Web Payments Community Group Telecon

Minutes for 2014-08-27

Dave Longley is scribing.
Manu Sporny: Any updates/changes to the Agenda?
Pindar Wong: Nope
David I. Lehn: Nothing from me.
Manu Sporny: If we could get an update later from Tim Holborn on his experience at the Australian IGF, that would be good. We should also discuss the first Credentials CG call.

Topic: IGF 2014 - The Payments, Policing, Privacy Paradox Workshop

Manu Sporny: Pindar sent a link to the mailing list about IGF
Manu Sporny: There is a youtube channel with a playlist on people that have submitted videos
Manu Sporny: We have videos from Louise Bennett from BCS, Jeremy Malcolm from EFF, Mary Bold from Accreditrust, and an intro video I did
Pindar Wong: I had a video done last week, unfortunately the wrong format, having that reviewed, my goal is to get the most out of the audience, i'll be the moderator so will be focused on keeping the discussion going. I'm a little concerned about finding another moderator for the online portion. I just wanted to make sure that/point out on the this call we are separating the tech and policy issues. We're trying to get a much wider sense of what some of the inputs should be to the technology side of things. The IGF is actually the interplay between the two (tech + policy). Tuesday, I drafted an online survey which I will submit for review, after the 1.5 hour session those who want to continue the discussion. I'd also like to collect some statistics, using the survey on the use cases themselves.
Manu Sporny: There's an agenda there on the schedule, first an intro to web identity by panelists, then review some use cases we have, that's group discussion for 30 minutes, then privacy, regulatory concerns 30 minute discussion, then gov't input for around 15 minutes.
Manu Sporny: That the same agenda you're looking for?
Pindar Wong: Yes, changing that would be problematic, but i'm open to seeing the responses from the room
Pindar Wong: It's group work, it's not a panel presentation. We'll benefit from getting a meeting of the minds. We want to get the best input from the experience in the room. We can then highlight some of the issues by going through the use cases, that might help ground the discussion.
Manu Sporny: My concern is what happens if we have deadspace between discussions or if people are being shy hopefully we can help prime the discussion, i don't know if this is really a problem at the IGF, the sessions i went to last year had no shortage of people speaking, maybe my concern is misplaced, maybe we don't need as much prep, maybe we don't need a long list of questions to ask the audience.
Pindar Wong: My role as moderator is to keep the discussion going.
Pindar Wong: Sorting through people's opinions, that will be difficult. G getting a sense of the room and the relevant topics, anonymity, high-value payments and identity, etc. What i am concerned about is getting the right mix of people in the room and that can only be done on the ground in Istanbul. I know for, example Mark Nottingham will be there. The IGF experience is that we'll have the right people there at the conference. I'm not concerned with dead time, but my role as moderator is to fill that with questions
Pindar Wong: You shouldn't have to worry too much with your prep and just share your experience
Pindar Wong: Some of the stuff you wrote in the last 24 hours in the credentials CG, for example, is really good
Pindar Wong: I do have one slide that is exhaustive that is my own view, where people can jump off and i'm hoping we can include the questionnaire in that.
Pindar Wong: Getting people to participate with the survey will be hard, but let's just keep it loose don't stress too much.
Manu Sporny: Any other comments or questions about next week's IGF?
Timothy Holborn: At the last years IGF there was a question about copyright around media companies, like the MPAA. There was talk of privacy, and how the internet would be regulated. I got the feeling that there's pressure coming from the MPAA and there aren't broadly aware of linked data and privacy topics and what sort of opportunity there is to create solutions.
Manu Sporny: A quick follow up on that, someone from the RIAA (David Hughes, VP of Technology, RIAA) will be there at the workshop next week, so we should make sure to engage them as much as possible.
Manu Sporny: He's heavily involved in this space... it will be good to have that from the copyright policy side of things.
Timothy Holborn: It's a problem for every internet user, they may think of themselves of an individual beyond the needs of an organization, in the knowledge economy all entities have value. The the lack of understanding of linked data at AuIGF was pretty enormous.
Manu Sporny: Outside of the semantic web community many people don't know or understand how Linked Data works, there's quite a bit of education and outreach we have to do in this area.

Topic: Australian Internet Governance Forum

Timothy Holborn: AuIGF in australia went very well. http://www.igf.org.au/venue-schedule I spoke / participated on the “Is the digital age facilitating global citizenship?” panel, and received remarkable feedback.
Timothy Holborn: My main points that i brought forward, related to the concept of ‘what is the web you want’ (following from the Web We Want momentum, campaign, etc.)
Timothy Holborn: I arranged different questions relating to the use of W3C standards, getting across this notion of the Web we Want, which surfaces the rationale of why Web 3 is important. It provides opportunities for traditional systems Web 2 did not. Today, I was asked to state in one of the forums there were a range of people involved in UN activities, and one of the ideas that was floated was the idea of an international Web parliament. Some of the greatest minds at AuIGF were not very technical. A lot of people thinking about it from Web 2 point of view not Web 3. What opportunities exist when you don't need central silos anymore. These are the opportunities that web payments provide.
Manu Sporny: I think that at least reflects our experience with the IGF meeting last year, there's a pretty big divide between the technical understanding and the policy discussion, but that's exactly why we're going to the IGF to bridge that gap of what types of policies we should be aware of
Manu Sporny: Thanks tim, you have some follow up to do?
Timothy Holborn: An enormous amount of follow up and looking forward to working with all of you on it. I was happy to see much more Australian participation, it was a great day.
Manu Sporny: Thanks Tim, if there is nothing else on AuIGF then we'll continue with the agenda

Topic: Credentials CG

Manu Sporny: We had a very good turn out for the first meeting, we had ETS (Educational Testing Systems) who proctor 5 million students through SAT, etc. college type tests, we had OpenBadge Alliance a Mozilla spinoff for badges of achievement, etc., we had the former Chief Information Officer for the state of Iowa, he's very well known in gov't. We had a number of consultants from private sector, we had Bailey from the web payments community to write about tech/edit specs, etc.
Manu Sporny: We run those calls exactly like we run these, minuted, we have audio for it.
Manu Sporny: The call next week is canceled next week due to IGF, but the week after we'll go through use cases and requirements.
Manu Sporny: We'll be handing the identity use cases over to that group and there's a larger consortium of groups that want to see that work move forward, which is what we want, a broader coalition working on that stuff.
Timothy Holborn: We haven't listed a liason relationship with that group in the Web Payments IG charter: http://www.w3.org/2014/04/payments/webpayments_charter.html
Dave Longley: Not in that language, but there is a section on identity there. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Timothy Holborn: Well, it's listed here, but not in the charter: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1H3guwrrYZALQR91iB7QzN1n4ViUnIKgVT6bZiRuyenI/edit
Dave Longley: There is a section on reviewing identity systems, see if new technology needs to be created, it's essentially what the Credentials CG is working on. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Timothy Holborn: The Credentials CG is not in the liaison section.
Dave Longley: Oh, you're right.
Manu Sporny: We should ping Stephane and get him to add it.
ACTION: Tim Holborn to contact Stephane Boyera about Credentials CG being added to Web Payments IG Charter.

Topic: Use Cases: Initiating Payments

Dave Longley: Right now we have - Use Case: A merchant advertises different details, such as price, for an offer of sale based on potential payment processor choice.
Manu Sporny: So feedback from Jorge: It makes a lot of sense, and it happens a lot in online games, but maybe it would be hard to define or predict 'potential choice' if the user is not even registered but just browsing several sites to compare prices and make an actual choice.
Manu Sporny: Input from Michael Williams: the two above that allow the merchant to limit who can be a payment processor seems like it would kill any small payment processors. i'd like to see the ability to be your own payment processor as a use case. given that there still needs to be a trusted third party between merchant and buyer, maybe a middle ground is to allow the buyer to choose a major payment processor listed by the merchant as a trusted proxy for their preferred payment processor. inter-processor transactions seem to be supported: https://web-payments.org/specs/source/web-payments/#the-decentralized-settlement-process.
Manu Sporny: Let's take jorge's comment first
Manu Sporny: Jorge's primary concern here is that it becomes difficult for the customer to actually figure out what the actual price is before they start initiating the transaction, which is true, we could talk about the magical future where these offers are auto-processed by the browser and shows you prices specific to you, rather than a generalized price, so you see the full price (plus tax, etc) immediately
Manu Sporny: There are two levels of addressing this problem, the first level is to not address his concern and say we're just talking about the merchant to be able to provide an offer for sale, it's just data, it's up to the user agent to figure out how to show it to the user, the other potential response is to say we've got offers on a page and we're thinking of writing another spec to indicate how browsers should display that information to a potential customer. I don't think we should do this, but for example, if Google knew who all your payment processors were then when you search it could show you a very customized search result for all the prices for you, etc. for example if you only pay in Bitcoin then everything you see in Google would be priced in Bitcoin, etc
Manu Sporny: Or if you did Bitcoin and yen you'd see prices in both
Timothy Holborn: Is currency covered elsewhere?
Timothy Holborn: For example, what happens if the merchant is also the shipping company?
Manu Sporny: The merchant can list multiple offers for sale, for example, if you're using payment processor X you get a discount, or it costs more, or the merchant can offer things for sale in yen and euro
Timothy Holborn: Is there still an issue with chargebacks on paypal
Manu Sporny: This use case isn't about chargebacks
Timothy Holborn: Someone might try something high up? If the list of the merchants is incorrect?
Manu Sporny: Let's just take a credit card as an example. The merchant would price it higher because there might be chargebacks, vs. Bitcoin with a lower price/value exchange where there are no chargebacks.
Dave Longley: We should keep in mind that this may not work at all w/ credit cards (there are agreements that don't allow you to change price based on credit card) [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Timothy Holborn: I'm not sure if you can separate what sort of instrument you're using
Timothy Holborn: Is Paypal a different sort of financial instrument to a credit card vs. bitcoin?
Timothy Holborn: I'm not sure of the legalities of setting different prices
Manu Sporny: There are agreements in the US where most merchants are not allowed to give discounts for cash if you also accept credit cards, it's in their credit card agreement. So burden is placed on the customer, if you pay for cash, you pay a higher price than if the credit card system didn't exist (in effect).
Dave Longley: There are also fights between different credit cards as well... for example AmEx may charge a different fee vs. Visa/Mastercard - different fee structures, it's a gray area. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Timothy Holborn: I think we should separate the technical problem from the business problem. We should be giving people a choice.
Pindar Wong: You've got to separate tech from business problems, this is very important in this case.
Manu Sporny: I think you hit nail on the head Tim, we should provide the option, some countries will be able to use it others will not
Timothy Holborn: +1
Dave Longley: I think all we can really do now is ensure that the information is available in the offer of sale. We don't know how the user agents are going to interface. As long as the offers are in a standard format, that's what we need. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Dave Longley: I think the PaySwarm specs already cover this right now - different offers can be made for different payment types. We're not going to be able to easily say we can support the "clients see prices specific to them", we don't want merchants to shotgun prices all over their pages (visible to people). I'm in agreement, we can only put the information in the offer right now. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Dave Longley: I don't think we're going to satisfactorily respond to Jorge's feedback. There are two ways to respond to this - we can't really respond to this, it's not something we can do in the first version. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Manu Sporny: If we wanted to do something about this it requires a pretty nasty stack of software to do it
Manu Sporny: There are multiple ways this could work. The assumption that Jorge is making here is that the merchant is not going to have any sort of information on the customer so they won't be able to show them a price that is custom tailored to them, they won't see that price until they click the buy button. I think that's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make.
Manu Sporny: If we assume the merchant knows nothing about the customer, then the smarts have to be built into the customer's software.
Manu Sporny: If we are going to do that, then we have to create some kind of price-fetching API that links to your payment processor
Manu Sporny: Or we have to say that this piece of information on the page is a variable and here is the offer and hand that to the user agent to let them calculate it and put it on the page
Manu Sporny: So i think the response to Jorge is: Yes, this is a problem, we do just fine today without giving the customer an exact price before going to their payment processor. It doesn't change the state of things (status quo), but in the future, once there are these offers on the page we can figure out some way to link what's on the page to the offers that are embedded on them.
Manu Sporny: But that's a whole other spec and i don't think it's something we want to do
Dave Longley: In the meantime, browsers might do that automatically. Browsers could take the information and show the price. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Dave Longley: We already have this built into the Payswarm specs. You can request a quote from your payment processor, but we'd need more to interface w/ a user agent (browser).
Manu Sporny: Yeah, you'd need a whole API for displaying prices on a page given the customer's payment processor information.
Manu Sporny: The thing we want to focus on is the expression of the linked data offer so we can focus on that in the future
Evgeny Vinogradov: This is really about looking for a description of a product for sale. The offer - a few things can be added to it, taxes, shipping fees and so on, discounts based on payments processors, etc. It's not about finding the optimal offer just about describing the discount/offer. It is only about adding a few more lines to an offer, not complicated in the general case.
Manu Sporny: I think that's exactly right, we don't want to get into the technical details of it now, like does a merchant create multiple offers or just one offer with all of the possible options in it? Does the offer contain a coupon code, etc. all that, we're talking about a data expression problem not a UI problem and I think Jorge is concerned about the UI problem.
Timothy Holborn: What if the payment processor was also a shipping company.
Timothy Holborn: Rather than getting the product shipped by the merchant and the payer gets it shipped by the payment processor for the same txn. That perhaps wouldn't happen at all if we weren't able to offer this functionality?
Timothy Holborn: This is all non-trivial work, we could have an entire Working Group focused on just product offers.
Manu Sporny: Everything we're discussing revolves around the ability to express different offers, i think the use case needs to change at this point
Manu Sporny: I think the use case is about more than being able to just list different prices based on payment processor
Manu Sporny: I think we're really talking about parametric offers, you pay different prices based on discounts, shipping, a whole host of things, a merchant provides different offers based on discount codes, payment processor choice, etc.
Timothy Holborn: Parametric pricing is a fantastic term. This is a whole field, this would indicate it's non-trivial work.
Manu Sporny: We need to be careful not to let this distract us, we could spend months on it, we just want to figure out the first set of parameters we want to support and expand later.
Pindar Wong: Could we do it the other direction, for example a Bid?
Manu Sporny: Yeah, we've discussed this smart contract stuff before. It's something big happening in the cryptocurrency space now. We haven't spec'd any of that out yet, it's a different negotiation process, a different payment flow.
Manu Sporny: Basically, an Offer is something a merchant puts on their site. A Bid is something a person puts on their blog. Then, for example, Google or Yandex could come along, get all the Bids and match them up to offers. You could also transmit a bid to a decentralized network of sorts. This all falls under "smart contract" territory, which is fairly new, and we should wait for the dust to settle there before trying to standardize on anything.
Manu Sporny: The whole bit about finding all the bids and offers is probably a version 2 thing.
Manu Sporny: You at least need an Offer mechanism for that to happen. Someone places a bid on internet/web and someone makes an offer and sends directly to the software agent operating on behalf of the person.
Manu Sporny: For the bidding process to happen you need a functioning offer process
Pindar Wong: Got it
Dave Longley: Another way to look at it is that a bid may just end up being a counter-offer. The merchant's software could accept that and match it up to their offer and accept. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Timothy Holborn: Where do we mention v2 use cases?
Manu Sporny: We have a section on the wiki for it, at the bottom.
Manu Sporny: I'll try to add all this stuff (add v2 use cases) and modify the use case to talk about parametric offers.
Timothy Holborn: Assessability and what is required for that is important - what's the value of the bid.
Manu Sporny: Let's chat quickly about Michael William's concern, that this favors large payment processors. He's right, it does right now and we don't have a clear solution. We did start PaySwarm out by saying that there would be a decentralized clearing process. The banks aren't interested in that part of the work, as far as we can tell. Just look at the trouble that Ripple and Bitcoin are facing when it comes to adoption at big banks - we all know that sort of stuff is the future, but if we threw decentralized clearing into this, it would probably not fly. So, we need a way for small payment processors to compete, but how do merchants accept payments from small payment processors? How do they trust that their money is there? Ultimately, I think we're going to have to have some decentralized payment system as an option for the smaller players. So, you either trust the top 10 payment processor digital signatures on the digital receipts, or you can trust a small payment processor digital signature because you can check to see that the payment went through almost immediately via some decentralized query. The question is, is there a body that ensure that these small payment processors are liquid? How do you stop bad players, companies that go bankrupt? So, there is a big policy side to this discussion, and right now, we don't have a good answer for Michael other than "We know this is a problem, we will have failed if we don't increase competition in the space." We'll have to start a discussion around this on the mailing list.
Manu Sporny: That's it for the call today, the call for next week is canceled. We'll start again the week of September 9th.
Pindar Wong: Thanks everyone!

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