Web Payments

Payment technologies for the Web.


An open community of Web technologists is building payments into the core architecture of the Web. 2.4 billion people stand to benefit.


We're creating a set of universal payment technologies to make sending and receiving money over the Web as easy as sending an email.


The Web is going to play a key role in achieving a resilient financial infrastructure and creating a more equitable future for all of us.


We are making it easier to send and receive money over the Web. For over two decades, email has enabled us to communicate with our friends, loved ones, and colleagues the world over. The reason email works so well is because a group of people got together many years ago and created a standard way for email to travel across the Internet. To date, we have never sat down and done the same thing for money. There is no global standard for sending money over the Internet, and we think that there should be one.

A large group of us are doing just this at the Web Payments Community Group. We are making it as easy and fast to send money around the world as it is to send an email. We are building and documenting technology that explains exactly how money moves around the world via the Web. Our approach is different from the way traditional payment technology is built. We believe in a level playing field. We operate out in the open. We are transparent. Come join us and make a difference in the world.


We are using the same approach that put the Web into the hands of 2.4 billion people around the world; creating technologies through standards setting organizations, leading technology companies, governments, financial institutions, and the public at large.


The Web Payments Community Group operates under the framework of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the group that creates the core technology for the Web. It also participates in work at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). While neither the W3C or IETF officially endorses any work performed by a community group, the purpose of this community group is to create documents that will most likely be promoted for standardization by standards setting organizations. The primary output of the Web Payments Community Group are technology documents that may be elevated to world standards through standardization bodies like the W3C and IETF, and then implemented by technology companies, merchants, payment processors, banks, and governments. A summary of the technologies we are working on can be found below, further details can be found on the specifications page.


Payments typically revolve around a particular product or service, so being able to describe that product or service on the Web in a standardized way is important. It is also crucial that the description of the product or service is machine-readable to ensure that search engines can easily find the things you want.


New breakthroughs in cryptographic currencies and storing and transferring value on the Web provide multiple solutions to executing a monetary transaction on the Web. These technologies are being standardized into something that can be placed into browsers and mobile devices.


Machine-readable digital receipts provide detailed information after a transaction has occurred. This enables you to more closely track where your money is going and more easily store your proofs-of-purchase. We are making it so your financial data is truly portable, and owned by you.


One of the hardest things about transacting online is making sure that the person you're dealing with is reputable. We're working with browser vendors to make sure that the identity you use online is expressive, secure, and that you can count on the merchants you deal with online to be trustworthy.


Security is our top priority, everything we work on depends on high standards with respect to secure systems. Greatly reducing fraud is dependent on stronger security features. We are working with the best security experts in the world and are hardening security practices on the Web.


A programmable financial infrastructure, built on the Web... that is what we hope to achieve in the next several years. The democratization of these financial tools will lower the barrier to entry for new businesses and financial products. An open financial architecture will usher in a more equitable future.


In order to build a payment system that works for the world, you have to build it differently than most payment systems in use today. You have to be open, transparent, and try to get input from everyone affected by payments on the Web. There are no requirements to join this work other than a passion to help make the world a better place. We hold weekly teleconferences that are open to the public. We have a mailing list where we discuss this work which is free to join and participate. We've removed most of the barriers to entry because this will affect all of us, so all of us should have a say in how this technology is built.




Created by the Web Payments Community Group. Shared with love under a CC-BY license. Thanks to our contributors.