The W3C’s Mission to Standardize Web Payments

Just as important as building great technology is working together and agreeing on standardized ways of doing things. After all, the birth of the Web was grounded in the standardization of protocols like HTTP. The adoption of common Internet standards will have a similarly transformative impact on the world of payments by lowering costs, expanding reach and enabling interoperability.

This immense potential hasn’t been lost on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which has been working tirelessly to promote web payments standards.

Earlier this year, Ripple joined the W3C Web Payments Interest Group and established the Internet of Value Task Force, which met in New York this past June. Last week, the W3C launched the Web Payments Working Group with the goal of establishing standardized APIs that would allow streamlined payments through the browser.

The working group is co-chaired by Adrian Hope-Bailie of Ripple and Nick Telford-Reed of Worldpay and includes members from numerous stakeholders including Bloomberg, the Federal Reserve and Deutsche Telekom. The inaugural meeting is being held this week in Hokkaido, Japan at the annual W3C Technical Plenary / Advisory Committee (TPAC).

Joining Adrian at TPAC are Stefan Thomas (Ripple CTO) and Evan Schwartz (Ripple engineer), who are presenting on Interledger (read the white paper), a protocol that facilitates transactions between disparate payment networks. Established earlier this month, the W3C Interledger Payments Community Group is already over 80 members strong and includes participants from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Wells Fargo and other distributed financial technology startups like R3CEV.

Ultimately, all of these initiatives point back to Ripple’s original vision—building the Internet of Value. Part of that involves building awesome technology. But an equally important part is building cooperation—for the ecosystem’s various stakeholders to come together and start speaking a common language. Tim Berners-Lee succeeded in doing so a quarter century ago and we’re all benefiting from the fruits of his labor.

The opportunity today is just as great. Interested? Join us at the W3C: