• Technology and Engineering

Article July 5th, 2019

by Nortal

W3C: Ready to revolutionize the online checkout experience?

Run a simple search on Google for the phrase “I hate passwords” and over 13,300,000 results will appear – with good reason. In an era of hyper-security, we all have been forced into creating a seemingly endless stream of multi-character, multi-number and multi-symbol passwords to protect our privacy.

Even worse is having to enter and re-enter your credit card details every time you want to make an online purchase — just to make sure your data is safe. The process is cumbersome, to say the least.

For those of us that wish there were a better way, the idea of a hassle-free login with secure payment sounds a little bit like heaven. This is especially true for those of us that do most of our purchases and other financial transactions on mobile devices with smaller screens and keyboards.

Traditionally, users have provided personal information and created passwords in order to login or “authenticate.” All this information is stored somewhere — usually on a server — that unfortunately makes our information no longer private and subject to potential security breaches.

Enter the idea of decentralization.

When data is decentralized, it resides in multiple locations but still can be tapped to support transactions. A perfect example of this is blockchain technology. Blockchain uses decentralization to create an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions. This means that a blockchain network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis and is not stored in a single location or managed by a central authority. The success of blockchain has spurred new ways of thinking about online transaction security since sensitive data isn’t centrally held but decentralized across the network.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

One group that has leveraged this type of thinking is W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). W3C is an international community where member organizations, a full-time staff and the public work together to improve standards for the Internet. W3C has recently developed a new standard to improve web payments using decentralized authentication. Decentralized authentication keeps personal information safely on our devices — such as smartphones — and offers a better protection model for users and merchants.

With the new standard, web-payment transactions can leverage browser-native user interfaces (UIs) for checkout with previously saved data such as address information and card details via a Payment Request API. In other words, personal information is decentralized onto individuals’ devices so shoppers can browse multiple sites and make purchases without continuously providing their payment information. This gives control back to the customer while enabling omnichannel commerce via a common interface. The result is a safer, seamless shopping experience.

That’s good news since a new Bigcommerce study found omnichannel retailing is key to influencing the Generation Z shopper. For Gen Z, brand coverage, social media presence and overall lifestyle affinity with one-click ease is enticing for this rising segment of retail shoppers. Progressive retailers who wish to capture this audience need a modern approach to commerce that focuses on designing a cohesive user experience for customers at every touchpoint.

W3C’s new web-payment standard will help make this a reality and is poised to revolutionize the checkout experience while making our personal data safer and our shopping experience more satisfying.

At Nortal, we believe e-commerce businesses face a growing need for omnichannel commerce to support an ever-demanding, seamless customer experience. We help our customers unleash the full potential of e-commerce, leveraging the latest technologies and innovative thinking. For that, a well-thought-out integration architecture forms the foundation. We have valuable experience implementing many large-scale e-commerce integration projects and helping customers implement tools and standards that will help their e-commerce success.

For more information about Nortal and how our e-commerce solutions can help you achieve success, contact us.

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