Frequently asked questions

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About Billon and technology
What is Billon?

Billon is a fintech company which devised a groundbreaking platform for financial transactions using distributed ledger to exchange regulated currencies. Billon created a working ecosystem of mobile and desktop solutions. It also cooperates with partner companies to implement its technology as part of their IT solutions.

What is distributed ledger?

A distributed ledger is an asset database that can be shared across a network of multiple sites, places or institutions. The security and accuracy of the assets stored in the ledger are maintained cryptographically through the use of keys and signatures to control who can do what within the shared ledger. Unlike traditional paper-based or digital ledgers, distributed ledger exists simultaneously in many copies with no central administration or data storage. It removes the need for the expensive central IT infrastructure and ensures that even if one copy is corrupted others will maintain correct information. Almost anything that exists on paper today could exist on a shared ledger. That is why we decided to implement that idea to financial transactions.
For more information check the excellent report by the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492972/gs-16-1-distributed-ledger-technology.pdf

What is a blockchain?

A blockchain is a type of database that takes a number of records and puts them in a block. Each block is then ‘chained’ to the next block, using a cryptographic signature to ensure trust and accountability. This allows blockchains to be used as a type of distributed ledger, which can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.

What are regulated currencies?

No, we do not use bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. We chose currencies issued by central banks, such as euro or dollar, to secure compliance with international financial regulations and the trust of our partners. We adopted blockchain technology, similar to that behind bitcoin, to record transactions. The difference is, it has been improved for greater security and scalability. There is no mining process, and genesis blocks are created by authorised money issuers, such as banks.

How is digital money stored?

Digital money can be stored as encrypted files on an electronic device where an appropriate application is installed or in a cloud where it can be accessible from many devices. In order to increase security, larger amounts of money can be moved automatically from a device to a cloud to prevent their loss if the device is stolen or broken.

Do you use bitcoin?

No, we do not use bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. We chose currencies issued by central banks, such as euro or dollar, to secure compliance with international financial regulations and the trust of our partners. We adopted blockchain technology, similar to that behind bitcoin, to record transactions. The difference is, it has been improved for greater security and scalability. There is no mining process, and genesis blocks are created by authorised money issuers, such as banks.

What is the difference between digital money and money on bank account?

There are two main differences between digital money and money in a bank:

  • Digital money is physically stored as encrypted files on your device or in a cloud linked to your account. It has a tangible value all the time, just like physical coins and banknotes, and you are its sole owner. Money on a bank account is in fact just a record in the bank’s ledger. It has no real value until you exchange it for cash or digital money.
  • Digital money is available, like cash, 24 hours, 7 days a week, giving you an opportunity for immediate and direct transfers. Bank transfers and card payments need a number of intermediaries (who can charge their commission) and are not always available.
What is the transaction time?

It takes on average 4 seconds to close a transaction with Billon’s distributed ledger. In comparison, Ripple and other open-source solutions need minutes, not seconds, to finalize a transaction. Bitcoin can take even 10 minutes to do so.
Please note the transaction speed depends of your internet connection. If the connection is poor, the transaction can take longer.

Is a bank account necessary to use Billon’s solutions?

Payments with Billon’s distributed ledger are peer-to-peer. They do not use any banking system. Users do not need neither a bank account, nor any other intermediary.

Can a transaction be cancelled or withdrawn?

No, settlements are immediate and final. Transactions are atomic, meaning there are no intermediary states in the process of payment. When a transaction is complete, the money has irreversibly changed its owner.

How can money be converted to digital money?

You can transfer money to a Billon user account by:

  • a bank transfer to an bank account in a bank that issues digital money. The bank will then convert money on that account to digital money.
  • entering a redeem code in the application
  • at a physical cash desk after presenting a barcode generated by the application

You can also ask other users to send you money.

How can digital money be converted to other forms of money?
Digital money stored using Billon’s distributed ledger can be transferred to a bank account or withdrawn from an ATM.
How much do you charge?
Peer-to-peer transactions between individual users using digital money are free. We do not charge commission for money flows inside our ecosystem. We may charge for transferring money in or out our system, i.e. transfers to and from bank accounts or cash withdrawals in ATMs. Our partners can introduce additional charges.
What is the Issuing Bank?

The Issuing Bank is the institution which is legally entitled to issue digital money. We cooperate with some of those banks to have a pool of digital money available to use for you. Banks do not participate in your operations. You do not need to use neither a bank account nor their other services.

Billon application
What is the Billon application?

Billon application is a platform for peer-to-peer transactions with digital money. Use it to send and receive digital money instantly and completely safe. You can pay with digital money as quickly and comfortable as with paper cash. The only difference is that instead of a wallet you keep money on your smartphone or computer.

How to start using the Billon application?

To start using the Billon application you need to install it on your device and enter your login, password, and e-mail address. The application will then generate cryptographic keys securing your money.
ATTENTION: Your Billon login is public, but only you know your password. Do not share it with anyone. Billon and the Issuing Bank will never ask about your password.

What operating systems are compatible with the application?

The mobile application runs on Android v. 4.03 or higher. The desktop application runs on Windows 7 or higher and Ubuntu v. 14.04 or higher.

Can I use the application on more than one device?

Yes, you can install the application on many devices and access the same account on every of them. You have access to money in the Vault from every device. You cannot however access money kept on one device from another device.

Do I need to be connected to the internet?

Yes, the application requires a stable internet connection to work properly. The Android version checks the connection’s quality and alarms you if it is not stable.

What permissions are required by the application?
The application requires access to the camera, multimedia and file storage on your device in order to work properly. The access is necessary for technical reasons. The application does not access your files and does not send it anywhere. We do not have a central database. All information is stored on your device and it is not shared anywhere without your consent.
How can I cash out money?

You can cash out money from the Billon app to a bank account or at an ATM.
In order to do so, go to “My money” and then select “Cash out”.

To cash out money to a bank account, select “Bank Transfer” and enter the amount and bank account details. Tap “Withdrawal” to confirm transaction.

To cash out money at an ATM, select “Via ATM” and tap the plus button to create a new cashout. Enter the amount, your phone number and the 4-digit security code of your choice.
Tap “Withdraw” to confirm transaction. You will receive the second 4-digit security code from an ATM operator via SMS. You can then go to an ATM and follow the instructions displayed there. Enter your phone number, the amount, and both security codes to receive cash.

Are there limits to how much I can pay?

The smallest payment you can do with Billon is one lowest denomination of a supported currency, i.e. one cent, penny, etc. There is no maximum payment limit.However, if you exceed the yearly limit of 2,500 EUR of operations, you are legally obliged to verify your identity for the Issuing Bank or the Clearing Agent, otherwise your account may be frozen.
The Issuing Bank or the Clearing Agent can set up other operation limits for security reasons. You can consult the Issuing Bank or go to application settings to get more information.

What are the operation limits?

The operation limits are set by the Issuing Bank for security reasons. They may e.g. limit the maximum value or number of operations in some period of time. The full list of limits is included in the agreement with the Issuing Bank that you must accept before using the application. If you exceed those limits, your account may be frozen and you may be requested to submit more information about yourself or your operations.
To check your limits, go to “Settings”, then choose “Payments settings” and “Information about your limits”.

Where can I check past operations?

To check past operations, go to “Dashboard” and then select “History”. Here you will see all the past operations and their details, and the registry of events, including log-ins and failed operations.

What is the Vault?

As your device can be lost or damaged, you can keep your money safe by moving it to the Vault. In the Vault money is stored in your private cloud which is accessible from all devices with the Billon app installed. You can check on the “Dashboard”, how many funds are kept on the device and how many in the Vault.

Please note you cannot use money directly from the Vault. You need to move it to the device first.

How to move money to the Vault?
To move money from the device to the Vault and back, go to “Dashboard” and press arrows between money on your device and that in the Vault, Choose where you wish to move money, enter the amount and tap “Move”.
Why I need to be logged in to receive money?

The application transfers money immediately and directly between users. Because of that you need to be logged in to receive money from another user. If you are not logged in when a payment arrives, you will receive a notification. If you log in to the application in the next 5 minutes, the transaction will succeed.

What should I do if I do not wish to use Billon application anymore?

All you need to do is to uninstall the app. If you use Android and the app has Device Administrator privileges, remember to deactivate those privileges prior to deinstallation. You can disable the privileges in security settings of your device.

What will happen with money on the device after uninstalling the app?

Money in the Vault is stored independently from the app and is not affected with uninstalling it. You can regain access to the Vault by reinstalling the app and logging in to your user account.

Whan will happen with money in the Vault after uninstalling the app?

Money in the Vault is stored independently from the app and is not affected with uninstalling it. You can regain access to the Vault by reinstalling the app and logging in to your user account.

Security
What security methods are used by Billon?

Billon implemented three independent cryptographic mechanisms for digital signatures and transactions:

  • RSA: The Issuing Bank signs every digital money file with a unique RSA key using its Hardware Security Modules.
  • Forward secure: The Bank Technology Provider signs denomination and transmission parameters
  • Elliptic curves: Application users sign every transaction.

As a result every file is coded in a randomly chosen way which still allows us to verify its authenticity. In addition all assets and sensitive data on a device or in a cloud are encrypted using AES algorithm. We do not store any passwords or PIN codes. Even if a device is stolen, a perpetrator who does not know your password has no possibility to access money stored there.

Is the application anonymous?

The application needs only users’ logins in order to work correctly. Submission of any other data, e.g. invoice or delivery data is always voluntary. All the transactions are done directly between application users and no other party takes part in them.
However, if the legal yearly limit of operations exceeds 2,500 EUR, the account must be frozen until user’s personal data are confirmed by the Issuing Bank or Clearing Agent. Those are the only parties entitled to receive and verify your data.

Attention: The Issuing Bank or the Clearing Agent never asks about your password. Any such request is a fraud and a violation of terms and services.

If the app is anonymous, why do I have to send my data?
Merchants can ask their customers for invoice or delivery data in order to send their products. Customers may choose not to submit those data, however merchants can refuse to sell if a customer will not submit them.Important! Share your personal data only with people you know and trust.

Can someone steal or counterfeit digital money inside the app?
Digital money files contain encrypted data which permanently attach them to their current owner. Even if your device is stolen, a thief who does not know your password, has practically no chance to gain access to your money and use it in your name. Files are watermarked to enable fraud detection.
Can the application be used for unlawful activities?
Terms and conditions that every user must accept explicitly prohibit using the application to any illegal actions. Additionally, law enforcement services have their own capabilities to analyze internet traffic and fight cybercrime, by e.g. accessing devices’ IP addresses.
How can I change my password?
You can change your password by going to “Settings”, “Security” and “Change password”. You need to type your old password once and a new password twice.
Troubleshooting
How can I recover my password?

You can recover your password by entering your e-mail address. By default, the e-mail used during the registration is your password recovery and contact address. You can change the e-mail in the application settings.
On the e-mail you should receive two messages with password recovery codes. Enter the codes to continue using the app.

My device has been broken or stolen. Is my money safe?

Money in the Billon distributed ledger is encrypted with three independent cryptographic system. If your device is stolen, a thief who does not know your password has practically no chance to gain access to your money and use it in your name.

However, if your device is lost or damaged, money stored there can be lost as well. Think about your device like a wallet with cash and protect it accordingly.
To keep your money safe, we recommend to move larger amounts to the Vault. You can access the Vault from any device with the app installed.

I cannot log in to my account. What should I do?

If you cannot log in to your Billon account, check the following possible causes:
No internet or weak internet access. Make sure your internet connection is OK
The registration was not completed. After the registration is finished the “Send” button on the main screen should be active. If you have just registered, wait a few minutes. If the registration failed to complete, you need to register a new user account.
Wrong or forgotten password. Recover the password using the procedure described above.
If the problem persists, write at support@billongroup.com

A merchant’s application cannot find my account. What should I do?

It is possible you are not logged in to the application or your internet connection is poor. Make sure you are logged in and you have a stable internet connection.