Date: June 18, 2015
To: Steve Stevens, Executive Director, Accredited Standards Committee X9
From: David Ezell and Erik Anderson, Co-chairs of the W3C Web Payments Interest Group (WPIG)
Subject: Response to X9’s Comments on WPIG’s Use Cases and Capabilities Document
We appreciate the time and effort that X9 members to review the Web Payments Interest Group’s (WPIG) Use Cases document.
We agree that this W3C effort is an ambitious one. We also think it is a necessary and strategic effort given the increasing integration of the Web with worldwide commerce and the Web’s access to billions of people. The ambitious nature of this effort underscores the need for collaboration among standards development organizations such as W3C and ASC X9 – a collaboration that we hope to foster.
Several other points raised in your comments deserve clarification and feedback from us.
· You suggest that our effort might be better expressed as “Web Commerce” versus “Web Payments.” This is consistent with other feedback we have been received on our use cases and capabilities work. As you rightly observe, several aspects of what we are working on (e.g., trust, credentials, digital signatures, loyalty programs, etc.) extend beyond a payment transaction and are applicable to other standards efforts that may not even involve payments. For example, credentials are needed to facilitate entitlements and digital signature constructs could easily extend to smart contracts and ownership of Web assets and information. So, we will consider how we can better address the point that you and others have made.
· Your feedback on roles, sequencing and information flows and suggestion that "Standardizing the vocabulary and the protocols for exchanging discrete segments of the payment mechanics would be of immense value” is helpful. These concepts have been difficult to describe satisfactorily in the capabilities document. For example, depending on the “direction” of the payment interaction (e.g., payer initiated, payee initiated, account provider initiated, etc.), different sequences and flows result, generating a large number of combinations and permutations of complete commerce flows. Thus, your suggestion to focus on discrete segments is intriguing.
· Finally, your comment on the all-encompassing nature of the work has been raised in our own group’s discussions. As a point of clarification, within W3C there are “interest groups” and “working groups.” The former tend to be broader in nature, generating a breadth of ideas that are the ultimately prioritized by the working groups that write the standards. Nonetheless, one of the challenges we have been wrestling within the interest group is how to determine and focus on an initial set of features and capabilities to standardize, while at the same time encouraging participation of organizations in the WPIG who may want to drive other capabilities forward. We are already attempting to follow your suggestion of breaking the work down by discrete segments and capabilities to de-couple standardization work streams that must proceed at different rates and using different processes. We are approaching this challenge by defining more narrowly for the working groups the scope of a “version 1.0” standard and recognizing that some “requirements” will be addressed in later versions.
We look forward to continuing to work with the X9 community on this important effort.
On behalf of the Interest Group, we deeply appreciate your consideration.
Erik Anderson, Bloomberg (co-chair)
David Ezell, NACS (co-chair)
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