This document outlines the Web Payments ecosystem by introducing readers to the goals of the ecosystem, messages, roles, and information flow in the system. Links to specifications that define each aspect of the ecosystem in more detail are also included for implementers.
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Further updates to this note are expected in the following months. This document is not currently in its final form.
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This document outlines the Web Payments ecosystem. It starts by highlighting the goals of the ecosystem, then covers the primary types of messages exchanged and the roles of participants in the system. An example use case is then used to demonstrate how roles in the system communicate. Finally, specifications that detail each aspect of the ecosystem in more detail are also provided for implementers.
The Web Payments ecosystem strives to support fundamental Web principles by:
In addition to the fundamental Web principles above, the Web Payments ecosystem also strives to:
A payment request is composed of the following parts:
A concern has been raised over the structure of a payment request, notably that there are other forms of messages that may be initiated by a payer. There is currently a proposal to modify payment request to a more generalized "payment instruction" that would be capable of expressing other messages like subscriptions, preauthorizations, refunds, and other sorts of payment-related instructions.
A payment response is composed of the following parts:
There are a number of roles and interactions in the Web Payments ecosystem. A role is an abstraction that might be implemented in many different ways. The separation of roles suggests likely interfaces and/or protocols for standardization. The following roles exist in the Web Payments ecosystem:
As the diagram above depicts, the Web Payments ecosystem separates the following concerns:
In order to understand how all of the actors and roles in the ecosystem interact, consider the following use case:
Quinn would like to purchase a new laptop using her new security-enhanced credit card.
Note that this section is currently speculative and will be updated once consensus forms around a corresponding payment application registration specification, which is currently under development.
In order for Quinn (Payer) to use her new security-enhanced credit card, she must enroll it via her bank's website (Payment App).
Quinn (Payer) finds the laptop she wants on a website (Payee). She clicks "Buy", selects the information necessary to complete the transaction, and is notified that her purchase is successful and is on its way.
There are a number of specifications that are of interest to developers implementing portions of the ecosystem outlined in this document.