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RE: FAQ question: Relation of proposed Web Payments WG to Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)?

From: David Ezell <David_E3@VERIFONE.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:26:31 +0000
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Web Payments IG <public-webpayments-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <54C00E24834FCE47B11EC129A84E7F78D57AD6FB@VF2WDEXMB1.verifone.com>
Hi Ian:

The short answer is that SET attempted to do some of the things that Web Payments considers important.

The longer answer is that the technology had two drawbacks that kept it from catching on:
1) it was complex to implement
2) it rendered the customer data opaque to the merchant

I have a friend from Ireland who was part of the Trintech effort to implement SET (Trintech is now part of Verifone) with a lot of hands-on and I daresay bitter experience with the effort:
        Trintech "made world's first secure Internet purchase using their 1.0 version of the Secure Electronic
        Transaction (SET) standard."

In my opinion, what Web Payments is trying to do differs from SET in the following important ways:
1) we have an aspect of our work which addresses the UI and developer capabilities
2) we have a sensitivity (which SET did not have) that merchants have a need for KYC, and we know that
     KYC capability need not >necessarily< introduce privacy concerns.
3) we have more widespread access to standard cryptography than they did in 1997 (OpenSSL, etc.)
4) web services have matured and will play a role in exchange of data

Was SET a bad idea? No.  Was it ahead of its time? Maybe, but that's hard to quantify.  Did it have flaws that stunted its adoption?  Yes, and I've mentioned at least two.  There may be other reasons.


Best regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 6:18 PM
To: Web Payments IG
Subject: FAQ question: Relation of proposed Web Payments WG to Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)?

Hi Interest Group,

This week I was asked:

 Q. What is the relation of this work to Secure Electronic Transaction

Being new to this space, I did not know the answer.

Would someone knowledgable about that work be able to compare and contrast the efforts?

Thank you,


Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>      http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                       +1 718 260 9447

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Received on Saturday, 12 September 2015 14:27:06 UTC

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