Meritora Launches

April 2, 2013

World’s First Universal Web Payment Service Goes Live with Support for US Dollars

The Web has fundamentally transformed the way we publish and interact with information. However, the way we reward people for creating that content has not changed. The Web’s foundation was not built to transmit and receive funds with the same ease as sending and receiving an email. Today we hope to begin changing that.

Meritora makes commerce on the Web simpler by integrating an open and programmable financial network into its core. You can think of it as a non-proprietary version of PayPal, Google Wallet, and Amazon Payments. Meritora is the first implementation of a new standard that is under development by people in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organization that designs the Web’s architecture. The new standard aims to make it possible for different payment providers to transact with one another. This will mean that you can use any Web payment provider that implements the standard to buy anything on the Web, in the same way that you can use your credit card at any store. This gives you more freedom of choice and increases competition in the marketplace. In addition, it means that you only have to share your address and credit card information with your payment provider, rather than every website with which you do business. The standard is also being designed to integrate directly into your Web browser, making payments more secure.

Meritora provides the tools that have been traditionally only available to banks, Wall Street, and large corporations to everyone. This allows anyone to raise funds for a cause or simply collect money from a large number of people. Meritora’s launch is a first step toward empowering people to more directly connect with their collaborators and customers. It enables writers, film makers, scientists, and other content creators to sell their work from their personal blogs and websites. It will eventually permit anyone with a website to crowdfund their great ideas.

What Can Meritora Do Today?

Meritora lets people sell digital content through their WordPress-powered websites. The article that you’re reading right now is published using this technology. It is as simple as installing the PaySwarm WordPress Plugin, marking part of an article for sale, setting the price, and publishing it. The for-pay part of your article may be just text, or it may contain a link to a song, movie, or other piece of digital content. There are no set-up fees, no monthly fees, and no hidden fees – just simple, fair, and transparent pricing.

All payments are deposited into an online account and can be withdrawn at any time to a verified US bank account. It’s that easy.

PayPal, Google Wallet, and Amazon Payments let you do something similar to this. Why is Meritora better?

What’s So Special About Meritora?

Meritora’s major innovation is the technology on which it is built: PaySwarm, the world’s first open standard for universal payments on the Web. The problem with most popular solutions for online payment on the Web is that that they’re all proprietary. You can’t just go to a website, click Buy, and have your browser handle the payment details for you. There are really two main choices for collecting money on the Web today: proprietary “old money” payments or proprietary online payments.

Proprietary “old money” payments consist of credit card, money order, eCheck, or similar forms of payment where you submit your banking and address information to a website that may or may not be trustworthy. If that website is hacked or the company fails to protect your information, the entire balance of your bank account could be stolen. While banks can often reverse charges like this, it’s up to you to alert the bank to do so. This sort of theft can be especially difficult to catch because it is often disguised as bank or credit card fees and happens months after your information is stolen. Additionally, if you’re not using a credit card, payments via eCheck or online money order are particularly slow, usually taking more than a week to go through. Lastly, no secure financial system should require you to give someone access to all of your money when you only want to pay them some of your money. Telling someone your bank account or credit card number is like handing them your wallet, closing your eyes, and asking them nicely to only take one dollar.

Proprietary online payments are better. They’re instantaneous and more secure than using credit cards or bank payments. However, they have an important drawback: if your vendor is using a particular payment provider, you must use that that provider. On the other hand, this is not a concern when using a credit card. Vendors don’t care who your bank is and you don’t care who the vendor’s bank is. The money just flows where it needs to.

Meritora combines the best of both worlds. It’s just as secure, if not more so, than many of the proprietary online payment options. It also doesn’t matter if the buyer and the vendor use two different payment providers. Meritora makes it so that buying great content and funding big ideas is accessible to all in a way that is fast, secure, affordable, and built into the core of the Web. The key enabling technology is the PaySwarm standard, which ensures that anyone can implement the financial protocol and interact with the network without having to ask permission.

What’s Next on the Roadmap?

As mentioned previously, this article is a PaySwarm-enabled article. You’ve read the first half of it. Now you can pay 1¢ to see what’s next for Meritora. Don’t worry, we’ll give you the penny! In the “paid content” portion of this article, I’ll cover the next set of features on Meritora’s roadmap and what those features will allow people on the Web to do. If you wish, you can bypass the payment, but you will miss your chance to see Meritora in action!

First, join Meritora; it only takes a few minutes. Once you’re at your Dashboard, go to Accounts->Action->Redeem Promo Code [screenshot]. Use the ONEPENNY promo code to get a penny to buy this article. Then click on the green “Access” button below to try it out. You can also choose to skip ahead and just go straight to the paid content.

View the full article for $ 0.01 View offer details
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    10 thoughts on “Meritora Launches

    1. Andreas Kuckartz

      I do not see Accounts->Action and Accounts->Action->Redeem Promo Code on my dashboard.

        1. Andreas Kuckartz

          Thanks, sometimes I seem to be blind…

          I now have one penny in my account and wait for spend it for something offered by someone outside meritora :-)

    2. Steven Rowat

      Hi Manu,

      Nice to see it get this far, and overall it worked for me. I had three (minor) issues that you might want to adjust:

      1. Addresses usually have two lines, you gave us only one, so perhaps that’s why mine didn’t validate. (Or perhaps because it was Canadian; but either way, I think you ought to give us two lines for address).

      2. When I clicked on the Privacy link to read your policy, when I came back my registration information had been stripped out of the form and I had to enter it all again. Irritating. Workaround: I made the privacy link open in a new tab. But there was no warning in advance that I’d have to do this.

      3. When I paid for my second page of the article, my browser didn’t send me to bottom half of the page (where it says “Congratulations!”) — instead, it put me at the top of the page again. So at first I thought the process had failed and I was only getting page 1 over again.


      1. Manu Sporny Post author

        Steven – great and thanks for the feedback.

        re #1: It’s probably because the address was a Canadian address and the address database we’re using (via Yahoo, I believe) doesn’t validate some Canadian addresses. We’re trying to find a better solution, but as you discovered, if we can’t validate your address, you can still use the service.

        re #2: Good point, we’ll see if we can force the browser to open the link in a new tab/window.

        re #3: Also a good point, we’ll try to force the page to auto-navigate to the purchased content in the next release.

    3. louise curl-adams

      I have a life-long difficulty completing forms and questionnaires.
      I slogged through your form and lived to tell the tale – I completed it!
      A miracle!
      Bravo! You addressed the needs of those (me) who experience only the other side of their brain function — period.
      Thank you.
      LOUISE … and I love you!

      1. Manu Sporny Post author

        Hi aunt Louise, :)

        So, glad it worked for you! So happy that you checked it out :) . Much love to you, uncle P. and the rest of the gang. Hope to see you in the next couple of months. :)

    4. patcon

      Here from the mozPay blog post :) It’s a really cool service and the UX is great, but just wanted to let me know that the password validation doesn’t work with lastpass — it tell me I need to enter a password even when lastpass has already filled it in :)


      1. Manu Sporny Post author

        Thanks for the bug report patcon, we’ve had this report by several people now that have some sort of auto-fill feature for form input in their browser. We put in a fix a day ago that solves some auto-fillers, but not lastpass. The problem has to do with the form auto-filler, lastpass doesn’t fire an event to tell the page that input has occurred. The browser doesn’t fire an event either, we’ve logged this as an issue and are trying to find a good solution to the problem. For the time being, you can click on the password field, press space, then backspace – that will fire the necessary event to tell the form that you’ve entered a password. Apologies for the inconvenience, we’re working on the problem.

    5. Pingback: Web Payments with PaySwarm: Identity (part 1 of 3) ✩ Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

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