Open Calls Helpdesk

system
January 31

Welcome to the NGI TALER Open Calls Helpdesk

Hi! You may be coming here from the TALER Open Calls page on our partner NLnet’s web site. This page will guide you through the context of this specific series of open calls attached to the NGI TALER project that aims to bring the GNU Taler electronic payment system to market across Europe.

After describing the context, the page introduces this forum, the TALER Integration Community Hub, that aims to form a community of stakeholders that will accompany free software developers, open-source hardware engineers, merchants willing to use the GNU Taler software and deploy electronic payment solutions for their use-cases, as well as consumers willing to learn about electronic payments in Euro with GNU Taler, and participate in usability studies to ensure their special needs are taken into account when implementing and deploying electronic payment systems.

This wide scope of addressing various stakeholders in the TALER ICH is unique among all electronic payment systems available on the market. It stems from the free software philosophy and the will to include all citizens in the creation of something as fundamental in our society as how we approach our economy and handle money. We hope that you will share our dedication to providing an inclusive, accessible, secure electronic payment system for all.

Context

The NGI TALER project started on December 1st, 2023 and is scheduled to run for three years, ending with the wide deployment of GNU Taler software and associated OSHW across the Eurozone, fit for daily use of the Euro in electronic payments, including micro-payments, both online and in your street shop.

Open calls will be an important component of TALER to boost integration with other actors and expand adoption in many economic sectors. Calls will occur during 24 months of the project, and will support 40 to 60 projects that want to integrate GNU Taler to other systems, or projects that want to improve an implementation already funded under other previous open calls.

Books, Inclusion, FLOSS

In order to achieve this deployment in the European Union and in associated countries accepting Euro for legal tender, the project addresses, besides finance and banking applications, three vertical markets we deem appropriate to explore within this research and development phase, providing customer feedback to the technical teams.

When evaluating submissions, all else being equal, those supporting the three targeted vertical markets will be given precedence.

The first vertical market addressed is the independent book sector value chain, from the writer to the reader through its three core functions: creation, publishing, and trade. It also addresses use-cases related to journalism. The Independent Book Sector integration is led by our partner petites singularités (:ps: and :ps_editions:), a small non-profit association based in Brussels, also an independent publisher.

The second vertical market aims to explore cash-like payments with GNU Taler, focusing on social inclusion and e-health , including usability of payments for elders (including when using GNU Taler for mobile/portable POS terminal sales, prepaid cards, gift cards, and peer-to-peer payments). The Social Inclusion and e-Health integration is led by our partner e-Seniors, a non-profit association based in France, that fights against e-exclusion by providing access to and training in information and communication technologies for seniors and/or disabled people.

The third vertical market addresses charitable donations, pledges and crowd-funding for the Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) ecosystem. This will then enable more systematic donations along the software supply chain. The Free Software Supply Chain integration is led by our partner NLnet Foundation, a non-profit leading philanthropy in the European Next Generation Internet, based in Amsterdam, and an active grant maker in a global technology landscape, working on a day to day basis with many hundreds of free and open source projects over sixty countries.

Priority topics

In order of priority, here is a list of topics that may apply to open calls; this list is non-exhaustive:

  • E-health use cases This topic focuses on e-health applications where GNU Taler can help patients, including many seniors, with accessibility and usability challenges in this privacy-sensitive domain.
  • E-commerce integration This topic focuses on FLOSS e-commerce integration. These include basic online payments (including micro-payments) and refunds. This topic must be implemented before others can be considered.
  • Point-of-Sales integration This concerns in-person payment at the brick-and-mortar store, and involves integration with existing POS protocols such as Nexo standards (global), ZVT (DE) or EP2 (CH). This topic enables Taler payments at stores and other features (such as e-cash withdrawal).
  • Enhanced contracts Here we would like to see ideas moving beyond simple payments or refunds: discounts for people who bought related items, buy 2 get 3, subscriptions, etc. This topic would favour privacy-preserving options and dismiss deceptive patterns.
  • Physical integration This topic covers vending machines and other physical artefacts deployed at scale with unique features: privacy-preserving age verification, offline transactions, etc.
  • Rewards API The GNU Taler rewards API was created to enable tips, e.g., for service at restaurants. It can also serve to reward consumers for their actions.
  • Security features GNU Taler can also be used outside of the classical payment scheme, e.g., to implement automation detection and deterrence, such as CAPTCHAs and DDOS protection schemes. This topic focuses on Taler integration to improve existing Internet protocols security.

Onboarding and the TALER ICH

After selection, projects will enter the TALER programme to implement their integration. Integration will be carried away independently by the grantees. Open call winners can request mentoring by consortium members, especially to
help them understand TALER technology’s specificities. These mentors will clarify how to make such integrations and which possibilities are there to make open calls projects viable.

TALER will also take the opportunity to transfer best practices, and answer any questions about any aspect of the grant process. The consortium may assign additional technical experts to join the intake when relevant. After the onboarding call, grantees will be invited to keep in contact with the mentoring team and other grantees for self-help and networking opportunities. Grantees receive up-to-date documentation and become part of the technical community of GNU Taler integrators which enables synergies and community support for software developers.

Completion of integration work

The projects will be considered completed when the milestones listed on the project are finalized. This will be verified to ensure the promised results were achieved. In case a project faces any unforeseen issues to implement the solution, an extension might be negotiated. If any other issues happen that prevent the solution to be deployed, the consortium coordinator and the open call manager will evaluate those individually.

Open call winners integrations will be displayed on TALER website for public consultation and to display success cases of integration and outreach. Success cases might also be featured in media content released by the consortium.

Technical Pools

As a free software developer, you’re welcome to join the TALER ICH even before applying to the grant. This will help you and your customers explore what needs to be done in order to integrate TALER payments and form technical pools involving all stakeholders with the aim to solve actual issues and use-cases considered by the consortium and community.

Whereas the competition is considering money and payments as commodities put on a market, here we consider that both money and payments are a fundamental societal tool that we all should be involved in shaping up. This is an opportunity for all stakeholders to restore economic agency, solving challenges brought by electronic payments, and inventing new ways of solving sector-specific issues and new business models for an inclusive economy.

Where do we go from here?

This page was created to accompany the announcement of the new NGI TALER open calls. This is an early preview, and will develop as the community forms and questions arise, especially with regard to applying to TALER open calls, forming bonds among stakeholders and establishing priorities for development.

Thank you for reading so far! You may join the early birds preview of this community hub that will become public by the end of February, 2024.