The Level One Project is an inspiring initiative. The Gates Foundation created the project for the purpose of “helping build interconnected digital systems to bring the poor into the global financial system.” The project publishes specifications and guidance for building digital financial systems designed for everyone, especially the poor in the developing world. The project also connects people implementing those systems so everyone will speak the same language and so that the right work can be funded.
As I look over the documentation, I am amazed at how well WingCash fits the specifications and guidance from Level One. It’s as if Brad read the Level One specs in 2015, traveled in a time machine to 2009, and told himself what we should build. (Brad, can I borrow your time machine for a while? It will only take a moment.)
May I indulge a little in promoting WingCash? Here are the system features the Level One project requires and how WingCash already implements them:
✓ Open loop: Yes! WingCash lets anyone participate.
✓ Immediate funds transfer: A foundational principle in WingCash. Immediate, non-retractable payment makes payment systems dramatically simpler.
✓ Push payments: WingCash has always believed in push-based payment, but we have had to work hard to keep that design. Pull-based payment is what most of us are familiar with: you swipe your payment card and the merchant pulls from your account. However, push-based payment reduces fraud and keeps the consumer in control. A couple of years ago, WingCash added payment codes to the platform to make pushing very easy.
✓ Same-day settlement: In addition to immediate settlement, WingCash has a workflow system that can help money move as quickly as possible.
✓ Open, international standards: WingCash is open, not proprietary. The API for sending and receiving money is well documented. Becuase it’s open source, it is easy to implement international standards as they become available.
✓ Irrevocability: Designed into the system from day one, but we’ve had to work hard to keep it. This requirement is the reason WingCash only allows people to add national currency through irrevocable mechanisms like bill payment.
Shared fraud service: WingCash collects data appropriate for building fraud detection services. We have simple fraud detection scripts, although this is an area that needs more development.
✓ Tiered KYC: WingCash requires more information from participants as their volume increases. For example, participants can’t send or receive national currency without first confirming their email address, and they can’t raise their monthly deposit limits until we know who they are. Minimizing fraud is very important.
I see a bright future for Level One and I hope WingCash can help them implement their plans.