STRO’s objective is to move money as a major steering mechanism in society from causing environmental abuse and preventing many poor to optimise their capacities, to become an instrument that serves a qualitative human development. The first STRO was founded in 1970 in Holland. Social Trade promotes the opportunity for communities to optimise the circulation of purchasing power in their community. Using the Social Trade methods the potential of the community can be optimised based on the community’s culture with respect for the environment. People involved in realising the Social Trade targets are working from local offices in Porto Alegre (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Utrecht (Holland), Lisbon (Portugal) and Murcia (Spain).
STRO picks up the challenge described by Bank of England’s governor Mervyn King:“Is it possible that advances in technology will mean that (...) the world may come to resemble a pure exchange economy? Electronic transactions in real time hold out that possibility. There is no reason, in principle, why final settlements could not be carried out by the private sector without the need for clearing through the central bank. (...) There is no conceptual obstacle to the idea that two individuals engaged in a transaction could settle by a transfer of wealth from one electronic account to another in real time. (...) The same system could match demands and supplies of financial assets, determine prices and make settlements. Financial assets and real goods and services would be priced in terms of a unit of account. Final settlement could be made without any recourse to the central bank.(...) Without such a role in settlements, central banks, in their present form, would no longer exist; nor would money.”
Cyclos solutions for social impact
The objective of the Social Trade Organisation is to provide a professional platform that can be used by different organisations and institutions that are aiming on social economic impact. Cyclos supports a wide variety of implementations.
Banks in developing countries
Cyclos allows local and regional banks to compete with big international banks, because Cyclos allows them to provide cost effective state of the art on-line banking, sms banking, POS and mobile banking services. This contributes to a more diverse banking sector which makes it stronger and more competitive. Regional banks are also known to invest more money in the region contributing directly to the country's economic growth instead of international speculation.
Because of Cyclos barters can easily be set up at low cost, the barter doesn't have to invest heavily in expensive software. Research shows that Barters can be very beneficial to a countries economy in times when capital is scarce, making countries more resilient in times of economic crises. The reason behind this is simple. When the economy suddenly contracts enterprises which still have products or services to offer, but not enough customers. Even if company A wants to buy a product from company B and company B wants to buy a product from company A, often the money (or credit) is missing to enable trade. A barter helps these companies to trade with each other through the barter network.
Campus card systems
An University campus, where a lot of local economic activity is happening is an ideal environment to implement an Campus card (payment) system with Cyclos. Some of the features are
- Student-to-Business payments (Parking, Copy/printing, Laundry, Bookstore, Restaurant, Housing, Events & Activities, Tuition)
- Student-to-Student micro payments (any goods or services exchanged among students)
- External-to-Student payment (donations from parents, who can specify payment destination)
- Student loans (emission/management)
- Market place (students can post offers and interests in goods and services)
- Market place notifications. SMS or e-mails can be sent automatically when personal criteria are matched in the marketplace
- University notifications & mailings can be send to groups of student's by e-mail and/or SMS (events, emergencies)
- Student business profile (profiles can be included in a website that can be viewed by local businesses)
- Job board (local business can publish Jobs & internships)
- Available channels: Web, card/POS, mobile
- Independent: Not bound to contracts with specific software providers and Banks