Discogs quickly verifies music lovers to meet INFORM Consumers Act requirements with Persona’s Know Your Seller solution

Discogs powers its marketplace and meets compliance with a future-proofed KYS process.

Video screen thumbnail click to play and see how stimulus used persona to create a more positive social media network

Mention the name “Discogs,” and the ears of audiophiles everywhere will perk up around you. Discogs was originally built to catalog electronic music, but since its launch over 20 years ago, it’s grown to be much more than that — now encompassing a comprehensive database, a community that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and a dedicated marketplace for those looking to buy and sell vinyls, CDs, and other types of music. 

Problem: Discogs needed to comply with the INFORM Consumers Act fast — while prioritizing the trust and safety needs of its growing seller community 

Discogs started as a P2P bulletin board but quickly grew into a full-blown marketplace that hosts professional and hobby sellers and facilitates transactions. As part of this evolution, however, trust and safety became paramount to keeping buyers and sellers engaged, according to Discogs’ marketplace product manager, Brandon Otto. Since its inception, the Discogs marketplace has offered very generous terms to sellers, but to ensure long-term success, Discogs also wanted to make the marketplace a safe place to transact for everyone involved. 

On top of that, the quick passage of the INFORM Consumers Act in the US and DAC7 in the EU, both of which mandate marketplaces to verify their sellers, meant Discogs was on an even shorter timeline to implement seller verification. It knew a manual process wouldn’t be able to scale with these upcoming regulations, which meant it needed to find a solution — fast. 

Discogs' marketplace has evolved from an informal Craigslist-type community to a more polished eBay-like experience.  As part of that shift, we needed identity verification, but the challenge was getting it off the ground with limited resources.
Brandon Otto
Product manager at Discogs

Solution: Persona’s flexible platform provides seamless trust and safety for the Discogs marketplace

As all of these pain-points — the need for marketplace trust and safety, emerging compliance requirements on a short deadline, and a desire to do all of this without incurring a deep operational burden — came to a head, Discogs knew it needed to partner with an automated identity platform that could handle the collection, verification, and storage of sensitive seller information. 

 It turned to Persona for a few reasons: 

We wanted a partner that could take the burden of collecting, storing, and verifying seller information off of us. Rather than building it from scratch, we decided to partner with Persona.
Brandon Otto
Product manager at Discogs

Support for dynamic logic and real-time fallbacks that maximize conversions

The sellers on Discogs cover a broad spectrum, from individuals selling cassettes from their personal collection to established businesses like Bay Area-based Amoeba Music. Being able to cater to all of these sellers and provide a seamless experience was key for Brandon and his team. 

With Persona, Discogs’ marketplace product team was able to quickly ship a hosted flow that branches into different paths depending on if the seller is an individual or business, with the ability to ask for different information if needed. Persona also enables Brandon’s team to fine-tune the orchestration and logic behind these workflows directly, so they can adjust the information requested based on a seller’s risk level without having to use code or rebuild a flow from scratch. 

Flexibility is key for us. We can start with low friction, and if we see bad actors are still being let through, we can ask for more information or run additional verifications. With Persona, we can turn those dials of friction up and down without having to redeploy our flows.
Brandon Otto
Product manager at Discogs

Seamless bank account verification via Persona’s MX integration

Brandon’s team was initially worried about getting both an identity and bank account verification process in place in time to comply with the INFORM Consumers Act, which was signed into law in late 2022 and went into effect June 2023. However, Persona’s native integration with MX, a leading financial data platform, meant a compliant solution could go live within weeks rather than months.

Now, sellers who hit a set threshold receive an invitation to verify themselves with Persona. After verifying their personal information, US-based sellers can verify their bank account directly from inside the Persona flow via the MX integration, rather than having to click out or go to a separate flow. This not only offers a more seamless seller experience, but also enables quicker decisions and approvals. As Brandon calls out, “The nice thing about Persona is that we can automatically enable a fallback on the Persona side, depending on what’s returned by MX.”

Reduced manual review time thanks to automation and consolidated information

For sellers who require more review, Discogs’ customer care and seller success teams follow up on their onboarding application via Persona’s intuitive manual review hub, which is also able to pull in information from MX. Thanks to a native Zendesk integration, the teams can automatically reach out to customers for additional information based on the initial application status, reducing the need for back and forth.

We can keep our existing processes with Persona. The Zendesk integration means we don’t have to take our internal teams out of the workflows they are already used to and that we can keep being super responsive to any seller on our marketplace.
Brandon Otto
Product manager at Discogs

Long-term success thanks to personalized onboarding and intuitive orchestration for any use case 

Persona offered a balance between premium service, courtesy of Persona’s customer success team, and an intuitive platform that Brandon and team could operate in directly.

As Brandon explains, “The Persona’s customer success team blew me away. They were really responsive and quick to all the changes our team wanted, even on an aggressive timeline.” 

Results: Discogs powers its marketplace and meets compliance with a future-proofed Know Your Seller process

While Discogs’ main goal was to comply with the INFORM Consumers Act, its aims have expanded to DAC7 compliance and full-on fraud detection at key points of the seller lifecycle. Across all of these uses, Brandon and team still want to maintain a great user-experience. 

Because Persona offers multiple implementation options, Discogs can rapidly spin up hosted flows for any emerging use-case as well as leverage Persona’s API flows for more customizability, meaning speed and functionality aren’t tradeoffs for the team. 

With Persona as its identity platform, the Discogs team can continue making its marketplace a destination for independent music sellers and buyers, assured that it can handle any compliance requirement or trust and safety need that comes its way. 

“It’s been such a great partnership so far. We’re looking forward to optimizing our flow and really building out a Persona integration that feels truly specific to Discogs,” Brandon says. 

Want to learn more?
Talk to us about your use case and goals

See how other teams use Persona

BitGo reduces manual review by 98% by leveraging Persona’s case management solution, FinCEN314a screening tool, and full identity platform

BitGo reduces manual review by 98% by leveraging Persona’s case management solution, FinCEN314a screening tool, and full identity platform

Remote automates international KYC and tackles all identity-related needs with Persona

Remote automates international KYC and tackles all identity-related needs with Persona

nWay decreases chargebacks by 80% and proactively blocks linked accounts with Persona Graph & KYC solutions

nWay decreases chargebacks by 80% and proactively blocks linked accounts with Persona Graph & KYC solutions

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or start exploring Persona today.