This roadmap document outlines the proposed technology stack and development timeline for the set of technologies being worked on by the Web Payments Community Group.
Status of This Document
This specification was published by the W3C Web Payments Community Group. It is not a W3C Standard nor is it on the W3C Standards Track. Please note that under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) there is a limited opt-out and other conditions apply. Learn more about W3C Community and Business Groups.
table of contents
- 2.Technology Stack
- 4.Active Collaborators
This document outlines the technology stack and development timeline for the set of technologies being worked on by the Web Payments Community Group. It is intended for those people that want to understand all of the technical pieces being proposed, how they fit together, and the development timeline for each technology.ISSUE 1
Readers should understand that this roadmap document is a work in progress and while many of the technologies discussed in this document have been implemented and are in production, others may be changed or modified heavily if driven through a standardization track at W3C. This document is a proposed roadmap, not the final roadmap for version 1.0.
A common question that’s raised when someone is introduced to the Web Payments work is whether or not a particular payment technology, like blockchain-based ledgers, are supported or whether their existence invalidates the specification stack that is being proposed. In general, the realization that the Web Payments Community Group has come to over the many years that it has been operating is that there will never be only one way of doing payments. Therefore, the specifications that are being proposed do not assume a single dominating payment instrument or technology. Instead, the specifications focus on the more general mechanisms that are required to express a transaction and not the specifics that move value from one account to another. For example, the technology proposed by this group primarily focuses on the following:
- The expression of digitally verifiable claims via credentials. For example, proof-of-age, government-issued ID cards, corporate ID cards, proof-of-skillset, and other things necessary to fulfill Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements.
- Machine-readable expression of product and service offers for sale via the Web. For example, BigRecordsInc is selling SuperstarBand’s new song One Hit Wonder for $5 USD.
- Payment initiation on the Web which would allow browsers and other Web clients to have one standardized way of initiating a payment that is payment instrument and payment processor agnostic.
- Digital receipts that would be able to be used as a proof-of-purchase and would support multiple types of payment instruments and networks.
The Web Payments Community Group realizes the importance of supporting the current payment instruments that exist today (e.g. credit cards, ACH, electronic checks, etc.) as well as the established value benchmarks (e.g. WM Reuters Spot Rate) while also ensuring that the proposed technologies take other more future-facing solutions into account (e.g. blockchains, sidechains, smart contracts, DAOs, etc.) as well as new methods for algorithmic pricing and benchmarking. Rather than hard-coding each of these technologies into the Web Payments specifications, we take a more general approach. Each one of these current and future systems and technologies is supported in a generic way in order to ensure that the specifications remain as agnostic as possible to the underlying operation of each payment instrument, value benchmark, and payment clearing technology.
2. Technology Stack
The Web Payments technology stack is designed on generally accepted design principles outlined for the Architecture of the World Wide Web[WEBARCH]. It also heavily re-uses W3C and IETF technology, such as JSON-LD [JSON-LD-SYNTAX] and HTTP [RFC7230]. A high-level diagram of the technology stack is shown below for reference:
The technologies proposed by the group are layered in such a way to allow the base technologies to be re-used by other Web-based standards. Thus, there is a natural order of progression in developing these technologies, from low-level to high-level:
4. Active Collaborators
A.1 Informative references