GNU Taler (Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Resources) is a new secure electronic payment system based on open standards, free software, and advanced cryptography. GNU Taler provides privacy guarantees to the buyer while offering the possibility to audit merchants, making sale incomes transparent and fraud difficult. To online merchants and retailers, GNU Taler offers instant transaction clearance without risks of fake payment methods. Computations needed to clear the payments are efficient and scalable so that banks can pass on lower transaction costs to consumers and merchants. Consumers can withdraw money from their existing bank account into their GNU Taler wallet, detaching their spending habits from scrutiny, in the way cash does.
The NGI TALER project is funded under Horizon Europe (Pilots for the Next Generation Internet) with the aim of bringing GNU Taler to market across Europe.
To make GNU Taler accessible to European citizens, we need a commercially viable use of the GNU Taler technology. We will achieve this through the four key project objectives.
We will make GNU Taler available to the European public as a commercial payment system. This will create the globally first software-based payment solution that offers strict technical privacy assurances for buyers in e-commerce. Additionally, GNU Taler's design offers real-time external auditing of the payment service provider by independent third parties based on cryptographic signatures covering all processes in the entire payment system, thus creating a milestone in accountability.
We will provide merchants with an open payment standard with lower prices. End-consumers will enjoy improved shopping experience and preservation of personal data. Besides these two benefits, merchants can better protect their market expertise and shield it from potential competitors by avoiding competitor platforms which abuse their knowledge and/or data. We will integrate GNU Taler into the diverse work-flows of a multitude of businesses through open calls' integration and other interested parties.
We will perform security reviews of key components of the GNU Taler system and then ensure that relevant components are available for Windows, MacOS and various GNU/Linux distributions. We will automate packaging for these platforms and port the WebExtension to additional browsers. We will furthermore implement various additional features that were already requested by community members (citizens or retailers). For example, a publisher wants to offer a discount on a subscription to readers that recently purchased individual articles. Part of this objective is to address such requests, including new ideas that are proposed during the project.
With GNU Taler, citizens will experience a much higher online shopping convenience, especially for low-valued items like digital goods. To pay with GNU Taler, they will need no registration, no log-in, and no complicated multi-factor authentication over multiple devices — just one simple click for the young and the old. Citizens will also experience improved privacy online. This may especially feel good while supporting (investigative) journalism. Less tracking for advertising, fewer account-based payments, less phishing, less identity theft — all predicated on GNU Taler enabling micro-payments with better privacy — will improve online security. We will explain these advantages to citizens, using various large-scale communication channels in existence.