Plan Would Put a Bank in Every Browser
An open payments system built into Web standards could transform online life, if the proposal takes off.
By Tom Simonite on January 18, 2013
Why It Matters
An open payment standard could shake up companies such as PayPal and shift the economics of online content.
Over the past few decades, a handful of open standards for rendering and sharing text and imagery between computers—better known as the World Wide Web—have helped upend businesses worldwide. But these Web standards do not cover ways of transferring money or selling content, leaving us to fumble for credit cards and PayPal account details when it's time to cough up.