112 billions of micropayments are paid with cash in LATAM. Venezuela has the worst economic scenario for cash payments (In ation projected at 699%, small businesses has almost no access to banking terminals, daily increase of prices causing cash scarcity and cashless ATMs, big amount of bills to make simple payment).
Parking lots users are the most affected (long lines to pay parking tickets, no alternative payment system than cash and the need to use the service 4 time a week average)
What it does
We has built an App and a micropayment platform (based on blockchain technology) and, using the capability of internet of things, we started the creation of a payment network on those places that still not attended by banks and where cash management is a problem.
We started with services that generate big amount of transactions and low barrier to try (low cost). On the long run, and after we build a big community, we will be adding other services more attractive for monetization
How we built it
We built a Point of Transaction ( Using Raspberry PI) connected to the parking barrier and to the IoT network. The Point of Transactions interact with an NFC Sticker that identify the users. Every transaction is secure and unique by a sequence and a digital signature. All transactions are logged on the Raspberry and the Kinesis Agent Sync when internet is detected. There is a white/black list that syncs to validate access to parkings ( base on user's balance)
Challenges we ran into
- Poor and intermittent internet connection.
- Transaction may sync at the same time and we need to manage big amount of transactions at the same time for short time but recurrent. Can be manage with auto scaling for big ramp up.
- Barrier hardware integration.
- Country Crisis making hard to get the hardware and paid services.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- In 1.5 month, we reach 4k of users and counting!
- 2.5K parking transactions per day.
- We build this using lambdas, Dynamodb, Cognito, Api GW. And it is easy for us have the control of the operations.
- We are solving a big social problem in Venezuela using technology (Cash for daily payments).
- Academic grow on the team. We guided our team to fulfill their academic requirements ( thesis and final projects) in order to obtain their degrees.
What we learned
- Working with NoSql architectures.
- Create Scalable platform.
- Working with microservices.
- Manage and monitoring services remotely.
- Operate a payment platform.
What's next for CityWallet
- Public transportation payments.
- Integrations with vending machines.
- Customer support via Alexa.
- Study consumer transaction patterns.
- Expand to more Parking lots.
- App for Kiosk