W3C launches web payments initiative

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a new initiative to integrate payments seamlessly into the Open Web Platform – a standards group involving banks, retailers and tech firms that will tackle the problems facing the web payments ecosystem.

E-Commerce is thriving and predicted to reach $1.471 trillion this year, an increase of nearly 20 per cent from last year. According to Forrester research, one third of those transactions will take place on a mobile device. And yet, a number of obstacles stand in the way of even stronger growth on those devices.

The new Web Payments Interest Group will work together towards an improved user experience for online transactions, reduced fraud, and a reduction in the legacy model of payments to allow for further innovation.

The group will look at online and offline payments, remittances, retail and bill transactions, new cryptocurrencies, and the role of regulation on technology, searching for gaps in Web technology regarding usability, security, and privacy, and trying to find fixes.

The first focus will be on digital wallets, which while seen as an effective way to cut fraud and improve privacy in payments, are often hampered by a lack off interoperability. The group will look to create a framework to ensure that Web apps can interface in a standard way with all payment methods.

“We are entering a transformational moment in time in the field of payment technologies as there are more options than ever offering frictionless & borderless transactions,” said Justin Erenkrantz, head, compute architecture, Bloomberg, and the new group’s co-chair. “Adapting existing payment standards, as well as old and new technologies to work in a browser environment will help connect more than 1 billion people to the “Internet of Money.” We must work together to achieve this goal and make a difference for everyone.”


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