pittance — a micropayment system
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pittance 1.0a nada version
  • what — a micropayment system
    This pittance system is a matrix of micropayment brokers for moving small amounts of money over the Internet, from one dollar to as little as a tenth of a penny. No fees are charged for these transactions.
  • notice — this is an experiment
    Moving pennies over the Internet has been an unsatisfied quest. The Man (law and government) may shut us down and operational costs may prove unsupportable. However, a merchant-broker may avoid such problems, being a subscription management system, hard-coding the pittance_with parameter. And, a pittance broker can be supported by ad banners and interest on holdings.
  • customer — how to spend a pittance
    Deposit money into your pittance account with PayPal® (some brokers may accept cash and money-order). Pay for things on the Internet with minimal effort. Your money-back no-questions-asked guarantee is inherent in the pittance design.
    A payment form may look like this:
     Take this 10¢ donation from my pittance account.
    name  
    with  
    keys  
     JGD@freeVEDA.org Forgot
     keys?
    No account?
    Join here.
  • merchant — how to receive money
    Withdraw money from your pittance account with PayPal (some brokers offer check-in-the-mail). See form above for how to put a pittance form on a web page. A clever web page programmer can code automatic pre-entry of customer fields from cookies of the returning visitor.
    Customer fields in the form above:
    pittance_name - customer's identification
    pittance_with - customer's broker location
    pittance_key1 - customer's password 1
    pittance_key2 - customer's password 2
    pittance_key3 - customer's password 3

    Hidden (but no big secret) fields in the form above:
    pittance_mill - amount to be paid in mills (1/10 cent)
    pittance_vend - merchant's identification
    pittance_paid - merchant's web page if payment was made
    pittance_deny - merchant's web page if payment was denied
    pittance_call - merchant's optional program to receive details
    pittance_note - optional information for merchant's use
    pittance_home - merchant's broker location

    The form, pittance, forgot and join links should point to the merchant's broker.
  • fees — cost of moving money
    Transactions at PayPal have costs, as do handling cash and money-orders. Customers pay a fee to move money into the pittance system (e.g. 30¢+3.9%). Merchants pay a fee to PayPal to receive withdrawn money or, for check in-the-mail, merchant pays the move-money fee to the broker.
  • safe — security with simplicity
    Keys (passwords) are never stored but only the MD5 checksums. Triple-notch keys are assignable to specific merchants to enable no-click micro-payments. Customer and merchant identification names must be true email addresses to facilitate sending new keys when lost. If PayPal is used, the email address must be the PayPal identification. Note: Security is relative to risk, so the pittance system limits customer balances to $50 maximum.
  • audit — everyone keeps everyone honest
    Change your keys and view your transactions. Customers may dispute any item for immediate refund. The pittance system refuses transfers if customer had disputed a transfer with the same merchant. To assure funds are available, refunds and withdrawals are limited to seven days past. Roving audit-bots facilitate blocking transfers to merchants with excessive refunds.
  • guarantee — buyer beware
    Individual brokers and merchants may (and should?) provide guarantees, forums, email, etc. However, the authors offer the pittance system without --- well, read the Copyleft statement below. There is no complaint department but there is a blog. There will be no email to or from the pittance system, except to issue new keys when lost. Use the PayPal dispute system to communicate problems with deposits and withdrawals; cash and check users can communicate by snail mail. To aid fraud prevention, no more than one dollar per hour may be spent and Internet addresses are stored with each transaction.
  • webmasters — you can be a broker
    The pittance system is open-source and free. It's written in the PHP computer language and does not need database support. It's interoperable so that customer and merchant accounts may be located with different brokers on different web sites. A merchant account is automatically built (with key-checksums from broker via matrix.php) at the customer's broker if it does not yet exist. All merchant account locations are listed at the audit and withdraw pages. So, the pittance system is a matrix of micro-payment brokers. To enable software audits, webmasters must make their pittance programs public-readable: roving audit-bots examine those programs to assure conformity to the open-source published versions.
    The file system (folder name is pittance) at each broker:
    /name/{_name} — balances
    /vend/{_vend} — balances
    /deny/{ident} — refunders, excessive refundees and bad brokers
    /keys/{_name} — file holds key-checksums
    /logs/yyyymmdd — logs
    /home/{_vend}@@{_with} — file holds key-checksums
    /broker/ — secure location for broker program

    The programs (in the pittance folder):
    clog — collaborative weblog
    pittance — join, deposit, withdraw, audit, dispute
    auditbot — conformity auditor
    matrix — called by customer's broker to provide key-checksums
    transfer — move micro-payment
    call — sample program to receive details

    The broker program (in the pittance/broker folder):
    broker — manage deposits, withdrawals, etc.

    Download pittance.zip (right-click and select Save Target As...).
    Download pittance.md5 (right-click and select Save Target As...).
    and verify with md5. Also, see readme.txt (included in the zip file).

Just Add Common Sense — You alone are responsible for your life. Please use with wisdom.
pittance 1.0a nada version
All this stuff is free, as in free speech and free beer.
Consider the GNU General Public License, OSDL Linux Legal Defense Fund, etc.
Copyleft Copyright © 2006 John G. Derrickson
freeVEDA.org/copyleftJGD@freeVEDA.org

This Copyleft is a license granting you the rights to use, modify, translate and disseminate the copyrighted work, or any work derived from it, including all representations of the work, permitting additional Copyleft Copyright notices and remuneration for distribution of the work and for services relating to use of the work, and MAKES NO WARRANTY, ASSURANCE NOR GUARANTEE AS TO USEFULNESS OR CORRECTNESS, as such is the duty of whoever uses or services the work. This license does not put the work into the public domain. Where this license is prohibited by law or otherwise changed, the work shall be considered Copyright © 2006 John G. Derrickson with All Rights Reserved.

PayPal is a registered trademark of PayPal, Inc. PayPal is a payment service with no partnership, joint venture, employee-employer or franchiser-franchisee relationship with the pittance system.

2006 0426 1408