The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today called for broad implementation and testing of Web technologies to make online checkout easier for users and improve conversions and security for merchants.
All major browser makers are now implementing Payment Request API. The Web Payments Working Group encourages merchants, Web developers, and users to experiment with these early implementations and provide feedback to the group. In parallel, the Working Group will be expanding its test suite for the API to help ensure browser interoperability.
Improved User Experience
Making purchases on the web, particularly on mobile, can be a frustrating experience. Every web site has its own flow, and most require users to manually type in the same addresses, contact information, and payment credentials again and again. This can lead to shopping cart abandonment and lost customer loyalty. Likewise, users may abandon checkout if their preferred payment methods are unavailable, but it can be difficult and time-consuming for developers to create and maintain checkout pages that support multiple payment methods.
The Payment Request API (and supporting specifications) enable merchants to create streamlined checkout pages where people reuse previously stored information, saving time and effort and reducing error.
With these technologies, users no longer complete Web forms to provide payment credentials, shipping information, and contact information. Instead, the user registers support for different payment methods —such as card payments, proprietary native mobile payments, bitcoin or other distributed ledgers, or credit transfers— with the browser or other user agent. During checkout, the browser determines which of the user's payment methods match those accepted by the merchant. The browser displays just the matches, which simplifies selection of the user's preferred payment application and makes the experience consistent across the Web. The user then chooses a payment method, after which the merchant receives relevant information through the standard API in order to complete the transaction.
Increased Conversions and Security for Merchants
Payment Request API is expected to lower the cost of creating and maintaining a checkout page and increase payment security. The standard will make it easier to bring more secure payment methods (e.g., tokenized card payments) to the Web. The standard also means that merchants or their service providers can achieve a streamlined user experience without having to store customer payment credentials, potentially reducing their liability.
For more information about using the APIs, security, and the relation to various rules and regulations, please see the Payment Request FAQ.
More Choice Via Third Party Payment Apps
The Web Payments Working Group envisions that a diverse ecosystem of third party payment apps will give merchants and users more payment choices.
Browsers and other current implementations of Payment Request API allow users to store credit and debit card information for convenient reuse. Some also already support user registration of native mobile payment apps.
In addition, to enable users to make payments from Web sites, the Web Payments Working Group is also working on the Payment Handler API.