some instances, so proving your ID becomes easier in many situations
By allowing 3rd parties you connect with to add content to your profile, you can have a CV, jobs/career history built for you without needing to create them yourself.

10. Can I sell to customers through it?

If we bring the market place online next year, any registered and verified businesses will be allowed to list their products and services in the site. There will be options to engage in those services or purchase those products through the site. The market place will be supported in the app and online. Later, we'll be creating a peer-to-peer environment where any verified member can list items to sell to other people. We have a vision and a plan to bring these online for businesses, then non-business members and eventually the council and larger partners.

11. Who can see my data?

You can see your data
Anyone you've shared data with will be able to see your data
If a court order is presented, we will have the ability to decrypt data if requested to do so by the court and will then have to present it to them, so the court or it's appointed representatives may see your data
Unless the people you share your data with copy and paste your information, or are otherwise careless with your data, nobody else should be able to see it.
We protect your information on transfer between you and our servers using SSL
We encrypt your data when you submit it to us
We decrypt your data in order to send it back to your browser or device
Otherwise, it remains encrypted and not readable
Any information you make public on your page will also be viewable by the public

12. Why is your system 'better' than Facebook, for example?

Facebook, Google and others earn their revenue, mostly, through advertising revenue
By focussing on you as their product and encouraging you to share and expose as much information about yourselves as possible, they create profiling data and metrics to sell on to 3rd parties. This data's very valuable but also very dangerous. It prevents you from holding your data privately and sharing your private thoughts and ideas, pictures and videos with only your friends and family.
Our platform will encrypt all of your data and we'll focus our business model on making money when businesses make money
We would encourage you to share and input the bare minimum to engage people and other businesses securely, safely and responsibly.
Where businesses ask you to enter information, this is where you may see the biggest advantage, because when you enter information, we standardise the fields you enter so if another company asks you to enter the same information, we can auto-populate it from the latest data you entered, making it much faster to fill in forms and the more services you engage with, the fewer forms and fields you have to fill in. The more partners we bring online, the lower that gets, making business faster, queues shorter and transactions quicker.
Our aim is to simplify business and give you back more living time

13. Can I transfer money through Marq.Me?

Not yet.
We are talking with potential partners to generate a secure environment in which you can conduct online transactions using an e-wallet.
Due to the nature of a number of the products online right now, we’re not happy that they are appropriate in terms of security, depth of product usefulness and vision and we're continuing to search for an appropriate product and partner to complete this stage next year.

14. Is Marq.Me a bank?

We don't hold customers' money
Depending on the e-wallet solutions offered, we may be able to automate the opening of accounts on your behalf or they may become sub accounts of a master account. Details are very hard to nail down right now with banks, but as more details emerge, we'll be posting them online and inviting comments from our members to make sure the products properly reflect and address any concerns our members have.

15. Where do you keep my personal data?

We have dedicated servers in the UK in the Maidenhead Data Centre where we'll hold your private information.

We are developing a process of encryption and data signing that will allow your data to be stored in places you choose, such as having your education records stored at your school, college, university, but your personal details only held on our servers.
The purpose for this is to avoid centralising all your additional data and allowing all the bodies that create information about you to continue to hold it, as long as it’s also encrypted and signed by our servers. This way, it standardises the process for data exchange, but eliminates one place as the point of failure.

16. How do I know my data is safe?

We will be engaging third party companies that specialise in data security to carry out audits and make recommendations on a regular basis to ensure we’re doing everything we can to secure and protect your data, such as improving hardware robustness, end to end encryption, biometric data security, disk encryption, secured connections between us and you, secure data backup synchronisation over secure channels, robust data recovery plans, intrusion defence strategies, sandboxing of incoming hack attempts to allow for proactive defence measures. Instant reporting of attacks to authorities and establishing agreements with ISPs to help us block requests and attacks that are potentially damaging to our service and our members rapidly.

17. What is to stop me being marketed to?

When you create an ID or profile on the site, you choose how much information you enter.
When you share a profile, it presents only as much information as you entered
If you connect with a business, we urge you not to share any information beyond what is necessary.
For example, if a business wants your phone number, email or mobile, you should decline it in the first instances unless you feel it's necessary, but...
If they want to contact you, we allow them to do that via the app, so as long as you use the app, they can contact you, which negates the need to hand out your other contact information
You will also have the ability to stop receiving information from people and businesses, so you can turn it off or on as you need to.

18. How do you protect me from Spam and Junk?

When you connect with businesses or other people, you share only your connection ID. This doesn’t share any of our contact details, unless you’ve made those available on your profile. Spam mail, junk mail, nuisance phone calls, etc are only possible because people share your data when you didn’t want it to be shared. Since you choose what you share and others do not need your email, phone or mobile to contact you, you can uniquely engage in services with while also protecting yourself from spam and junk.

19. What do you mean by Groups?

Initially, we're demonstrating the concept of connecting to people through groups. Groups, in this context, are people or businesses with a shared interest. Members can join that group and discuss information securely within it. Examples of groups would be your work place, your family, clubs you belong to, etc.
You will be able to create your own group and invite people to join it
When you connect with someone new a new group is created just for the two of you to communicate, such as when you meet a new business contact or go out on a date or anything in between.
Later, these groups will be replaced with a more feature complete environment, which will be developed next year and allow you to control many more facets of your interactions with others.

20. Can I make bookings and reservations with this?

When we bring online the market place, we'll be creating environments to customise how you interact with others in a business context.
By customising your services and products online, such as booking forms or reservation forms, a business will be able to offer those services directly through the app to its customers.

21. Why do I need multiple profiles?

Each profile should represent the information you need to exchange with a particular person, business or service provider.
If you limit your profile information to just that data, then you can be sure you're only exchanging what is absolutely necessary for the other party to do their job correctly.
If you put too much information into one profile, it creates a risk that someone could obtain more information about you than they should have.

22. How many profiles should I have?

More profiles with little information is better than few profiles with a lot of information

23. Why should I buy an iPhone or iPad when I already have a system?

At the moment, we're targeting the iPhone because it’s very popular and can be demonstrated on the iPad for the show, however our aim is to develop the solution for all smartphone platforms and tablet devices.
It will also work on the web, but the connection and scanning process will not function the same way.

24. If I do buy such a system so as to use Marq.Me, how long is it likely to take before your system is in every day use?

We are hoping to have agreements in place on some of the fundamental elements by mid 2013 and aim to have businesses signed up to prototype the system across all sectors by the end of 2013
The app is available now and will continue to be free, so you will be able to start connecting with friends and family members from December. This part of the service will continue to grow throughout 2013 and facilities will be added every month. We encourage you to ask as many people as you can to use it and try it and give us feedback as we develop the platform's features.

25. How will I know when or where it can be used?

Every business will need to be verified and will be given a QR code that you can scan with the app to confirm if that business has been verified or not. If others are using the app, then you will be able to to connect with them at any time. Our website will list (and our business card will give you quick links to the pages) the businesses who have been approved and the services and products they offer. We will be listing all Marq.Me enabled businesses nearby and as soona s payment facilities are online, you’ll receive an alert on your phone.
Each member is added to a special Marq.Me Updates group, so we can keep you up to date on our development progress and features as they develop. Here is where you will have a unique access point to our company by being able to contact our team directly with concerns or complaints, requests for features, etc.

Marq.Me For business is a framework for building secure, private, event-based businesses as well as a modern social platform.

What are event based businesses?

..and how does that benefit me?

Contact us if you'd like to explore how can work for your business.