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W3C seeks to standardise online payments process

26 October 2015 - 12:56 by Graham Miller

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The standardisation of online payments on a global scale is the next task set to be tackled by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), with the idea being that this will not only make things simpler and safer for consumers, but also reduce cart abandonment rates for retailers, according to the Telegraph.

The checkout process online can be a headache for consumers, especially if there are many different payment options and processing these takes time and effort. In many cases, people give up before going through with a purchase, which is where the cart abandonment phenomenon originates.

Project spokesperson, Nick Telford-Reed, said that consistency was the main thing that his organisation is looking to achieve in the world of online payments, in addition to attempting to unify old and new technologies.

At the moment, there are many different finance firms, payment systems, security platforms and big name brands involved in the industry. And the rise of digital wallets means that there are even more potential methods for payment available to the average consumer during a session of safe shopping online.

This makes things tougher for retailers because it means they have to account for a myriad of potential forms of payment which, invariably, means that one or two get missed off the list at some point.

Digital wallets may well be the way forward, but only if there is an added degree of standardisation, which means that even if customers are using services from different providers, the underpinnings of each transaction are, ultimately, the same.

This could leave the market at greater risk of widespread exploitation by malicious third parties, but equally with more finance firms working together, there would be increased resources available to provide security for customers during each and every instance of safe shopping online. And the first draft of the new online payments standard could be completed by 2016.