“Just Pennies” could develop into large sums of cash with multiple projects. At what carry-over threshold are we legally considered to be money-handleing and no longer just a payment coordinator?
I don’t think there’s any scenario in which Snowdrift succeeds in its mission of changing the landscape of FLO funding and the pennies lost are of any consequence.
I’m neither a lawyer nor the person who researched this issue, but as I understand it, we would not have to worry about it here, since “carried over” here is talking about the pending donation, not something we charged patrons but didn’t give projects.
Excellent point. However, I’m still leaning more towards using just pennies. It’s simpler, easier to understand, easier to explain/sell/market, and easier to program.
However, if we were to switch to pennies instead of 1/10 of pennies as the starting unit, what are the dis-advantages? What is lost by having a higher base unit?
It quickly becomes unaffordable, especially for people of modest means. I don’t know anybody who’d donate $100/mo to a single project. $10/mo from 10 000 patrons is a lot more money than the same amount from 1000 patrons.
Vaguely related anecdote: Even megacorp banking websites do rounding wrong.
(Actual amount: $0.99)
I’m returning to this post as I drill through some of my todo items.
I think this post opened up the “multiple projects” can of worms, which we are explicitly ignoring right now until we get the rest of the site in a sensible state (operationally, design-wise, and so forth). I.e. this post combines a real, current, actual problem (the inaccurate dollar amounts) with some other topics that we should avoid spending time on until we are ready to fully tackle supporting multiple projects. I suggest we solve the former and let the latter rest for now.
For solving the inaccurate dollar amounts, having heard all arguments, I simply think it is best to show tenths of a cent. It is the easiest fix, and creates no new tradeoffs. It obviously won’t be the final solution, but it is sufficient to solve the immediate problem.
I’ve opened https://git.snowdrift.coop/sd/snowdrift/issues/113.
Do you mean show tenths of a cent for the actual crowdmatch amounts, but just cents for the charge transactions? So we’d defer rounding until an actual charge? I don’t think it would be OK to show tenths of a cent on the actual charges. Also, when showing them, maybe we could display the third decimal place in gray or something to minimize confusion? (@mray what do you think?)
We are not technically able to charge a 10th of a cent, as our current payment processor, stripe, only allows amounts in the smallest currency unit for whatever currency unit we are charging.
The more ethical approach would be to round down, to the nearest cent, and then carry over the amount above the nearest cent to the next payment event. What @chreekat is suggesting is that for maximum transparency, the tenths of a cent will be shown on your transaction page, so it’s clear what is happening with your money.
I think we should go with the solution that creates the least problems (whatever devs prefer) and have a good idea how we want it in the end. I can imagine a solution like always rounding down and showing the precise amount on mouseover.
I share @msiep s interest in what the context here is: would this solution be applied anywhere?
As I posted above with image of gas station prices, it is a good idea to make the 3rd decimal visually distinct so it doesn’t confuse people who rarely see dollars with 3 decimals. But indeed, there are ways to do it. I think the fraction like the gas station is better than just grey.
I agree, if we can do that. I’m not sure it would be feasible though since although I know character sets can include a few fractions like ½ and ¼ I don’t suppose there are characters available for 0/10 through 9/10?
Sorry for not being clear. The immediate, accurate, and simple-to-implement solution is to show tenths of a cent for crowdmatches and full cents for donations. (Except that we don’t even show donation amounts anywhere yet, so it’s only crowdmatch amounts that matter today.)
In other words: to fix the bug, we show tenths of a cent for crowdmatches today. Making the site easier to grasp – whether with visual cues, changed calculations, or whatever – is still out of scope for this bug.