[Proposed] Web Commerce Interest Group Charter

Status: this charter is not in effect. It was reviewed by the W3C Membership; see the final approved charter.

The mission of the Web Commerce Interest Group (formerly the Web Payments Interest Group) is to improve Commerce on the Web for users, merchants, and other stakeholders. The Interest Group fosters discussions within W3C and with other organizations about how to improve the Web to address an expanding set of user, industry, and regulatory needs. Through discussion, the Interest Group identifies the needs of industry related to Web Commerce, and corresponding standardization opportunities for W3C to make Commerce more Web-like.

Start date 14 September 2017
End date 13 September 2019
  • David Ezell, NACS
  • Dapeng Liu, Alibaba Group
  • Ken Mealey, American Express
Team Contacts Ian Jacobs (FTE %: 10)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Teleconferences to be held as required.
Face-to-face: The group generally meets during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants, usually no more than 3 per year.


Interest Group Activities

  • Identify standardization opportunities: Identification (e.g., through use cases) of Web capabilities that exist or need to be created to meet industry needs to make commerce more Web-like. Identification of best venue for detailed discussions (e.g., an Interest Group task force, Community Group, or Working Group) about topics such as interoperability, security, usability, and specific vertical requirements.
  • Formulate a vision: Formulation of a vision for improving Commerce on the Web. Formulation of roadmaps for what W3C activities would help fulfill the Vision
  • Review work: Review of deliverables from other groups.
  • Liaise: Discussion with other standards organizations, regulatory agencies/bodies, and Web developers
  • Communicate: Communication of W3C activities related to Commerce to the broader community
  • Grow the community: Inclusion of stakeholders with diverse requirements and perspectives from around the globe to inform our work.

Activities Out of Scope

  • Elaboration of detailed technical requirements or architectures. Although a measure of detailed technical discussion may help inform higher level discussion, Interest Group participants should pursue discussion of detailed technical requirements in a Community Group or Working Group dedicated to the topic.
  • Development of formats and APIs. This work should happen in other groups than the Interest Group.

Commerce Topics

The Interest Group focuses on Commerce on the Web. This is naturally very broad in scope, but not unbounded. The scope of topics includes:

  • The primary type of transaction in scope for the Interest Group is Commerce on the Web, involving merchants and customers. However, the Interest Group may also discuss transactions among other parties, including B2B and P2P.
  • Digital payment methods, online and in-store ("omni-channel"). These payment methods include card not present transactions, debit and credit transfers, mobile payments, escrow, micropayments, and distributed ledger technology. Furthermore, digital payment methods include the use of mobile devices in-store, both contactless and remote mobile payments.
  • Various aspects of payment flow, including initiation of payment, receipts, and refunds.
  • Digital offers (coupons, loyalty, etc.)
  • Payments (including "invisible payments") involving a variety of devices, including mobile phones, automobiles (in-car payments), televisions, virtual reality, and Internet of Things devices.
  • Emerging regulations (e.g., PSD2 in Europe, faster payments initiatives globally)
  • Harmonization with other standards (e.g., ISO 20022)
  • Fraud reduction

Topics Out of Scope

  • Web capabilities primarily intended to support the display of banner ads.
  • In-depth discussion of security topics. Those with expertise in Web security (e.g., in the Web Security Interest Group or other groups at W3C) host those conversations. It is in scope, however, for the Interest Group to facilitate security review and discussion.
  • Search engine marketing
  • Email marketing

Continuity of Task Forces

We expect the following existing or emerging task forces to pursue discussions in the Web Commerce Interest Group:

  • Automotive ("in-car") payments
  • Security around Payment Request API
  • Virtual Reality payments
  • Regulatory landscape


Interest Group deliverables will match their activities. Thus:


The Interest Group seeks participation from diverse stakeholders in the commerce ecosystem, including merchants, commerce platform developers, banks and other financial institutions, payment networks, payment service providers, browser makers, and software and hardware solution providers.

Interest Group discussions focus on business use cases and high level technology requirements. Web technology expertise is helpful but not required for participation.

Participation is open to W3C Members and invited experts.

In order to make rapid progress, the group MAY form several Task Forces (TFs), each working on a separate topic.


This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list public-webcommerce-ig@w3.org (archive). See W3C mailing list and archive usage guidelines. There is also a member-only list to be used for administrative or member-confidential purposes at member-webcommerce-ig@w3.org (archive).

Information about the group (documents under review, face-to-face meetings, etc.) is available from the Interest Group home page.

Decision Policy

The group will aim to proceed by consensus.

Where there is consensus among the representatives of W3C members in the group, it will be forwarded as a consensus position. Where the group does not reach agreement, the different positions (whether held by W3C members or other members of the group) will be considered together.

All technical resolutions made by a meeting of the group are provisional until two weeks after being published to the mailing list. An objection made on the mailing list within two weeks of publishing a decision has the same standing as if it were made at the meeting.

Patent Disclosures

The Web Payments Interest Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topics addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Interest Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Interest Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Interest Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Charter History

See the previous charter of the Web Payments Interest Group.