Internet Secure Payments Protocol (ispp)
Charter Status: Concluded January, 1997 Chair(s): Dave Crocker Amir Herzberg Description of Working Group: Draft Charter 11/1/95 mw The Internet is increasingly being used for the conduct of commerce, much of which requires special data structures and protocols for exchanges among commerce participants. Internet commerce is new. This working group represents an initial effort at Internet standards for payment transactions for retail commerce, allowing authentication of the agreement to pay by systems which holds accounts for the payer and payee, such as payment cards and related instruments. For concreteness, we use the terminology of the payment cards industry. The parties which participate in a card payment are the cardholder, merchant, acquirer and issuer, and in many cases, payment systems in which the acquirer and issuer participate. The main direct interactions at the time of purchase are between cardholder and merchant, merchant and acquirer, and acquirer and issuer. The focus of this working group will be on Internet-based protocols to support the cardholder/merchant and merchant/acquirer interactions. Non-cryptographic security mechanisms, such as e-mail callback loop, may be used, when appropriate, to provide authentication. Strong cryptography may be used, where appropriate, to provide authentication and protect payment related details (only) from eavesdropping and/or tampering. However, in order to minimize export, import and use restrictions on the protocol, an objective of this group would be to limit or avoid the use of strong encryption, while keeping other goals such as migration from existing systems. We note that some designs have obtained permission to export from the U.S. government, and it is expected that similar permission to import, export and/or use such implementations could be obtained from other governments. The payment protocols will not make any assumptions regarding the security, reliability or temporal characteristics of the underlying media or protocols used to transmit the payment related information. Where appropriate, existing protocols and data-representations that meet the above criteria will be utilized and possibly extended . The payment protocol will provide and support linkages with other protocols related to electronic commerce, including for example price presentation, order confirmation and status, delivery notifications and the like. Depending on circumstances, one or more of the parties may interact with a payment server gateway which translates between the Internet specification to be defined here and whatever protocol is already in use locally. The use of payment server gateways is likely to be the most common means for acquirers to connect to the Internet and use this protocol, but other variations may occur as well. The working group shall first focus on four documents. The first document will be an architecture for an account-based payment protocol; the second document will describe the message formats; and the two additional documents will describe Web and e-mail based implementations, including any necessary extensions to existing protocols and standards (e.g. HTML). Consideration will also be given to debit cards and other related instruments, and to the embedding of the same concepts in other transports.