Internet Engineering Task Force F. Dold
Internet-Draft INRIA
Intended status: Informational C. Grothoff
Expires: October 9, 2018 BFH
April 7, 2018

The 'payto' URI scheme for payments


This document defines the 'payto' Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme for specifying payments.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This document defines the 'payto' Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) [RFC3986] scheme for specifying payments. In its simplest form, a 'payto' URL identifies a payment method and optionally an account identifier. Additional parameters for a payment, such as an amount or a payment reference, can be provided.

2. Syntax of a 'payto' URL

This document uses the Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF) of [RFC5234].

  payto-URI = "payto" "://" authority path-abempty [ "?" opts ]
  opts = opt *( "&" opt )
  opt = (generic-opt / authority-specific-opt) "=" *( pchar )
  generic-opt = "amount" / "creditor-name" / "debitor-name" /
                "message" / "instruction"
  authority = <authority, see [RFC3986], Section 3.2>
  path-abempty = <path-abempty, see [RFC3986], Section 3.3>
  pchar = <pchar, see [RFC3986], Appendix A.>


3. Semantics

The authority component of a payment URI identifies the payment method. The payment methods are defined in the Payto Payment Method Registry, see Section 9. The path component of the URI identifies the target account for a payment as interpreted by the respective payment method. The query component of the URI can provide additional parameters for a payment. Every payment method SHOULD accept the options defined in generic-opt. The default operation of applications that invoke a URI with the payto scheme SHOULD be to launch an application (if available) associated with the payment method that can initiate a payment. Details of the payment MUST be taken from the path and options given in the URI. The user SHOULD be allowed to modify these details before confirming a payment.

4. Examples


  INVALID (authority missing):  payto:sepa/12345


5. Generic Options

Applications MUST accept URIs with options in any order. The "amount" option MUST only occur at most once. Other options MAY be allowed multiple times, with further restrictions depending on the payment method. The following options SHOULD be understood by every payment method.

  amount = [ currency ":" ] unit [ "." fraction ]
  currency = 1*ALPHA
  unit = 1*(DIGIT / ",")
  fraction = 1*(DIGIT / ",")

amount: The amount to transfer, including currency information if applicable. The format MUST be:

creditor-name: Name of the entity that is credited (receives the payment).

debitor-name: Name of the entity that is debited (makes the payment).

message: A short message to identify the purpose of the payment, which MAY be subject to lossy conversions (for example, due to character set encoding limitations).

instruction: A short message giving instructions to the recipient, which MUST NOT be subject to lossy conversions. Character set limitations allowed for such instructions depend on the payment method.

6. Encoding

Various payment systems use restricted character sets. An application that processes 'payto' URIs MUST convert characters that are not allowed by the respective payment systems into allowable character using either an encoding or a replacement table. This conversion process MAY be lossy, except for the instruction field.

7. Security Considerations

Applications handling the payto URI scheme MUST NOT initiate any transactions without prior review and confirmation from the user.

8. IANA Considerations

8.1. URI Scheme Registration

The "payto" URI scheme is to be registered in the "Permanent URI Schemes" registry.

9. Payto Payment Method Registry

This document defines a registry for payment methods. The name of the registry is "Payto Payment Method Registry".

The registry shall record for each entry: [RFC5226].

The registration policy for this registry is "First Come First Served", as described in

The registry is initially populated with the following entries:

Name Description Contact> References
ach Automated Clearing House. The path is a bank account number. N/A [NACHA]
sepa Single European Payment Area. The path is an IBAN. N/A [ISO20022]
upi Unified Payment Interface. The path is an account alias. N/A [UPILinking]
bitcoin Bitcoin protocol. The path is a "bitcoinaddress" as per [BIP0021]. N/A [BIP0021]

10. References

10.1. Normative References

[ISO20022] International Organization for Standardization, "ISO 20022 Financial Services - Universal financial industry message scheme", May 2013.
[NACHA] NACHA, "NACHA Operating Rules & Guidelines", January 2017.
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and L. Masinter, "Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66, RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005.
[RFC5226] Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", RFC 5226, DOI 10.17487/RFC5226, May 2008.
[RFC5234] Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008.

10.2. Informational References

[BIP0021] Schneider, N. and M. Corallo, "Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 21", January 2012.
[UPILinking] National Payment Corporation of India, "Unified Payment Interface - Common URL Specifications For Deep Linking And Proximity Integration", May 2016.

Authors' Addresses

Florian Dold INRIA Équipe TAMIS INRIA Rennes Bretagne Atlantique 263 avenue du Général Leclerc Campus Universitaire de Beaulieu Rennes, Bretagne F-35042 FR EMail:
Christian Grothoff BFH Höheweg 80 Biel/Bienne, CH-2501 CH EMail: