Last updated: 18.11.15

Online retailers plan to make internet shopping easier

In a world where more people are turning online to do their shopping, a new group of internet and financial firms have announced plans to work towards a global web payments standard that will make online check-outs a much simpler process.The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, hopes to follow in the success it had standardising HTML code for website design by streamlining online check-outs to help customers recognise and easily use payment platforms across all retailers, websites and devices.This will aim to reduce the "abandoned cart" - when shoppers fill their online baskets, but choose to leave the site before completing the transaction because they are faced with a screen that asks them to either create an account or log-in.Speaking about the latest move, Nick Telford-Reed - head of technology innovation at Worldpay, who will co-chair the W3C’s new web payments working group - said: "It’s trying to make the customer experience more consistent. For the best chance of success, we will work with emerging payments such as the mobile payments being used in Africa and Bitcoin."A number of online giants are financially backing the move, including Google and PayPal.By 2018, online shopping is forecast to generate £645 billion in sales. W3C hopes that by setting a standard method of executing online transactions, including confirmation messages to improve customer reassurance and security, this prediction will be met.The biggest challenge will be to determine how payment requests are identified and passed from customers to merchants and banks. W3C aims to have a draft plan in place late next year.Virtual College is one of the leading providers of e-learning in the UK. We have partnered with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to offer TradeSimple - a range of online training resources suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes covering topics including fair trading, product safety and age-restricted goods. For more information, please visit: