Payments and Web Intents

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Web Intents provides a mechanism whereby the user can select which provider to pass to a web page requesting a given intent. This breaks free of the current practice of hard wiring the web page to specific providers. There are multiple solutions for Web-based payments, and users should be given the choice of selecting the means of payment that best suits them in the current situation. Web Intents has the further benefit of minimizing the information disclosed to the Web Application, which only sees the payment solution provider chosen by the user, and doesn't get to find out just which set of credit cards etc. the user has in her wallet.

Some measure of privacy is given by existing payment solutions where the Web application makes use of a third party to perform the secure payment transaction, and doesn't get to know the number of the credit card used (as an example). Web Intents improves on this by avoiding the need for Web applications to have a fixed connection to such third parties.

Open standards for Web payment APIs

When defining a Web Intent for payments, we will also need to standardize the means by which the Web application communicates with the payment solution picked by the user. The requirements for this interface would be the same as for today's third party payment solution providers, but would be expressed in terms of standardized JavaScript APIs.

Call for Implementations

To get the ball rolling, we need volunteers to work on experimental implementations that extend web browsers to support a variety of payment solutions via Web Intents.

Defining this as "intent" is a good idea. This might spur some ideas:

 transaction
   promise
     1USD
   endpromise
   promise
     1 pack of gum
   endpromise
 endtransaction