API

W3C’s Better Way To Reduce Checkout Friction

No one likes standing in lines, whether inside a brick-and-mortar store or in the virtual waiting room of a slow-moving or complicated online checkout process. Making it easy for consumers to hand over their payments — and earning their loyalty by doing so — is a question that continues to bedevil merchants and service providers.

Grocers and technology providers are trying to eliminate the pain point of the old-fashioned checkout line. After all, consumers collectively wait 37 billion hours in checkout lines each year. At convenience stores, mobile payment apps are showing promise as consumers are turning to contextual commerce for online purchases.

All types of technologies are in play — and that includes 3D facial recognition for authentication, payments and fraud prevention.

George Brostoff, CEO and co-founder of SensibleVision, said during a recent PYMNTS interview that its new 3DWALLET technology “is designed to let retailers replace card and cash payments — and eliminate the need for checkout lines — through a 3D facial recognition platform that automatically identifies customers and charges them for their purchases.”

There are also new ideas and technologies that seem more mundane, but might have a wider impact in the short term, too. Ian Jacobs, web payments leader for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), recently gave PYMNTS a progress report about the group’s Payment Request API, now live and undergoing real-world testing, which is to take consumer data related to an online checkout and get it to the merchant via the browser.

More than the standard form fill, a consumer might opt to store their payment credentials and billing/shipping information in a particular browser, and the API can ease the secure exchange of the data between the browser and an eCommerce site. That can save the consumer from filling out a frustrating checkout form on the merchant’s site, eliminating a source of friction and a possible motive to abandon the purchase.

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