W3C standards body looks to improve web payments

W3C standards body looks to improve web payments

The World Wide Web standards organisation, W3C, is bringing together banks, retailers and tech firms in an effort to develop standards for payments on the open web.

While e-commerce is booming, predicted to hit $1.47 trillion in value this year by Forrester research, takeup of web payments is still hampered by security concerns and usability, particularly for transactions made on mobile phones, where shopping carts are often abandoned.

W3C has formed a Web Payments Interest Group that will work to improve the customer experience by creating a standards platform. Banks, credit card companies, governments, mobile network operators, payment solution providers, tech companies, retailers, and content creators are all being invited to take part, with Rabobank, Ingenico and Yandex among those already onboard.

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.

Justin Erenkrantz, head, compute architecture, Bloomberg, and the new group's co-chair, says: "We are entering a transformational moment in time in the field of payment technologies as there are more options then ever offering frictionless & borderless transactions. 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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