Because the amount you receive is offset by your income-based pledges, you'll only receive money when your income is below average. But on a week when you have no income, we can say for sure that an amount between $38 – $307 will be transferred to your bank account.
This range stems from a couple mechanisms we have in place:
- Enrollment is paced to ensure that anyone earning less than 200% of the federal poverty line still gets more money out than they put in.
- The maximum payout per member never exceeds $16,000 per year (the annual “gift exclusion” in the US), so that deposits from Comingle can be treated as gifts between friends, and won't need to be declared on a tax form.
At this point, our guess is that the weekly payout will be around $40-$60 per member, but will fluctuate depending on how many members are in the Comingle community, the amount of our combined earnings, and the size of any outside donations.
At launch, Comingle will be accessible to anyone 18 years of age or older in the U.S. with a bank account that's been active for at least 3 months and is registered for online banking. Once we're up and running in the U.S., we hope to make Comingle accessible to other countries, and provide options for those without bank accounts.
To participate in Comingle, you'll commit to an initial pledge of 7% of your income, but some, all, or more than all of that gets returned to you as your share of the guaranteed weekly payout.
The end result is that only members whose income is above the average for the week will contribute money and only the members with the highest incomes will come close to contributing the full 7% of their pledge.
To ensure the integrity of the system, each Comingle member provides access to their online banking using a third-party service called Plaid
, a secure and well-established system for linking banks to electronic financial services. (If you use apps like Venmo, Acorns, or Coinbase, then you've used Plaid before.)
While our aim is to make the sign-up process as simple and noninvasive as possible, it may often be necessary for members to authorize a "soft" credit inquiry or connect additional accounts before they can receive their share of the payout.
Once a bank connection is established, Comingle is alerted when a deposit is made in your account. 7% of the deposited amount becomes part of your pledge.
- If I deposit a royalty check for $100, then $7 gets added to my Comingle pledge.
- If I get a direct deposit for my wages of $1,000, then $70 gets Comingled.
- If I get a capital gains deposit for $10,000, then $700 gets Comingled.
In most cases, you'll have the option to request that a pledge is subtracted from your ledger if it's for a deposit that doesn't qualify as income.
Yes. 7% of bank deposits from cash programs like TANF and SSI will be considered part of a pledge. Recipients will still benefit from Comingle, just not quite as much as those who could use government help but don't receive it.
Pledges based on government benefits might, at first, seem counter-productive to our mission of getting money to where it's needed, but it's just a way of accounting for the fact that the American safety net is often more holes than string.
Probably not, but assistance programs have so many complicated rules and different ways of monitoring participants that we can't make any promises. If you're worried that a weekly bank deposit from Comingle might disqualify you from other benefits, you can still safely sign up for a preview membership for a long as you like, but please make sure you have all the facts about your benefits before activating the full membership.
Not to worry. We’ll work with you to categorize your income appropriately, and assume you’re going to lose 25% of any pre-tax income to taxes. You’ll only be responsible for Comingling 7% of what’s left over after Uncle Sam takes his cut.
Once per week, your total contribution and payout share will be calculated, and you’ll see one transaction in your bank account. If the payout share that week is larger than your contribution, you’ll see a deposit for the difference into your account. If your contribution that week is bigger than the payout share, you’ll see a withdrawal of the difference from your account.
You can cancel anytime with no hassle. However, we also have to protect the community from members coming and going only when it’s advantageous to their bank accounts. So, if you go, just know that in order to come back you'll either need to “buy back in” (catch up with what you would have owed to the community if you’d never left) or wait 2 years before renewing again with a clean slate. A lot can happen in two years, so you might want to reconsider cutting yourself off from a source of guaranteed income.
Anybody can face hardship, whether it’s from a sudden injury, a loss of employment, a lull in business, inconsistent gig work, or a million other reasons. But there's no reason that hardship needs to drop someone into poverty and insecurity.
For yourself, you can think of it as a convenient tool to give you a little boost when business is slow or the chips are down in your own life.
Also, maybe you're one of these people who likes to help others when they can? Turns out there are a lot of you.
If you're already set for life, your participation in Comingle's guaranteed income community will indeed involve a net financial contribution every week. But if you're interested in giving back to folks who could use some help, Comingle is an efficient and forward-thinking option that can be set up in minutes.
And when you join the community, you’ll know that 97 cents of every dollar you contribute will be going directly to somebody who needs it, proportionally to how much they need it, without bureaucratic waste or middlemen’s salaries. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more effective giving option.
Comingle provides a humanizing alternative to traditional charity by allowing philanthropists to be part of the same community and play by the same rules as those they're helping.
Yes! If you would like to support the effort to provide a guaranteed income for people, but you'd prefer not to become a full member at this time, you'll have the option to donate to the general pool or give targeted aid to specific zip codes.
If you’re a foundation or a mega-donor and want to know what options there are for large grants, please get in touch
Comingle is specifically designed to support individuals and their families, so only personal bank accounts can be connected to the Comingle fund. The best way for large groups to participate would be to encourage everyone in the group to sign up individually,
If you're interested in helping to increase the Comingle payout through corporate or institutional sponsorship, please get in touch
No. Anonymity is a key ingredient in Comingle. While it might be nice to put names and faces to all the great people who have joined up to help each other, displaying any information about individual members could potentially put personal financial information at risk.
Comingle retains 1% of the contributions to cover the cost of operations and pay its workers. Bear in mind, though, that everyone working at Comingle is also a member, so 7% of their earnings chip into the Comingle fund as well.
Also, once the Comingle membership gets large enough, 1% will be more than we need to sustain the business, and we’ll redirect anything beyond our publicly-transparent operational costs toward the public benefit.
Comingle uses a broad array of fraud detection and prevention techniques to protect our community from abuse. In addition to conventional first- and third-party fraud, we also check for a more recent threat called synthetic fraud. We are also on the lookout for money-laundering schemes on the part of nefarious organizations. So, if we have to ask for a bit of additional information to make sure we know who you are, you’ll know that it’s because we want to protect all of us who are honestly doing our best to help each other out.
Rest assured that your data is encrypted and protected both in-transit and at rest on our servers by the latest bank-grade security standards and protocols. We never see, or store your banking passwords. That information remains confidential between you and your bank. In addition, our networks and servers are constantly monitored for advanced persistent threat’s (APT’s) and other threats to your data.
That would definitely shake things up. First things first, though. Let's get some food on the table we've got before we try building a new one.
A "job" is actually a conditional income, which means that it is in no way guaranteed. Jobs come and go. Your weekly Comingle share, however, will always be there.
Um... probably? Depends on which one you ask. We kind of got tired of waiting for them.
Comingle is a modern, tech-driven take on the concept of Universal Basic Income and builds upon a wealth of great ideas that have been proposed over the years. It's a bit different though, in that it's only for those who sign up for it and it won't necessarily cover the cost of all the "basics" for everyone. On the flip-side, it can happen a lot sooner, it side-steps all the messy government politics, and the question of "how do we pay for it?" is answered directly by the mechanics of the system.
If you'd like to learn more about Universal Basic Income (UBI) just click here
Pretty much. But in those models, people generally pitch in money, then wait their turn to make use of the collected funds. Or there’s somebody in charge deciding who should get the money. They're also limited to a small group of people who are socially connected in some way.
Nope. It's people just like you trying something new, looking out for each other and dreaming of a better world. That's as American as it gets.
Hmm. Maybe? Perhaps there are more fulfilling reasons people might want to work.
Might be time to re-think your business model, or maybe start building some robots.
You say that like it's a bad thing.