Initiative Q’s payment model
Initiative Q is creating a modern payment network that will aggregate the best ideas, innovations, and technologies developed in recent years. The Q payment network will allow safe, fast, and low-cost transactions, using a global currency.
This paper gives a taste of the innovations and improvements that the Q payment network will offer.
Ease of use
Checking out can be even further simplified. With the Q app, you can enter a store, scan the barcode of the items you want with the phone camera, and simply walk out. At restaurants, you can just leave when you’re done, as your phone settles the bill directly with the restaurant’s server. No flagging down the waiter, no delays.
There’s also no need to fill out forms each time you visit a new online store. Once you authorize your device, you are automatically identified, and you can confirm the payment with 1-click.
Companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon have developed such features, but they are still used in a small fraction of transactions. Initiative Q will make them standard.
We already have access to some amazing technology. Our smartphones include fingerprint sensors, GPS, a camera, and a microphone that can recognize our face and voice, as well as the most advanced encryption capabilities. These can be used to implement highly secure multi-factor authentication methods, which would make it far more difficult to steal our identity.
Compared to the very crude Address Verification Service (AVS) used by payment cards, which only compares the digits of the billing address, the Q payment network will be able to verify more information at higher accuracy and incorporate more modern information sources, such as social media accounts.
The use of a centralized payment page for all Q users will help establish patterns of appropriate and inappropriate behavior, leading to a far more reliable fraud assessment than any individual seller could accumulate alone.
The above technologies are already available, and only need to be integrated by Initiative Q, but there is one capability that is unique to the Q payment network. Since every new member must be verified by an existing member, who risks losing their reward in case of fraud, the Q payment network will build a network of trust relationships that can be used to verify transactions. For example, the system can require that for large or suspicious purchases, a trusted friend must contact you directly and verify that you authorize the transaction.
Promoting proper business practices
Too much of the contemporary retail economy is based on misleading practices: cases where the seller knows that the value to the buyer is lower than it seems, or that final costs are higher than presented. These practices include free trials that turn into paid commitments without warning, unexpected price changes, and promoting products with false promises or deceitful marketing.
This ultimately hurts everyone involved. It leads to skepticism by potential customers, who must constantly be vigilant, and hurts legitimate businesses, who must compete against deals that are too good to be true, and are eventually forced out of the market—further harming consumers.
Q will go further than standard customer protection laws, creating a network where buyers don’t need to constantly worry about whether they are being scammed, and sellers can focus on quality rather than assuaging such concerns.
How do we do that? By making dishonest practices a legitimate reason for transaction reversal, thus motivating sellers to share all information that may reasonably affect purchase decisions, even if the law doesn't require it. Initiative Q will also require customer confirmation for any changes in payment arrangements, such as raising fees.
Additionally, buyers will see customer reviews on each seller’s payment page, to ensure better service and to incentivize respect from both sellers and buyers. Initiative Q has the unique ability to ensure that reviews are only provided by verified buyers who made an actual purchase from that seller, evading the problem of fake reviews praising one business or discrediting the competition.
Through these measures, the Q payment network will become an environment where buyers no longer need to worry about scams, and sellers can focus on creating value to buyers.
Reversibility and dispute arbitration
The Q payment network can also include an automated dispute resolution process, with an easy to use interface that allows users to submit claims and upload evidence to support those claims.
Parental / departmental controls
Sub-accounts can be easily set up to allocate funds, authorize expenses, and provide easy access to the full history of transactions. This is perfect for children or expense accounts that need to be supervised. A similar feature can facilitate bill-sharing for restaurants, utilities, and other shared expenses.
Buyers can have instant access to their full transaction history, including precise times and locations for when and where transactions were authorized, what verification method was used, a copy of the invoice, details, and images of the products, delivery tracking data, an instant messaging option to communicate with the seller, and a link to the Initiative Q dispute resolution forum. This would be a major improvement over the vague references and line-items on today’s payment card statements.
Universal access to payments and micro-finance for the underserved
We live in a global economy. Everything should be connected. With Initiative Q, it finally will be.
The Q payment network offers a unified system for payments, sales, and transfers that works everywhere instantly. The same currency (Q) is used in all territories, avoiding the need to exchange currencies at hefty fees.
Today, a large portion of purchases occur as a result of the seller’s marketing efforts, even though nearly all of those efforts are unsuccessful. This means consumers are constantly bombarded with useless messages, draining their time and attention, and increasing product prices.
Through advanced analysis of buyer profiles and transaction history, Initiative Q can transform market dynamics: instead of sellers aggressively convincing consumers they need their products, the focus will shift to identifying real customer needs and finding the products that best fulfill those needs.
Agents compete with each other to manage member accounts (buyers or sellers), and receive a small fee for transactions they process. A typical transaction on the Q payment network is processed as follows:
The buyer goes to a seller’s store or website.
If online, the buyer chooses the Q payment option and is identified by the Q payment network.
If in a physical store, the buyer’s Q smartphone app connects to the seller’s Point of Sale system, which sends the transaction details to the Q payment network.
The app requests the buyer’s approval. Depending on the size and risk of the purchase, additional security measures may be invoked (as detailed above).
The buyer’s agent is notified of the transaction by the Q payment network.
The buyer’s agent’s server verifies that the buyer has sufficient Qs (or credit) to cover the purchase, and if so, notifies the seller’s agent.
The seller is notified that the transaction was successful and provides the product or service to the buyer.
Periodically, all agents settle their outstanding balance over the Q internal network. This settlement may utilize a blockchain ledger, enjoying the advantages of cryptocurrency while protecting customers from its many shortcomings (read more about Initiative Q and cryptocurrencies).
Current payment networks rely on outdated technologies. They are decades behind in security, ease of use, and reporting and credit management, resulting in high fees and overhead costs. By distributing its currency to early adopters, Initiative Q overcomes the barriers that prevented the adoption of the many payment innovations made over the years.
Once an easy to use, faster, more secure, the globalized system is widely available, it will quickly become buyers’ and sellers’ preferred method of payment.