Caliva is the largest vertically-integrated cannabis company with over 600 employees producing 11,000 pounds of cannabis per year and delivering directly to consumers across California. To fulfill their mission of being the most trusted brand in cannabis, Caliva integrated Berbix’s instant ID checks which have eliminated incidents, reliably caught fake IDs, and maintained a seamless order experience with a >90% verification conversion rate.
In search of an automated solution that actually fights fraud
Caliva experienced hyper-growth following California’s legalization of cannabis in 2018 resulting in a need for a safer customer experience. To solve this problem, Caliva initially experimented with manual customer ID verification before quickly learning that a manual process would not operationally scale with their growth and meet their user experience standards. The team then turned to ID verification providers — through a robust vendor selection process, Caliva ruled out any vendors (Jumio, Onfido) that relied on similar manual review given the long verification result response times and inherent human error.
In addition to Berbix, Caliva evaluated other automated solutions (Persona) but found them unreliable in their detection of fraudulent documents. Eric McGovern, Senior Director of Product Management, noted that other providers only did basic extraction of ID data: “all other vendors did the exact same thing and did it the exact same way.” Berbix was the only solution that could consistently detect fake IDs rather than simply extract data.
Eric also found that “customizability was not even an option for other vendors” and that most products operated as black boxes in their decision making. Conversely, Berbix exposed all of the fraud signals through granular ID flags that could be mapped to desired outcomes (accept, reject, review) based on Caliva’s unique business logic.
Protecting the platform with minimal friction
During first order checkout, customers are prompted to validate their identity through an ID check and selfie match captured in real-time using their mobile device. In the process, Berbix validates the authenticity of the identity document through patent-pending fake ID detection and performs a biometric comparison of the face on the photo ID to the selfie which ensures the customer is who they say they are. Since implementing ID checks, Caliva has not experienced a trust and safety incident and consistently catches fake IDs at a rate of 1% of their customers.
“The verification flow is immediate in the minds of our customers” says Matt McLean, Caliva’s Chief Digital Officer, whose priority was to deploy a seamless user experience that didn’t impact order conversion. The entire verification (including desktop to mobile device handoff) takes Caliva customers a minute or two and Berbix returns the result thereafter in two seconds or less. Most importantly, 90-95% of Caliva’s users complete the verification process while pushing the small percentage bad actors to drop off.
Beyond the checkout experience, Caliva also uses Berbix’s hosted transaction flow to generate unique links manually when a user needs to be re-verified. Additionally, the team plans to improve the delivery experience by leveraging Berbix’s native mobile ID scan solution that can determine document authenticity through a lightweight barcode scan at-the-door and confirm the recipient is the person who placed the original order.
Trust and Safety as a Service
“The ability to work with the Berbix team to solve our problems is the reason I recommend Berbix,” says Matt. With prior experience building the Trust & Safety team at Airbnb, “Berbix is always there quickly responding and providing solutions.” Caliva collaborates with Berbix over a dedicated Slack channel in real-time to address any questions, follow best practices, and consult on new Trust & Safety problems as they arise.
Ultimately, with Berbix, Caliva continues to scale and expand into new markets with confidence that they’ll remain the most trusted brand in cannabis.