Mozilla working on embedded Web payments API for desktop and phones

Mozilla working on embedded Web payments API for desktop and phones

Mozilla is to introduce an experimental Web API designed to make online payments on the desktop and mobile as easy as the checkout button for merchants.

As a first step, Mozilla is to bundle a JavaScript API into its new Firefox OS for smartphones so that web apps can accept payments. The API is modelled on Google's digital goods wallet and will ultimately be incorporated into Android phones and on the popular Firefox Web browser.

Mozilla says it wants to streamline the merchant and user experience for e-commerce transactions by building a service that can accommodate multiple payment options.

Introducing the concept on the Mozilla Hacks developer outreach channel, Kumar McMillan says: "Mozilla's main goal with navigator.mozPay() is to give users and merchants choice, security, and an easy to use payments system. The details about how merchants interact with payment providers is not yet specified in the API and that is clearly a gap. The first Firefox OS phones will ship with a whitelist of allowed payment providers which is also not ideal.

"In a more webby model, all parties involved in the payment would be fully decentralised so that innovation can occur naturally and unknown payment providers could emerge. Who will be the next M-Pesa? An elegant API would support that."

He describes the current version of the API as highly experiemtal and cautions that it will likely change drastically as the model evolves.

Says Kumar: "Mozilla plans to work with other vendors through the W3C to reach consensus on a common API that supports web payments in the best way possible."

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