‹ Back to the blog listHow to Make Anonymous Payments

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When you use Merlin, nothing is known about what you are saying or who you communicate with.  For most people that's protection enough.  However, if you pay anonymously you can even conceal the fact that you use Merlin or bought Kahuna™ Credits at all. Here's how...

 

Anonymous Payment Methods

Gift Cards.  Depending on where you live, by far the easiest way to make an anonymous online purchase is to buy a gift card at a retail store, and pay for it by cash. 

In the United States, for example, Visa, MasterCard and American Express all sell gift cards in various denominations from $25 up to $500.  These can be purchased at numerous retailers ranging from big box stores to pharmacy chains.  No identification is required.  In some countries (Japan, for example) gift cards are in the form of paper certificates, and can be purchased at many retailers. 

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The best option is to buy a variable amount card and load it with the amount you intend to spend.  Then simply log into your Merlin website account and use the gift card just like a regular credit or debit card to complete your purchase.

NOTE: Soon we will also offer a special purchase section for fixed-amount cards that will allow you to use the entire value of the card if you want — you'll just enter the dollar amount you wish to spend and the site will calculate the corresponding amount of Kahuna™ Traffic Credits, including volume discounts, and add it to your account.  Calculations will be made to the nearest megabyte, rounding up in your favor. 

 

Postal Money OrdersThe postal services in many countries sell both domestic and international money orders over the counter.  In most jurisdictions these can be purchased using cash and without identification.  A small fee is usually charged (on the order of $1.25 to $1.75 per money order).  What you receive is a cheque-like instrument in the amount you purchased which you can mail to us along with your Kahuna™ ID. 

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We'll calculate the corresponding amount of Kahuna™ Traffic Credits, including volume discounts, and add it to your account.  Calculations are made to the nearest megabyte, rounding up in your favor.  Make absolutely sure you include your Kahuna™ ID so we know which account to credit.  The best thing is to write it on a separate piece of paper, or perhaps a yellow 'sticky note' stuck to the money order.  Our mailing address is here.

 

Brand Name Gift Cards. (COMING SOON)  Quite apart from the credit-card company gift cards discussed above, many physical and online retailers sell gift cards in retail establishments across the world. Such cards are an effective anonymous payment method because they can be purchased at thousands of retailers for cash.  Soon, when a customer wants to buy Kahuna™ Traffic Credits using a major brand gift card such as from Best Buy, Barnes & Noble or Starbucks, we will use a specialty payment processor to complete the transaction.

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Unfortunately, brand cards are not as efficient as credit-card gift cards because various transaction and redemption fees are subtracted (by the retailer, not us) in order to redeem the value of the card outside their network.  But if you've been given a gift card for Christmas and do not want that product or service, you can use it to buy Kahuna™ Traffic Credits instead.

 

Digital Currency.  (COMING SOON)  Although most digital currencies are not perfectly anonymous, they are highly shrouded and a very good means by which to perform anonymous financial transactions.  We will soon accept digital currencies such as Bitcoin. 

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The value of digital currencies is currently not very stable, so the best we can do is quote a rate (i.e. the number of Kahuna™ Traffic Credits) at the time of purchase, but using digital currency is an effective and efficient way to purchase Kahuna™ Traffic Credits.

 

Cash sent via Snail Mail.  (COMING SOON)  We will soon accept cash sent via snail mail.  To do so, place any amount in any major currency in an envelope along with your Kahuna™ ID, and mail it to us.  Make certain you fold the cash within opaque paper (pages torn from a magazine are effective) so that it's not visible when light is shone through.  Contrary to popular belief, mailing cash is perfectly legal in the USA (you can even insure it!), however that may not be true in other countries.  Always obey applicable local law. 

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Please note that although problems are actually very rare, mailing cash is entirely at your own risk.  You can send any amount — we'll calculate the corresponding amount of Kahuna™ Traffic Credits, including volume discounts, and add it to your account.  Calculations are made to the nearest megabyte, rounding up in your favor.  Mailing cash is an effective and efficient way to purchase Kahuna™ Traffic Credits anonymously. 

 

Kahuna™ Cards By helping each other, we hope to grow to the point that it's economically efficient to offer our own gift cards at major retailers, alongside those from Amazon and Starbucks.  Both virtual and physical Kahuna™ Traffic Credit cards are already used in support of special promotions and to reward Alpha and Beta Program testers. 

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As Kahuna™ grows to the point that the fees involved with distributing the physical cards to retailers makes financial sense to our customers, we hope to see them in the racks at your favorite retail establishments worldwide.  In the interim, soon you will be able to purchase electronic versions of them on our website, and give them to anyone you want.  Kahuna™ Cards are fully transferrable until redeemed, and never expire.

 

How it works

We can't see inside data sent via Kahuna™, so there is no way to determine that any particular data is associated with any particular person or credit-card purchase. The data you put into Merlin is encrypted right there, inside your device, and it stays that way even when you share it.  The Kahuna™ network also encrypts all the routing information so we also do not know who you are communicating with.  Therefore...

All we know is how many bytes of credit a particular Kahuna™ ID has.  So that's all we can reveal.  It's a single number, and it's as meaningless as saying your laptop happens to have a 500GB disk drive.

Please note also that we do NOT collect any sort of financial information about you or your transactions with us.  Instead, like most online vendors, when you make a purchase we temporarily pass your web session to an online card payment processor and wait for them to tell us whether or not your payment was processed.

If they tell us it was approved, the only data we record and associate with your account is the amount of Kahuna™ Traffic Credit (expressed in bytes) that your payment corresponds to, and a hash of a transaction key that can be used to subtract those bytes should you later dispute your purchase or it is otherwise cancelled. No other financial information of any kind is recorded by us. However…

Although that's the entire story as far as our services are concerned, it's not the entire picture because credit card payments and bank transfers leave records. These are kept by banks, card processing companies, and many governments, and are entirely outside our control.  

Consequently, if makes you uncomfortable that someone could find out that you even have an app that uses Kahuna™, simply purchase credits anonymously.

 

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Making anonymous payments is easy!

Published on 2016-07-13 by:
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Nancy
Information Custodian

Matters most: My kids, great sunsets, and freedom!