Deepu K Sasidharan, Developer Advocate at payments platform Adyen (AMS:ADYEN), notes that the Payment Request API and the Payment Handler API are new W3C web standards that aim to make the payments process easier on websites.
Sasidharan explains that these new standards aim to provide consistency while offering a seamless user experience (UX) for payments (for end-users and merchants).
Sasidharan further notes that the Payment Request API offers a set of APIs to capture payment information on websites. It’s able to gather payment credentials, such as credit card details, as well as shipping and contact details from the payer via a quick and easy user interface.
The Payment Request API (by default) only supports card-based payment methods such as credit, debit, and prepaid cards on the web (except on Safari which supports only Apple Pay), Sasidharan added. He also mentioned that on mobile, cards and URL-based payment methods such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Alipay are also supported.
Sasidharan further noted that it also offers Interfaces and Dictionaries to “show and manage” the payment request. This is currently in the W3C candidate stage and is “already supported by evergreen browsers like Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Edge,” Sasidharan confirmed while adding that Firefox supports it in its “nightly builds.”
As noted by Sasidharan, the main advantages of Payment Request API are as follows:
The Payment Request API is “meant to reduce the number of steps needed to complete an online payment.”
It has several benefits such as:
Faster purchases: End users can “make purchases faster as they only need to input payment details (for example credit card details) once can reuse the same for subsequent purchases.” They can even “select from all their previous payment details.” This will “work across devices within the same browser and websites that use the Payment Request API.”
Consistent user experience: As the payment form is “controlled by the browser the user experience will be consistent across websites using the Payment Request API.” This means the browser can “control the user experience and tailor it to the user, like localizing it according to the user’s preferred language configured in the browser.”
Accessibility: As the browser “controls the input elements of the payment form, it can assure consistent keyboard and screen reader accessibility on every website without developers needing to do anything.” A browser could also “adjust the font size or color contrast of the payment form, making it more comfortable for the user to make a payment.”
Payment method management: Users can “manage their payment details, like credit cards and shipping addresses, directly in the browser.” A browser can also “sync these “credentials” across devices, making it easy for users to jump from desktop to mobile and back again when buying things.” This also “lets users select from multiple payment methods and addresses they have saved in the browser.”
(Note: for more technical details about the Payment Request API and the Payment Handler API, check here.)
Sasidharan points out that these Web Payment APIs are not yet mature enough to fully replace the client-side components offered by payment service providers. However, he believes there’s a bright future once the APIs have been implemented by major or widely-used browsers, particularly the Payment Handler APIs.
Sasidharan thinks that when this actually happens, it will be quite beneficial for merchants, end-users, and payment service providers because there should be more consistency in the user experience.
“At Adyen, we will be closely watching developments in this space to see how we can provide a better user experience using this in the future.”
As covered, Fintech Adyen recently explained how offering seamless payments can be an “unobvious” driver of business growth and expansion efforts.
Adyen has also looked into how small business owners are leveraging digital payments and funding platforms to maintain operations during COVID.
As reported in February 2021, Adyen revealed how the Buy Now Pay Later or BNPL Fintech industry segment is the fastest-growing payment alternative in North America.