Mozilla Testing a Common API for Online Payments

April 8, 2013

Mozilla, the open software community that produced the Firefox Web browser, is taking a crack at online payments. In its online blog, the group said it has implemented an experimental JavaScript API into its new Firefox OS for smartphones that will make online payments for PC and mobile devices easier and more secure. A common API for payments will open up new business models for developers and publishers, it said.

The new API will be integrated into the Firefox OS first, enabling Web apps to accept payments. Later it will be added to Firefox for Android and desktop Firefox. When a Firefox OS user wants to buy something, the device will show a secure window where the user can complete the payment. Mozilla said the API is “inspired” by Google Wallet’s API for digital goods, but enables multiple payment providers and carrier billing. It addresses issues including lack of consumer choice, fraud and merchant costs like processing fees and 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,” according to the Mozilla Hacks blog for developers. “Mozilla wants to introduce a common Web API to make payments on web devices yet still as flexible as the checkout button for merchants.