As per the latest reports from the industry, Apple Inc. – the Cupertino-based tech giant has introduced a Payment Request API for its much-touted Apple Pay payment system which also comes with Ripple’s Interledger extension. In the recent past, the company had announced to conduct the Apple Pay transactions on the web and thus the integration of this API could be done on its proprietary browser the Safari 11.1 on macOS and iOS 11.3.
With this announcement, Apple has floated the possibility that, in future, it could be using the Interledger technology that has been built by Ripple. Apple is today one of the biggest tech companies in the world with a wide range of products like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. The company has rolled-out the Apple Pay feature a few years back with the idea of allowing payments over the internet and with PoS devices. However, one of the major bottlenecks in the way of Apple is the lack of support for multiple payment methods that fail to get merchants on-board.
The Payment Request API helps to reduce the complexities by supporting multiple payment methods across different browsers via a Standard API. The Interledger Payment Method is one of the proposed methods of Payment Request API using which the merchants can request a payment such that it follows the Interledger standards.
Understanding the Interledger Payment Method
As the name suggests, the Interledger Protocol is an open-source protocol that allows sending of payments across multiple ledgers. The Interledger community of Github defines it as a “payment method for use, for instance, with the Payment Request API. With it, merchants can request a payment that follows the Interledger standards.”
The Interledger Protocol consists of a number of standards that can be applied to any method of making payments like using an address, two-factor authentification, or using signatures. One of the major issues with the existing payment networks is the problem of incompatibility among themselves. Interledger helps to overcome these issues as its open architecture and framework allow payment systems to interact and communicate with each other in spite of different values contained by them.
It also allows making payments between different digital assets while eliminating the risks of mediation errors.
Ripple is one such startup that helped to bridge the gap between the digital currency industry and financial institutions, which are currently believed to be arch rivals in the global financial space. Instead of locking horns, Ripple believes to work in coordination with central banks and other financial systems by improving the efficiency of the existing payments systems using the blockchain technology.
Note that Adrian Hope-Bailie – one of the editors of the Interledger Payment Method belongs to Ripple. But Apple which has introduced the Payment Request API has not explicitly mentioned Ripple or the Interledger technology is any case. Considering the relationship between Payment Request API and Interledger method, there can be a possible interconnection between the two.