[Board] Micro payments

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Wed May 8 14:03:03 PDT 2013

On 09/05/13 06:34, Daniel Morissette wrote:
> On 13-05-08 4:19 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Daniel,
>> I've added the following to the OSGeo board agenda:
>> * discuss micro-payments. Marketing committee wants to cover ~ $50 to
>> $500 payments to ~ 100 osgeo events/year.
>> (Current issue is that we pay $30 per transaction, and there is possibly
>> an issue with the amount of time required for our volunteers to issue
>> 100 payments).
>> This might be a question for your new accountant?
> I don't really see this as an accountant question as the accountant is 
> mostly there to record the transactions in the books, produce 
> financial statements, help with filing taxes, etc. Even if we 
> outsource our accounting, the tasks of invoicing of sponsors, payments 
> of suppliers, signing authority for dealing with the bank, etc, would 
> remain with the treasurer. An accountant could maybe advise on a bank 
> with cheaper rates, but I didn't think we should be outsourcing the 
> management of the bank account.
> On the topic of micro-payments, my experience is that wire payments 
> between countries always end up with a 10$ minimum charge added on top 
> of the local bank's charge for accepting the transaction, so I simply 
> think that wires are not the way to go for micro-payments. If someone 
> has a different experience then please speak up.
> Maybe paypal would be a better alternative?
> But before we even start talking about micro-payments, as a board 
> member I am not personally convinced of the value of supporting ~100 
> events with a stipend to have them print DVDs locally. We may be 
> better choose our battles and support a smaller number of key events 
> where the DVDs will have a greater impact.
> My 0.02$
Daniel, I acknowledge your statement that the treasurer (rather than 
accountant) is best to work out payments.

I agree with your suggestion about paypal being a viable payment vehicle.

Regarding whether we limit OSGeo support to big FOSS4G events only, or 
we also support emerging 1 day local events and FOSS4g steams within 
bigger conferences, I'd argue that the smaller events find it harder to 
get their hands on money, would benefit more from a little injection of 
financial support, and are often reaching out and breaking into new 

For reference, you might want to assess which of the 45 OSGeo related 
events from 2012 would be deserving of sponsorship, and which you'd say 
no to.

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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