Trade via admin for Members who do not have Internet

Functionality discussions and feature requests

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hugovanderzee
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:56 am

Trade via admin for Members who do not have Internet

Post by hugovanderzee »

Posted by Joseph Hogan,

It seems to have been assumed (please correct me if I am wrong, as not
assumptions are trying to be made) that everyone has internet access.

I have not been able to find from my admin access to Cyclos, a way to
enter of approve an invoice. This is needed for those who do not have
internet access. I cold enter into each persons account each time to
perform the transaction, but the added time this would take multiplied
by the number of transactions to enter or approve could be large.
More the 20% of our group doesn't use internet.
Hugo van der Zee
Cyclos development team

hugovanderzee
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:56 am

Post by hugovanderzee »

Cyclos is a web based system but it does not assume that everybody needs to have Internet.
There is support for Vouchers (physical Units). The administration of those Vouchers can be done within Cyclos (see manuals in Cyclos)

We are also working on a module to do payments with Mobile phones. This module will be finished in 2005.

It is indeed not possible for an Admin to do transactions on behalf of a Member. We where aware that some organizations would like this feature but had to give priority to security. We followed the policy of financial software that an administrator can never do any action that has effect on the account balance of a user.
The responsibility lies therefore with the Member and the password. A member can never claim that somebody else did do any payments from his account.
In a structure where persons can manage each other account all abuses and problems will end up with the administration of the organization what can be a considerable burden.
Hugo van der Zee
Cyclos development team

cmhensch
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 11:06 pm
Location: New Zealand

admin registration of transactions

Post by cmhensch »

Not incorporating a function that allows the systems/admin transaction recorder of a local exchange to enter transactions on behalf of members who do not have internet access (or mobile phones) will probably make Cyclos unusable for about any LETS around the globe.

Many LETS members are weary of the internet, and introducing such a system discriminates against a large part of the membership.

Whereas a policy for financial software to not allow anyone else than the user to enter transactions is probably good for online banking, it is definitely not congruent with a LETS where currently ALL transactions are entered by an admin person into a member account.

By no means this means that ANYONE can enter transactions onto ANYBODIES account. It is only the transaction recorder of the exchange who needs this functionality.

rinke
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:54 pm

payments

Post by rinke »

[Not incorporating a function that allows the systems/admin transaction recorder of a local exchange to enter transactions on behalf of members who do not have internet access (or mobile phones) will probably make Cyclos unusable for about any LETS around the globe.]

Of course it is possible to have admins do transactions for users: the users should give their password to this admin. By doing so, they explicitly also agree with the fact that their account is managed by somebody else. Of course it a hassle for admins, having to log in as the member, in stead of being able to arrange this from the admin interface.

Then, of course, there are various creative systems to think of, to overcome this problem.

Noppes in the Netherlands (700 members) is using cyclos with a system of local "helpdesks" in each area. These are members who offer to do the internet part of the administration for other members. Members without internet access can have their administration done at these members. As an organization, you can decide to subsidize these "helpdesks" for 100% by paying the "helpdesk"people from the organization (in units, of course), or you can decide to let those non-internet-members pay a small fee for covering the costs each time they come to the "area helpdesk".


I agree with you that there lies a problem with members not having access to internet. I don't think these problems cannot be overcome with some creativity.
________________________
Rinke Hoekstra
cyclos project team,
STRO.

rinke
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:54 pm

payments

Post by rinke »

[Whereas a policy for financial software to not allow anyone else than the user to enter transactions is probably good for online banking, it is definitely not congruent with a LETS where currently ALL transactions are entered by an admin person into a member account. ]

A sollution would be, to enable doing the payments for members from the admin interface, but for each payment the admin needs to enter the personal password of the paying member. In this way, we won't interfere with our security policy (no payments possible unless a member gives his password), but it would make it quite a bit easier for admins doing administration for members without internet, as you wouldn't have to log on and off for every next member you want to make a payment for.

Though this seems a good idea, and though it is likely we might implement this in some future version, at the moment we see no possibilities to implement this in the next versions, for the simple reason we cannot find the time for it.

As cyclos is open source, we invite anyone who feels this is a good idea, to implement it yourselves. If your code works fine, we'd be happy to make it part of the official version.
________________________
Rinke Hoekstra
cyclos project team,
STRO.

maqueen
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:57 am

This is crazy... Let me see if I get this right?

Post by maqueen »

These people have gone to the trouble of creating a kick-ass software application using the power of the Internet, plus offline features. Now you are going to bitch.
If the people you are trying to "help" are "weary" of the Internet, maybe it is time to inform them that if they would like to use these community/social services, you are going to need a little "help" from them, i.e. like remembering a user name and password. Then you simply go into the system and do the transaction for them. Oh, I forgot, that is too much work or maybe you can't trust yourself in a fuduciary role?
Come on people! :lol:

P.S. Most libraries have a computer with Internet access (1st, 2nd world)

hugovanderzee
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:56 am

Post by hugovanderzee »

An update on my first reply.
Cyclos is developed in Brazil and the software is used for various local projects. We are very much aware that not everbody has Internet acces. There are two communities working with Cyclos/vouchers and it seems work well. It does involve quite some manual administration work.

The mobile phone module is finished and working fine. With a little bit exprience users manage easily to login, do payments and retreive their account balance and transaction information quickly.
It works with WAP2.0 which most mobile phones these days support. We are planning to add more mobile phone functionalities.

New technologies like EDGE and WIMAX will make internet access cheaper and wither availible and we are confident that this is the way to go.
Hugo van der Zee
Cyclos development team

seanrphl
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:26 pm
Location: Philippines

Re: This is crazy... Let me see if I get this right?

Post by seanrphl »

maqueen wrote:These people have gone to the trouble of creating a kick-ass software application using the power of the Internet, plus offline features. Now you are going to bitch.
If the people you are trying to "help" are "weary" of the Internet, maybe it is time to inform them that if they would like to use these community/social services, you are going to need a little "help" from them, i.e. like remembering a user name and password. Then you simply go into the system and do the transaction for them. Oh, I forgot, that is too much work or maybe you can't trust yourself in a fuduciary role?
Come on people! :lol:

P.S. Most libraries have a computer with Internet access (1st, 2nd world)
Well, I don't know if you can speak on behalf of the 2nd world, perhaps the 1st world, yes.

However, a great portion in the developing world are wallowing on the other side of the digital divide. Efforts to bring them into the net age is something of a priority for a lot of organizations. Even on our side, it is our highest priority for we believe that technology is one vital answer in improving the lives of people. You see all these innovations now being implemented in the developing world that incorporate internet and mobile phone technology.

Cyclos plays a part in this, especially at improving trading among communities, even if it is web-based. The important thing that cyclos provides something that communities can use. If the lack of computers and mobile phones is what is hindering the implementation of cyclos in some communities, that the answer of taking inputs from these community members by some cyclos administrators DO NOT answer the problem at all.

It is the organization's (the organization implementing cyclos) immediate responsibility to find means that computers are within reach of people. Get computers, badger ISPs to provide net connectivity, build computer centers in these communities. The costs of connectivity and hardware are going down, so the opportunities are there. Teach the people to use computers and how to use cyclos for trading. That's how you do it. The people in these communities will themselves find the value of information technology. That's how self-help will eventually arise for these communities.

And cyclos is a great project. My hat's off to the Strohalm people.

maqueen
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:57 am

For having to do some work...

Post by maqueen »

:cry:

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