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Re: [payment arch] Payment Agent communication channels

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:49:14 -0500
Cc: Web Payments IG <public-webpayments-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <19CA73BB-4E85-4AF8-87F6-103DC552EB6B@w3.org>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>

> On Apr 30, 2015, at 11:58 AM, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> On the call today, we resolved that the Payment Agent has 3 major
> communication channels. Attached is an updated Payment Agent image to
> reflect where consensus seemed to be today. The document has been
> updated w/ the new image (as a vector graphic, on page 6):
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FbHscEFUA1P6Frm9h-98bgBF8oCNNu3_0BZh8l7Aa0c/edit#

Hi Manu and others,

Thanks for sending the graphic! I like the examples that are now part of the diagram. At some point in the document
it would be great to illustrate different flows (via those three channels). E.g., a push payment, a pull payment, etc.

I am still wrestling with the labels for the three channels. I’ll put some thoughts down here for discussion at tomorrow’s

I have been wanting for us to define the communications in terms of the responsible parties who are involved in the 
communications. For some payment schemes that makes sense: we have users, merchants, banks, payment service
providers, etc. I have been wanting to speak about communications among those entities, rather than the software
used by those entities. 

Of course I want to take into account distributed payment systems as well and I don’t yet know whether this approach
of labeling “responsible parties” works as well for those systems.

For the easy cases, I imagined this sort of vocabulary:
  * Accounts: A repository of value.
  * Account provider: The entity that has offers account services and who has legal and regulatory obligations as a result.
  * User: Person/Org/Software/Device that is authorized to access and modify an account.
     I pitched “User” today as easier to say than something more abstract like “Account controller” but the tide was against me.
     An alternative might be “Account customer”.

With those terms, interactions over the three channels could be labeled (for example):

 1) Account provider
 2) Account customer
 3) Parties to a Transaction 

As I said, I don’t know whether the labels work for all systems; I got the sense on the call they would not.

Another approach might be to characterize the types of messages that flow over the channels, and that might work better for
more types of systems. For example:

 1) Account and ledger management
 2) Account access
 3) Payment processing  (Note: this is the term for one of the phases in the use cases document)


 * I would like to see if we can talk about communication among responsible entities (rather than their software)
 * I would like to see if we can use the same “type” of label for all three channels (as opposed to the current version
   which has a software thing (“other payment agents”), a responsible party (person etc.), and an account (yet another
   kind of thing).

I thought today’s conversation was very productive and also encouraging. It will be great to discover how we will
communicate this model clearly and efficiently to different audiences, and then use it to get to the next level of detail
for requirements.


Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>      http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                       +1 718 260 9447
Received on Thursday, 30 April 2015 19:49:16 UTC

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