Mozilla Introduces Promising Payments API

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 05, 2013

When it comes to making payments, lots of us still turn to credit cards, checks and other longstanding ways to get the job done, but the race is on to have most payments made via "digital wallets." You can already make electronic payments via your smartphone using PayPal, Square, Google payments and other solutions, although the number of places you can do so is limited. Now, Mozilla is taking a big step forward in the digital wallet space by developing a mobile electronic payment platform that is likely to be standard in the company's Firefox OS.

It's unclear yet whether Mozilla will implement a model like PayPal's or Square's where it gets revenues from electronic payments that consumers make, but on the Mozilla Hacks blog, the company is discussing its navigator.mozPay() Javascript API for payments:

"navigator.mozPay() is a JavaScript API inspired by but modified for things like multiple payment providers and carrier billing. When a web app invokes navigator.mozPay() in Firefox OS, the device shows a secure window with a concise UI. After authenticating, the user can easily charge the payment to her mobile carrier bill or credit card. When completed, the app delivers the product. Repeat purchases are quick and easy."

It looks like Mozilla has put careful thought into this effort, even building in carrier billing capabilities, but it is also true that electronic, mobile payments are turning into a very competitive game. VISA and MasterCard are both focused on digital wallet solutions along with technology players.

Still, some people predict that it won't be long until we make most of our payments with our mobile phones and devices. If that's true, and Mozilla gets traction with Firefox OS, its payments solution could have a bright, possibly revenue-generating future.