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Re: GNU Herds virtual bank -- proposal

From: Davi Leal
Subject: Re: GNU Herds virtual bank -- proposal
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2008 13:10:38 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.7


  1. Functional features and requisites
  1.1 Cost
  1.2 Operations

  2. Technical design
  3. Legal side

1. Functional features and requisites

   The main goal of the "GNU Herds virtual bank" feature would be to
   allow micro-donations, though it could be used to do payments too.

1.1 Cost

    * Without cost for the GNU Herds project, as the current project
      hosting, else a tiny cost similar to the HTTPS certificate.

    * Free of any charge for the webapp users, or minimum if is not

      The virtual bank idea exposed by John Sennesael [1] is actually
      very cool. Read [1] to know the advantages of such proposal.


1.2 Operations

    * Deposit your e-money in the GNU Herds virtual bank

      We could allow users to do it via credit-cards and e-money
      gateways: Neteller, PayPal, etc.

    * Transfer e-money, being it a micro-donation or a payment, to
      another GNU Herds virtual bank user

      We could realize this inside the GNU Herds webapp.

    * Transfer my e-money to my external bank account

      We could allow users to do a transfer request which would be
      carried out manually, or better we could allow e-money gateways.

      Due to this operation is the more risky one, security measures,
      as actual banks does should be added:

        * Warning via email about the transfer which has been requested.

        * N-days of delay up to the transfer is actually realized, so
          the user will have an opportunity to cancel it.

2. Technical design

> What we need is an easy (at least the most easy) way to allow payments
> and/or donation from a User to a Professional.

And from one Professional to an User, or from a Professional to a
Professional, why not? ...

> From a user point of view will be just an additional form, or
> additional fields in the existing ones, where it'll be possible to
> choose the available payments systems, the amount of money to transfer
> and eventually data needed by the payment gateway.

The project has already something similar. If you click the
"donation pledge" button of a "Donation pledge group" [1], or
just create a new one at [2].

  [1]  (buggy)

All that could be registered at the data base via EntityId and
TransferId fields.

> Almost all of the specified payment methods could feet our needs, but I'd
> rather focus more our attention on:
>   * Credit cards
>   * Payment Gateway
>   * e-Money
> Take a look at the enclosed image.

If we add the "GNU Herds virtual bank" as one of the possible mechanism,
we could implement is as follows (draft):

  * Actual bank account, named "GNU Herds virtual bank" managed-owned
    by some trusted person, company, or better by the GNU Herds
    association itself, if we finally create it as a legal entity.

    Note: Management risks

      Who manage the GNU Herds actual bank account, being a person or
      even the administrator of the "GNU Herds Free Software Association"
      could steal all the money and go. 

      Antenore Gatta wrote:
      > "give the GNU Herds account just to one person, it's too much
      > risky and surely the GNU Herds users will not like (won't trust)."

      However note PayPal's users are in the same situation!  That is to
      say, PayPal's users versus who actually manage the PayPal business.

      People should trust  same or even more a similar system managed by
      the GNU Herds association than the one managed by the PayPal's

3. Legal side

   Gabriel has told me that if the managers-owners of the GNU Herds actual
   bank account will not get any profit for such activity, it could be
   legal to use it to realize such kind of money transfers gateway.

   I hope Gabriel get a final report about it the next September or Octover.

As usual, please expose any disagreement, correction, etc.

Attachment: Payment_Systems.png
Description: PNG image

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