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Mozilla creates web payment API for Firefox OS, browsers

updated 03:54 pm EDT, Sun April 7, 2013

New API to help pay for goods through credit cards, carrier billing

Mozilla has introduced a new web payment system for devices running on Firefox OS, as part of the company's pitch to foster carrier adoption of the software. The JavaScript API titled navigator.mozPay() will allow for the payment of digital products online, with users charged either through a credit card or via their carrier in a phone bill.

The API, modeled on the Google Wallet version, will act as an intermediary between the web app and the user. A company blog post likened the act of giving a credit card number to a website to that of driving an expensive car in a "potentially dangerous neighborhood," and claimed it would help merchants by handling payment processing and PCI compliance duties.

While the API promises a lot towards both merchants and users, it is still in development. Details relating to how merchants will interact with payment providers is "not yet specified in the API." The first phones to shop with Firefox OS, including the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open, will apparently ship with a whitelist of payment providers that can be used, something that the company states is "not ideal."

Mozilla also has plans to make the API available in other systems in the future. An engineer states it will wok with other vendors through the W3C to "reach consensus on a common API that supports web payments in the best way possible." After shipping on the Firefox OS smartphones, Mozilla plans to add the same functionality to Firefox for desktop and Android.

by MacNN Staff



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