How it works

The Community Exchange System (CES) is a web service that provides the tools for communities to set up and manage exchange and trade in their areas without using money.

The main object of the CES is to facilitate trade and exchange by providing a range of non-monetary exchange tools. This helps to build community by connecting people and providing a local support network.

Although the CES is internet-based, it also works for those who do not have computers or smart phones. Each user gets an account number and a password, and this gives them access to their account on the CES web site. The site works like a true online banking service. Users can enter transactions, view their current balances and obtain statements of account. They can also keep track of the trading position of others.

  1. Local people join the community exchange to trade between themselves. There are no membership fees, a small transaction levy is added to all transactions to cover administration costs.
  2. Members maintain a directory of their offers and wants.
  3. When a user requires something advertised in the directory, the seller is contacted and the trade takes place.
  4. The buyer 'pays' the seller using the local community currency (Waves are our local currency, one hour of work is 12 Waves )
  5. Upon trading, members may 'pay' each other in the local currency using an online transaction, or write cheques which are later cleared by local coordinators.
  6. Members whose balances exceed specified limits (positive or negative) are obliged to move their balance back towards zero by spending or earning.

Those without computers can use cheques and interface with the system through local-area coordinators, who serve as local ‘branches’ of the exchange. Coordinators are trusted users who have rights and facilities to perform actions on behalf of others.