The developers of the open-source Chromium engine that powers Google Chrome and other browsers have begun developing technology that will allow their users to pay to read and view content on the Internet with little or no action required.
Website owners will be able to automatically receive funds directly from visitors, not advertisers; Users will only need to set up the e-wallet integrated into the browser once. Web Monetization (WM) technology has two unique features: it allows small payments and does not require user participation. They tried to implement similar solutions back in the nineties, in the era of the birth of the Internet, but then it was believed that the operator’s activities in conducting micropayments calculated in units of cents were not economically justified.
Now Chromium has decided to integrate an electronic wallet that allows you to transfer funds using Open Payments API tools. Access to the wallet is provided based on the GNAP (Grant Negotiation and Authorization Protocol) protocol, and the operators, in particular, are Gatehub and Fynbos services. Site owners just need to add a tag like to thesection of the page source code. After this, site visitors who have linked their e-wallet to their browser can transfer funds to the owners of this site in accordance with the browser’s permission policy.
Apple and Google, responsible for the development of browser engines WebKit and Chromium, respectively, have already shown interest in WM technology, but the idea did not meet with active enthusiasm in Mozilla. Implementing the specification in Chromium will make it available in Chrome, Edge, Brave and other browsers based on this engine. The timing of the introduction of the new feature has not yet been indicated – many related problems need to be solved, such as security, scalability, reliability, transaction fees and, again, cost-effectiveness for e-wallet operators. But, for example, the research firm Forrester is confident that already in 2024 “micropayments will break out of their niche and become an alternative to subscriptions”.