Microsoft has an enviable position in businesses and homes with PCs and laptops and yet been ineffectual at leveraging that leadership position to make inroads into mobile devices or payments. Microsoft Wallet is currently available only for the Microsoft Lumia phone, so PCs and laptops are left out and will remain left out of this announcement also. Now, after Apple announced it was payment enabling Safari and Google announced payments for Chrome, we have Microsoft announcing Edge will be payment enabled in this blog post but still only if you have a Lumia phone with Edge:
“The Payment Request API in Microsoft Edge is now in preview, enabling simpler checkout and payments on the web on Windows 10 PCs and mobile. Support for Payment Request in stable builds will be coming to EdgeHTML 15 in the Creators Update early next year.
You can begin to develop for the Payment Request API in Microsoft Edge on preview builds, starting with Windows Insider Preview build 14986.”
Looking at the example code provided by Microsoft it appears that Microsoft has implemented the W3C Working Draft dated December 14th. This is a good thing as it will provide merchants a single method to execute remote payments across all devices (Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung) that implement the W3C standard. The benefits are described like this on the Microsoft Developer Web Site:
“E-commerce sales continue growing at a rapid pace. According to eMarketer, by 2018 digital sales are forecasted to increase by 23% from the levels measured in 2013. While consumers and businesses enjoy the convenience of e-commerce sales, challenges remain. Today each e-commerce website owner needs to invest time to develop high quality payment checkout flows and validation rules. Consumers need to navigate different payment checkout flows and re-enter the same payment and shipping information on every site where they shop. This can be time consuming and frustrating for consumers, leading to a high rate of shopping cart abandonment and decreased sales for merchants. Merchants estimate between 60% and 70% of shopping carts are abandoned.
The Payment Request API standardizes the payment checkout process. This API requires less customization for web developers and provides a faster, more consistent, and therefore, less confusing experience for consumers. Because consumers can select payment instruments and shipping addresses from the Microsoft Wallet, they are required to enter less data to complete purchases which reduces the time and data entry required to complete a payment.
The Payment Request API is an open, cross-browser standard that enables browsers to act as an intermediary between merchants, consumers, and the payment methods (e.g. credit cards) that consumers have stored in the cloud.
In summary, when using the Payment Request API, customers shop on merchant websites as normal. When ready to pay, the merchant website calls the Payment Request API to create a Payment Request and passes the relevant payment information (e.g. supported payment methods, purchase amount, currency, etc.) to the browser.”
If Microsoft would make this available on PCs and laptops maybe more of us would care.
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group