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Re: Updates to Payment Apps wiki page

From: Håvard Molland <haavardm@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 12:49:26 +0200
Message-ID: <CACZ2MLgFJ3cqMgo18i_W8GrW8fNvk0NrYVNtHwwNzNRnJwnc4A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
Cc: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Payments WG <public-payments-wg@w3.org>
On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 11:45 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>

> Thanks Ian.
> Answers to your questions below:
> Regarding disadvantages of a JavaScript API:
> - Most existing payment gateways process HTTP requests so this will
> require all of these to make significant investment in new technology to
> accept payment requests from the browser.
> IJ: I don't understand this point. They can wrap their HTTP call inside
> the JavaScript. Why does this imply more investment than having to change
> their HTTP interface to align with a new HTTP-based standard?
> AHB: Correct but this requires them to write an entirely new component, a
> javascript payment app, which they likely never have needed before. By
> forcing these gateways to push JavaScript to client browsers you are asking
> them to do something they potentially have no operational experience doing
> and potentially no skills to do or maintain.

This confuses me, but there might be something I've misunderstood.

Can you give an example where a HTTP gateway answers to a payment request
POSTed from a browser, where the gateway doesn't have to produce
a JavaScript payment app as a response?

Since the gateway must (?) in these cases respond with an JavaScript app
anyway, why is it easier that the payment request goes via the server
instead of being handed directly over to this payment app using JavaScript
(which then can post the details to the server in any format they'd like).
Also, from the server perspective, JavaScript API seems simpler, since this
JavaScript may be served as static pages without any server logic to
produce the app.

If the payment request is initiated through the HTTP API, I do see the
value of using POST, but that seems like a separate problem. I don't see
that these needs to intercept. It also feels weird that the communication
between the payee website and the payment app is asynchronic, as in, the
request is sent via POST but answered via JavaScript (in the case where the
server responds with html)


> In contrast they could simply add a new HTTP endpoint to their existing
> HTTP API that accepts a payment request and transforms this into the format
> they receive on other end-points.
> For most gateways this is very familiar part of their operations and would
> dovetail into their existing systems much more easily.
> - Defines a standard for cross application integration at the language
> level as opposed to at the protocol level. This forces all payment apps (or
> at least part of them) to be written in JavaScript.
> IJ: But if the WG agrees that the right scope is "browser-based Web apps"
> this is not a problem?
> AHB: Correct, hence my assertion that limiting the scope would be a bad
> decision. It would open us up to making a design decision that is very
> short-sighted. I am yet to hear a good argument for limiting the scope to
> browser-based payment apps only.
> With regard to advantages of the HTTP approach
> - Most payment gateways already accept payment requests via HTTP
> IJ: What is the cost of changing those gateways to handle a new standard?
> AHB; For the majority that already accept payment initiation requests via
> an HTTP request (or redirect from the merchant page) very low. They can
> likely re-use the whole of their existing stack and simply accept the new
> format payment request at a new endpoint. transfrom it and redirect it to
> their existing endpoint. Then they can follow similar logic to transform
> their responses.
> On 9 May 2016 at 23:43, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org> wrote:
>> > On May 9, 2016, at 10:03 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Ian and WG,
>> >
>> > I have made some updates to the payment apps wiki as requested:
>> >
>> >       • I added a comment about us needing to clarify our scope. I
>> think a lot of what was in there assumed that the scope was only payment
>> apps that run in a browser and ignores the possibility of other apps that
>> can still be interfaced from a browser over the Web.
>> >       • I added a few definitions to differentiate between
>> browser-based and web-based apps (per scoping question above).
>> >       • I also dropped the hybrid and web-technology apps as I'm not
>> sure these have any impact on integration with a browser (i.e. an app
>> either runs in the browser or doesn't which is all that matters from the
>> perspective of integration with the browser).
>> >       • I added the following line to the display text:
>> > "The browser should display matched payment apps in an order that
>> corresponds with the order of supported payment methods supplied by the
>> payee"
>> >       • I made changes to the advantages and disadvantages of the
>> invoking and response sections based on discussions with Ian.
>> > (Although I'm still not sure I agree that JavaScript encapsulation has
>> an advantage of flexibility, I think it's the opposite)
>> >       • I corrected the steps in the JavaScript encapsulation approach
>> to include passing the response to the browser.
>> >       • Added a hybrid response approach
>> >       • Made some minor changes to the data collection points
>> Thanks, Adrian. I made some edits to your text, primarily to “tighten
>> things up” (and mostly by moving things around or tweaking the text).
>> This seems like a good WG call question: whether the scope of its initial
>> work will be web-based payment apps or (the subset) browser-based payment
>> apps.
>> Ian
>> --
>> Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>      http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
>> Tel:                       +1 718 260 9447
Received on Wednesday, 11 May 2016 10:50:25 UTC

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