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Web Monetization flow

Web Monetization (WM) relies on Open Payments (OP) and OP-enabled accounts to coordinate payments.

The WM agent Code in a web browser, such as an extension, that discovers web monetized pages, exposes the Web Monetization API, and communicates with the Open Payments APIs first issues a series of API calls to the receiving account’s wallet address A URL that identifies an Open Payments account , then to the sending account’s wallet address, to obtain the necessary authorization and instructions for sending a payment.

Sequence diagram

      box aliceblue WM provider
      participant OPS as Open Payments
sending account end participant WMA as WM agent participant page as Web page box aliceblue WM receiver participant OPR as Open Payments
receiving account participant AS as Auth server end note over AS,OPR: The auth server can be
located outside of the
WM receiver's domain WMA->>page: Detects monetization element,
extracts wallet address WMA->>OPR: Requests the public info for the wallet address OPR->>WMA: Returns info, including auth server URL WMA->>AS: Requests access rights AS->>WMA: Returns access token WMA->>OPR: Requests creation of an incoming payment resource OPR->>WMA: Responds with unique payment details for addressing the payment to the account WMA->>+OPS: Requests an outgoing payment be
created against the sending account note left of OPS: Connection persists until
request moves from 'pending'
state to 'sending' state OPS->>-WMA: Responds with details about the
'receive', 'send', and 'sent' amounts WMA->>WMA: Fires monetization event note over OPS,OPR: Payment processing and settlement occurs between the WM provider and WM receiver, outside of the WM flow

Web Monetization flow example

This section provides an example of the API calls that occur when a web monetized user visits a web monetized site.

There’s a few points to keep in mind as you review the example.

  • It’s up to the site visitor, not the web monetized site, to decide how often and how much to pay, as well as the currency in which to send a payment.
  • While Web Monetization and Open Payments work together to coordinate payments, neither moves money. Payment processing and settlement must occur between the sending and receiving accounts over a common payment rail.


Alice adds the monetization <link> element to her website. Included within the <link> is her wallet address, https://wallet.example/alice, assigned to her by her WM receiver An entity that provides an Open Payments-enabled account into which payments can be received .

Bob signs up with a WM provider An entity that provides a funded Open Payments-enabled account from which payments can be sent who supplies him with a funded sending account. The sending account’s wallet address is https://anotherwallet.example/bob. After installing a WM agent in his browser and linking the WM agent to his WM provider, his WM agent now has permission to request payments be sent from his account.

1 - Check for Web Monetization

As Bob browses Alice’s site, his WM agent detects a monetization <link> element.

<link rel="monetization" href="https://wallet.example/alice" />

2 - Send request to wallet address (receiving account)

The WM agent issues a request to Alice’s wallet address to discover the Open Payments service endpoint.


GET /alice HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json
Host: wallet.example

3 - Send grant request to WM receiver’s auth server

The WM agent issues a request to the WM receiver’s grant request endpoint (authorization server) to get an access token.

In this example, the WM agent requests access to create and read incoming payments (i.e., payments coming in to Alice’s WM receiver).


POST /auth/ HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json
Content-Type: application/json
Host: wallet.example
Content-Length: 218

4 - Send incoming payment request to wallet address (receiving account)

The WM agent creates an incoming payment for the session (e.g., the open browser tab) by issuing an incoming payment request to Alice’s wallet address. The request uses details obtained from the previous API calls.


POST /alice/incoming-payments HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json
Content-Type: application/json
Host: wallet.example

5 - Send outgoing payment request to wallet address (sending account)

The WM agent uses the details obtained thus far to create an outgoing payment request against Bob’s account (via his wallet address). Note that this is just a request to send a payment. The payment itself has not been sent and the request is in a pending state.


POST /bob/outgoing-payment HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json
Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: {{ outgoingPaymentGrant.accessToken.value }}
Host: anotherwallet.example