Credly vs Certif-ID: Which credentialing platform is better?

Credly and Certif-ID are recognised names in the digital credentialing industry. Both provide organisations a credentialing value chain, providing all the tools that they need to start issuing digital awards to their users. However, what these platforms offer exactly is quite different, and therefore which is better suited to your organisation entirely depends on your aims. Because of this, we’ve created this guide to help you to weigh up the pros and cons of each platform, and decide which one best meets your organisational needs.

Table of contents

What are digital credentials?

Digital credentials are awards used to acknowledge achievements, from students who have successfully completed a course, to recognising an employee’s performance. Because of this, they are being increasingly used to incentivise hard work, alongside providing lifelong value for the recipient by giving them tangible evidence of their accomplishments. There are two types of credentials to choose from: digital certificates and digital badges.

What are ‘blockchain-powered’ digital credentials?

A crucial aspect of any digital credentialing platform concerns their data-security and credential verifiability. Digital credentials directly improve many aspects of the traditional (physical) awarding process, for example the time and cost efficiencies that naturally come with digitalisation. However, one issue that has arisen concerns data-security. With the rise of online achievements, there has also been a rise in certificate fraud alongside concerns of personal data breaches. This where blockchain technology has been a saving grace. Because of the immutability of the blockchain network, data stored on its ledger are tamper-proof, and therefore not at risk of the discussed issues. What’s more is that it can also make certificates instantly verifiable by third-parties, such as employers, as seen shown by this certificate.

I won’t go any deeper into the boring technical details of how blockchain works in this article, but its value is clear from its increasing use across all industries (one of the most well-known being cryptocurrency, e.g. bitcoin). 

About Credly

What is Credly used for?

Credly is principally a badging platform, and therefore focuses on enabling the creation and issuance of digital badges. Credly does also allow users to create certificates alongside their badges, however they are only provided in a PDF format, and therefore do not offer much more than traditional, physical certificates. When it comes to digital badging, however, Credly offers a comprehensive list of tools, allowing their users to start designing, issuing and managing badges online right away. Some examples of Credly’s digital badges, created in their ‘Acclaim’ platform, are shown below.

Digital badges that have been created in the Credly Acclaim platform.
Real examples of Credly digital badges.

‍Credly blockchain

As discussed, blockchain-secured data is a vital component of a good digital credentialing platform, and it is an additional feature that Credly offers for free to their customers. This means that your badges can be made secure and verifiable through the Credly Acclaim platform; great!

However, there is one caveat due to the blockchain that Credly uses: Bitcoin. Although it is a very popular token in the crypto-sphere, it is also widely recognised for its unsustainability due to the high level of energy usage that it necessitates. Because of this, it is important for organisations with sustainability goals to steer clear of this cryptocurrency, and opt for pre-mined alternatives instead (find out more here).

How much does Credly cost?

Credly does not publish its pricing model, and so you’re not able to learn how much their platform will set you back without contacting them directly. Credly is not free, however, as shown by pricing plans that were previously available online showing the pricing options to comprise multiple different paid tiers.

About Certif-ID

What is Certif-ID used for?

Certif-ID is a Credly alternative that enables digital certificate creation; it does not provide digital badging capabilities. Furthermore, Certif-ID’s main focus is on the verifiability of their credentials through blockchain technology, proclaiming to be first and foremost a “blockchain-based credentialing platform”. An example of a Certif-ID created digital certificate is given below.

A real example of a Certif-ID digital certificate.

Certif-ID Blockchain

Despite being a ‘blockchain-based’ digital credentialing platform, Certif-ID does not publish much information about their blockchain technology. Because of this, it is not possible to know whether they use pre-mined (and therefore sustainable) cryptocurrency, as well as whether using it implies an additional cost.

How much does Certif-ID cost?

The credentialing company is equally secretive about their pricing model, and does not publish it on their website. Softwareadvice.co.uk, however, tells us that their paid version starts at $900/year. 

Credly vs Certif-ID: Comparison

Now that we’ve discussed who these companies are, let’s now take a look at what exactly they offer. To do this, we’ll compare the two on three critical aspects of digital credentialing platforms:

Credibility

Naturally, it’s important to ensure that whatever credentialing platform you choose is credible. Both Credly and Certif-ID are trusted by many legitimate organisations, and receive positive feedback across the major review sites such as G2 and Cuspera. Because of this, if one of these platforms provides all the tools that you are looking for, you will be able to trust them to deliver.

‍Credentialing tools

Which platform is better for you in terms of credentialing tools entirely depends on your organisational aims. Credly provides a more comprehensive list of digital credentialing tools, from their advanced badge designer, to their ‘labour market insights’ providing learners real-time insight into job opportunities. However, it must be noted that Credly only offers comprehensive tools when it comes to badges; if you are looking to issue digital certificates instead, Certif-ID may be the better choice.

Data-security and credential verifiability

As a ‘blockchain-based’ Certif-ID platform, it is assumed that their platform will be best suited for organisations with a high focus on data-security. This is accentuated by Credly’s use of bitcoin as their blockchain ledger, implying the negative effects previously discussed. However, as Certif-ID does not publish information about the blockchain they use, we cannot accurately say how verifiable and tamper-proof their credentials truly are.

Credly vs Certif-ID: who wins?

Credly vs Certif-ID

Overall, the answer to which platform you should choose entirely depends on what you’re after. To summarise the pros and cons of each:

If neither of these platforms completely match your organisational aims, you may want to try an alternative solution. Naturally, we recommend our platform - VerifyEd - designed to fill all the gaps of Credly and Certif-ID, offering:

We hope that we have been able to give you some insight into the different digital badging platforms that are currently available on the market. Still unsure? Talk to a digital credentialing expert today - they will be happy to answer any questions you may have

Start issuing digital credentials

Contact us for a pilot of our digital credentials at your institution.

Contact us
Examples of credentials on VerifyEd.