The Mozilla Foundation has previewed a new, experimental system for in-app payments that is intended to solve several major problems with existing payment systems available to developers, including the fact that other payment systems are strongly partisan, tilted to one or just a few payment processors. It's a good and useful thing, and an example of the sort of good that a well-funded nonprofit can do for the health of the Web:
Here's what's wrong:
* Users cannot choose how to pay; they have to select from one of the pre-defined options.
* In most cases, the user has to type in an actual credit card number on each site. This is like giving someone the keys to your expensive car, letting them drive it around the block in a potentially dangerous neighborhood (the web) and saying please don't get carjacked!
* Merchants typically have to manage all this on their own: payment processor setup, costly processing fees, and possibly even PCI compliance.
There are services to mitigate a lot of these complications such as PayPal, Stripe, and others but they aren't integrated into web devices very well. Mozilla wants to introduce a common web API to make payments easy and secure on web devices yet still as flexible as the checkout button for merchants.
Introducing navigator.mozPay() For Web Payments [Mozilla.org/Kumar McMillan]