GNU Taler logo

One-Click Cash Payments!

GNU Taler is an electronic payment system under development at Inria. We expect to make it operational in 2017. You can learn about Taler on this website, try the demo and look at our developer and API documentation.

Practical

Taler is easy to integrate with existing Web applications. Payments are cryptographically secured and are confirmed within milliseconds with extremely low transaction costs.

Stable

Taler does not introduce a new currency. Taler uses a digital wallet storing coins and payment service providers with escrow accounts in existing currencies. Thus, Taler's cryptographic coins correspond to existing currencies, such as US Dollars, Euros or even Bitcoins.

Secure

By design Taler does not suffer from many classes of security problems such as phishing or counterfeit. Thanks to its security features, Taler never rejects a legitimate customer due to a fraud-detection false positive.

Taxable

When using Taler, merchant's revenue is transparent for tax collection authorities. Unlike cash and most digital currencies, Taler helps prevent black markets. Taler is not suitable for illegal activities.

Private

When you pay with Taler, your identity does not have to be revealed. Just like payments in cash, nobody else can track how you spent your electronic money. However, you obtain a legally valid proof of payment.

Libre

Taler provides protocols and reference implementations that in principle enables anybody to run their own payment infrastructure, be it individuals, organizations or whole countries. Since the reference implementation is a GNU package, it will always remain free software.

Paying with Taler

To pay with Taler, customers install an electronic wallet on their device. Before the first payment, the wallet's balance must be charged in the desired currency by some other means of payment.

Once the wallet is charged, payments on websites take only one click, are never falsely rejected by fraud detection and do not pose any risk of phishing or identity theft.

Receiving payments with Taler

To receive Taler payments, a merchant needs a bank account in the desired currency. We provide supporting software in various programming languages to make the integration painless. The merchant's backend for Taler transaction processing can run on the merchant's premises or be hosted by a third party.

Taler News

08-2017: We explain GNU Taler at SHA 2017

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Sva, produced by c3voc.de is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

04-2017: Sva explains GNU Taler at EasterHegg and Torsten demonstrates it is child's play

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Sva, produced by c3voc.de is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

03-2017: Sva explains GNU Taler at FOSSASIA in Singapore

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Sva, produced by Engineers.SG is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

02-2017: Florian Dold explains Taler at 50p in Bangalore

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Florian Dold, produced by 50p is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

1-2017: Taler Documentation pages updated

docs.taler.net is now online, providing a new portal to the Taler system documentation.

12-2016: Christian Grothoff explains Taler at hasgeek in Bangalore

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Christian Grothoff, produced by hasgeek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

10-2016: Taler Wallet for Firefox online

We now have a first version of the Taler wallet for Firefox. For now, a development build of Firefox is required. Installation instructions are on the Wallet page.

9-2016: Taler Web Payments paper published

We just finished the camera-ready version of our paper on how to use Taler for Web payments. This paper does not discuss the cryptography behind Taler, but focuses on the practical aspects of how the wallet and the merchants interact over the Web. Hence, this paper should be a good read for anyone who wants to integrate Taler support with their Web site. We have posted the paper here.

8-2016: Taler Systems S.A. created

We now have a business entity for Taler. Potential investors may contact the executive team at clevel@taler.net.

6-2016: GNU Taler 0.0.0 released

We have reached our first big milestone, the 0.0.0 release! The release includes implementations of a bank, exchange, merchant and wallet and is available on the GNU FTP mirrors.
While the exchange implements the complete protocol, the implementations of merchant and wallet are both fundamentally incomplete and still lack key features, including important error handling. GNU Taler still lacks an implementation of an auditor or logic for integration with "real" banks. Thus, this release should not yet be used for actual financial transactions.
That said, you can already setup your own functional payment system and run your own toy currency -- or just try out the demo using the Chrome/Chromium browser at demo.taler.net.
Please provide feedback to our bug tracker. There, you can also find our roadmap which contains a list of known open issues and our plans for the near future.

12-2015: Taler Demo for Chrome/Chromium online

We finally have a first simple demo for Taler online. The Firefox-variant still needs some love, but you can start to try out the demo using the Chrome/Chromium browser at demo.taler.net. Please provide feedback to our bug tracker.

11-2015: Christian Grothoff's explains the goals behind Taler

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Christian Grothoff, produced by Inria Rennes Bretagne Atlantique is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

2-2015: Taler becomes an official GNU package

Taler was accepted into the GNU project today. GNU will offer advice, advocacy and cooperation --- and host our official public mailinglist taler@gnu.org.

12-2014: Watch Christian Grothoff's FOSSA talk on Taler

Creative Commons License
"Taler" by Christian Grothoff, produced by FOSSA, Inria Rennes Bretagne Atlantique is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

11-2014: Launching taler.net

Welcome to our new site about the Taler electronic payment system.

Financial News

20-07-2017: Sofortüberweisung unreasonable

The German Federal High Court of Justice has decided that the online payment system Sofortüberweisung is unreasonable, and thus must not be the only payment option offered without additional fees for customers in Germany.
With GNU Taler, inexpensive instant payments that respect customers privacy will be possible.

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04-04-2017: WhatsApp to offer person-to-person payments in India

With Indian demonetization policy pushing the country towards a cashless society, it was only a question of time until the Big Data oligopoly would make its move to take over the country's economy.
With GNU Taler, India would maintain digital sovereignty, and the privacy of citizens spending digital cash would be preserved while achiving the laudable income transparency and anti-counterfeiting goals of the Indian government.

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03-04-2017: Amazon launches Amazon Cash

Despite Amazon being in the position of being allowed to keep your credit card on file to enable faster payments, they have now moved to enable payments without credit cards.
With GNU Taler, cash-based payments for customers without credit cards would be possible not only for big brands that can sell tokens at participating retailers, but for all online stores as GNU Taler is an open standard and not another walled-garden lock-in payment system.

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24-10-2016: Alipay gains acceptance in US and Europe

With Alipay being increasingly accepted in retail stores in US and Europe, European banks continue to lose market share to big technology providers.
With GNU Taler, we could establish an open standard with a level playing field preserving the independence of national economies by establishing a commons that protects critical infrastructure from domination by a handful of global players.

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24-10-2016: ApplePay starts in France

With ApplePay starting in France, pressure on European banks increase as they are set to lose market share to big technology providers.
With GNU Taler, we could establish an open standard with a level playing field preserving the independence of national economies by establishing a commons that protects critical infrastructure from domination by a handful of global players.

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21-10-2016: Indian banks warn 3.2 million customers

A major data breach of Indian banks forced these institutions to warn 3.2 million customers that their accounts might have been compromised and that they need to obtain new bank cards and PIN numbers.
With GNU Taler, banks can implement privacy by design and minimize data collection, minimizing the impact of security breaches and satisfying GDPR regulations in Europe.

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15-10-2016: Thousands of online stores found skimming

Security researchers found evidence of adversaries targeting online shops offering credit cards to steal and resell credit card credentials.
With GNU Taler, shops would never receive sensitive personal information such as credit cards, thus hacked online shops would not create such hassles for consumers.

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23-07-2016: How banks are refusing to shoulder responsibility for fraud

Banks are naturally unhappy about shouldering the cost for fraud, and use various tricks to impose the costs on their customers without providing adequate help to minimize fraud.
With GNU Taler, cryptography ensures that identity theft and many related types of fraud are no longer possible, allowing banks to offer customers a payment experience where neither side needs to worry about fraud.

Source

22-12-2015: Sicherheitsforscher hacken das EC-Bezahlsystem

Security researchers found serious security flaws in the German "electronic cash" system which enable criminals to withdraw funds from merchant accounts based on the information printed on receipts and other information obtained from public sources or point-of-sales terminals purchased online.
The German "electronic cash" system is based on the "Poseidon" protocol, for which there is no publicly accessible specification or reference implementation. This has allowed such major security holes to persist for decades.

Source

30-4-2015: 1970 Researchers Predicted Debit Cards Would be Great for Surveillance

"Suppose you were an advisor to the head of the KGB, the Soviet Secret Police. Suppose you are given the assignment of designing a system for the surveillance of all citizens and visitors within the boundaries of the USSR. The system is not to be too obtrusive or obvious. What would be your decision?"
The think tank RAND essentially answered this question with a blueprint for modern payment systems. Taler offers an escape from the financial panopticon.

Source

17-3-2015: Pointing Fingers in Apple Pay Fraud

Apple Pay may be easy to use, but the simplistic user identification creates opportunities for fraud, resulting in much higher fraud rates than even with traditional credit card systems.
Taler does not require user identification, enabling ease of use while also being effective against fraud.

Source

6-12-2014: Visa and MasterCard's uncompetitive business practices

The Visa and MasterCard duopoly has eliminated competition among banks, setting fees that take away a significant share of profits from small merchants.
Taler is an open standard with free software implementations, so merchants do not have to fear a lack of competition.

Source

5-12-2014: PayPal for Android gains fingerprint support

Following Visa and MasterCard's move to biometrics, PayPal now supports authenticating purchases with fingerprint recognition. Hence, police can now forcefully take user's fingerprints and access their mobile computers and possibly empty their electronic wallets in addition to their physical wallets.
For Taler, we advise users to protect their digital wallets using passphrases.

Source

5-12-2014: US judge rules banks can sue merchant for bad security

Merchants taking credit card data from customers now have to additionally fear banks suing them for losses. It is not suggested that the merchant in question was not in compliance with PCI DSS security audit procedures.
With Taler, merchants never handle sensitive personal credit data, and thus neither customers, exchanges nor governments would even have standing to sue merchants in court. Thus, if a merchant system were to be compromised, the damage would be limited to the merchant's own operations.

Source

13-11-2014: Visa and MasterCard's to move from passwords to biometrics

Visa and MasterCard are planning to "simplify hated verification systems" by moving from passwords to security codes on mobiles and biometrics. Continuing their flawed insistence on verifying identity, Visa and MasterCard will thus build a very personal picture of their customers, from shopping habbits down to their cardiac rhythm.
Taler does not require a customer's identity to verify a payment, as the payment system cryptographically verifies the coins. Thus, Taler does not have to intrude into any personal detail of a citizen's life, and certainly not their private medical data.

Source

10-9-2014: PayPal accounts hacked with a click

Yasser Ali reports a now patched vulnerability in PayPal that would have allowed him to reset other user's passwords and take over their accounts. This is unlikely to be the last vulnerability found in account-based payment systems.
In Taler, customers do not have accounts with usernames, passwords or associated e-mail addresses. Instead, Taler uses reserves which are represented by a private key on the owner's computer. Users create a reserve by depositing currency at a Taler exchange, and can then withdraw digital coins from that reserve using the respective private key. There is no limit on the number of reserves a user can have, and even hacking the Taler exchange would not provide an adversary with access to user's reserves (as the Taler exchange does not have the private keys). Stealing in Taler requires breaking into each customer's computer to extract the reserve keys or the coins from the digital wallet.

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15-9-2013: NSA follows the Money

Despite the EU allowing the NSA access to financial transaction data to track terrorists and organized crime, the NSA saw it necessary to target international payment processors including SWIFT and Visa. As terrorism and organized crime are covered by legal means, industrial espionage to improve the US economy is the only remaining US national interest within the NSA's mandate that would explain this illegal activity.
With Taler, exchanges will only learn the value of a merchant's transactions, not who paid or for what (governments may learn what was sold). Thus, the Taler exchange is a significantly less interesting target for industrial espionage.

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