SPI and the Linux Debit Card
toddlisonbee at fastmail.fm
Fri Sep 17 00:17:45 UTC 2004
I contacted LinuxFund.org about this possibility. The LinuxFund.org
signed an exclusivity agreement with MBNA and can not offer any other
I've have been emailing back and forth a little with Jerritt Collord,
the executive director of LinuxFund.org, who has been providing some
advice and feedback.
The Projects are a little bit Different:
Linux Debit Card
- Debit not Credit
- Powered by Linux (i think this has some geek value)
- Accepted where Debitman is accepted (the list is growing fast but is
still a lot less than MasterCard)
- Credit Card
- Accepted where ever Mastercard is accepted (which is almost
- Better recognized because it has been around awhile
I believe that to at least some degree the projects compliment each
other rather than compete against each other. Debit card users and
credit card users are different types usually. Most people favor either
one or the other.
On Thu, 16 Sep 2004 15:10:26 -0700, "Bruce Perens" <bruce at perens.com>
> I think this should be within LinuxFund.org, they have operated a Linux
> affinity credit card for about 5 years and have done a good job at it.
> Have you briefed them yet?
> Todd Lisonbee wrote:
> >hello SPI,
> >I have started a project called Linux Debit Card that may go nicely with
> >the url is, http://www.linuxdebitcard.org/
> >Here is the basic jist of my project:
> >What is the Linux Debit Card?
> >The Linux Debit Card is a way to generate revenue for Linux and other
> >Open Source Projects. It is a secure PIN based debit card that attaches
> >to your current checking account. The Linux Debit Card both generates
> >revenue for Linux and is powered by Linux. Every time you use the Linux
> >Debit Card six cents goes towards supporting Open Source Software.
> >Linux Debit Card is a non-profit organization.
> >What does it cost?
> >It does not cost anything to sign-up or to use the card. In fact, while
> >generating revenue to support Open Source projects the card can also
> >help merchants save money.
> >How is this possible?
> >Whenever you use a Debit or Credit card at a merchant location the store
> >pays a fee. With the Linux Debit Card, instead of your bank collecting
> >the fee, money goes towards supporting Open Source software. Debitman,
> >the Linux powered debit network, connects the Linux Debit Card to your
> >checking account.
> >6 cents per transaction doesn't sound like much but when you do the math
> >it can work out to quite a bit:
> >100,000 cards * 5 transactions/card/month * $0.06/transaction =
> >50,000 cards * 5 transactions/card/month * $0.06/transaction = $540,000
> >over 3 years
> >Even with 10,000 cards, which is not very many at all, you can still do
> >10,000 cards * 5 transactions/card/month * $0.06/transaction =
> >Most of the details are explained pretty well in the website,
> >And now the purpose of this email,
> >As I understand it SPI is an umbrella for several organizations. Could
> >the Linux Debit Card possibly fall under that umbrella? If it is a
> >possiblity, how does that process work?
> >The Linux Debit Card is not a software project but its goals seem very
> >compatible to those of SPI.
> >I believe for the Linux Debit Card to be successful it will need
> >partnerships with other organizations (or to even be part of another
> >org). Right now I could post some articles and press releases at various
> >websites like newsforge, these would generate a lot of hits to
> >http://www.linuxdebitcard.org/ resulting in so many cards issued. After
> >the news article is gone though there would be nothing left to promote
> >the card.
> >I think the best way for the card to succeed is for it to be attached
> >with specific projects. The money generated from the card goes towards
> >specific projects and those projects help promote the card. Without
> >these kinds of partnerships I think it is unlikely the Linux Debit Card
> >will be successful. Partnerships will add longevity in the promotion of
> >the card and add credibility to the project itself. Also, people will
> >trust the Linux Debit Card if it is attached with an organization they
> >Any feedback about the website or this idea as a way to generate revenue
> >will be appreciated. For instance, what would it take for you
> >personally to sign-up for a card? Does it seem like a scam? Why? Does
> >this seem compatible with SPI? Does this sound like a crazy idea or do
> >you think people would buy into it?
> >Good questions to ask in evaluating this project are:
> > Would people sign-up for the Card?
> > and
> > Would people use the Card?
> >If the answer to these questions is yes then this would be a very easy
> >way to generate a lot of revenue.
> >Anyway, maybe some of these possibilities could be discussed a little on
> >this list and then later maybe the subject could be brought up at an SPI
> >meeting or looked at by a committee (or however it should work exactly).
> >The Linux Debit Card project is live so you can fill out an application
> >and get a card to see for yourself.
> >I am happy to answer any questions.
> >Have a nice day,
> >-Todd Lisonbee
> >Spi-general mailing list
> >Spi-general at lists.spi-inc.org
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