Web Commerce at W3C

The Open Web Platform is Transforming Commerce

Trillions of dollars of commerce are conducted on the Web each year, and the proportion of digital to all retail continues to grow. The Web must evolve to address transformative industry changes such as:

  • Mobile: new hardware capabilities, multi-device environments, ubiquitous broadband, etc.
  • Regulation: PSD2 and many other regulatory changes around the world.
  • Payment innovation: digital wallets, blockchain, faster payments initiatives, etc.
  • EMV migration, which may cause more fraud to move online.

To help ensure that the Web evolves to meet new industry needs, we have established the Web Commerce Interest Group. Banks, processors, regulators, card networks, e-commerce companies, telecom operators, multiple service operators (MSOs), hardware vendors, browser and software vendors and other participants are shaping the way Web Payments are developed on the Web, discussing topics such as:

  • Reduce cart abandonment rates.
  • Reduce security and reduce fraud.
  • Foster digital payment method innovation both on the Web and in-store.
  • Facilitate digital offers including loyalty programs and coupons.
  • Address payments in more device contexts such as in-car payments, Internet of Things payments and virtual reality payments.
  • The impact of emerging regulation on Web architecture and capabilities.
  • Harmonization with other standards efforts such as FIDO authentication, EMVCo tokenization and 3D Secure, and others.

The primary activity of the Web Commerce Interest Group is to identify (e.g., through use cases) Web capabilities that exist or need to be created to meet industry needs.

Related Groups at W3C

In addition to the Web Commerce Interest Group (WCIG), a number of groups at W3C —both formally chartered groups and community-driven initiatives— are doing work at W3C directly related to Web commerce, or that will improve the Web overall. Below we list some of these groups. Please note that Community Groups are not formally chartered W3C groups; they are community-driven discussions some (but not all) of which may lead to W3C standardization efforts.

Payment Initiation

  • Web Payments Working Group, the standards group within W3C chartered to make payments easier and more secure on the Web, by streamlining checkout.

Identity / Verifiable Attributes

  • Verifiable Claims Working Group, whose mission is to make expressing and exchanging claims that have been verified by a third party easier and more secure on the Web.

Security

  • Web Cryptography Working Group, which is defining an API that lets developers implement secure application protocols on the level of Web applications, including message confidentiality and authentication services, by exposing trusted cryptographic primitives from the browser.
  • Web Application Security ("WebAppSec") Working Group, which is developing standards to ensure that Web applications are delivered as intended, free from spoofing, injection, and eavesdropping.
  • Web Authentication Working Group, chartered to reduce the use of shared secrets, i.e. passwords, as authentication credentials, facilitating instead multi-factor authentication support as well as hardware-based key storage while respecting the Same Origin Policy.

Clearing and Settlement

  • Interledger Payments Community Group, which seeks to connect the many payment networks (ledgers) around the world via the Web. The group's vision is an open, universal payment scheme built on Web standards that allows any payer to pay any payee regardless of the payer's choice of payment instrument or the payee's account.

Financial Services

Digital Marketing and Advertising

  • Digital Offers Community Group, whose mission is to improve E-Commerce on the Web by making it easier and more secure for all actors in the ecosystem to manage, distribute, use, and settle digital offers, including coupons, vouchers, rewards, and loyalty programs.

Device APIs

  • Device and Sensors Working Group, which create client-side APIs that enable the development of Web Applications and Web Widgets that interact with devices hardware, sensors, services and applications such as the camera, microphone, proximity sensors, native address books, calendars and native messaging applications.
  • Web Bluetooth Community Group, which is developing a specification for Bluetooth APIs to allow websites to communicate with devices in a secure and privacy-preserving way.
  • Web NFC Community Group, which is creating a Near Field Communication API that is browser-friendly and adheres to the Web's security model.

Exploratory Work

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