The W3C Workshop on Payments held in Paris on the 24-25 March 2014 was for me a very interesting experience.

The cleaned minutes and the agenda do a good job at relating what was discussed during these two days.

The panel of people and organizations represented was very eclectic: financial institutions, banks, payment service providers, startups, mobile operators, software vendors and some W3C people. It was very interesting to hear so many points of view. The panels were well organized and structured, the minute takers did a great job (and I’ll steal that idea of live minutes taking for my next meetings, for sure).

There are a few things that in my opinion went not so well. First, many discussions revolved around the issues about privacy, identity and security, which prevented sometimes to address the subjects of the panels in deeper ways. Second, I felt that sometimes we failed at following the principle of what has been wisely stated by Jeff Jaffe at the beginning of this workshop: When we start to look at a complex problem, we fail if we try to solve the entire problem at once.

However, even if obviously standardization in the payments area will take a lot of time, this kind of workshop show that people at W3C have it right. Having all the people involved in payments participate to the standardization effort, even if they are not usually involved into standards, seems to me the only way for such a huge task to succeed.

Some links about this event:

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12 April 2014