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I just learned about the concept of "universal shopping carts" but I am looking for something simpler: a universal shopping data account?

What I mean is this: users would have an account where they enter their contact information, delivery address information and preferred payment methods once, and then they would be able to allow merchants to take data from that account, so that entering the same information into various online shops would not be necessary.

Think of it like the already existing Linkedin sign-up: you can sign up to various sites with your Linkedin account; a site pulls the personal Linkedin data, so that you do not have to enter it manually. It is quite popular with various recruitment/ job-hunt apps.

Is there something like this for e-commerce?

(At this point I would just like to discover if something like this exists at all; price/ platform compatibility/ etc are not of concern.)

  • You've tagged this web-apps and api – but write "platform/compatibility etc are not of concern". So how is this asking for software? Aren't you rather asking for a service offering you some universal account (as the title also suggests)? I'm not sure if this is a good fit for SR (note that the S in SR stands for Software, not for Service ;). – Izzy Aug 12 '16 at 9:41
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    I tagged it with "web-apps" and "api", because I suppose that people knowledgable in that area are likely to have the answer. Therefore it doesn't matter if "platform/compatibility, etc" are of concern or not. As for the SR - well, I am probably asking for SaaS. It is both software and service :) Where is the exact boundary between software and service nowadays? We are not the nineties, it's all ambivalent now. We have apps, cloud, etc... By your logic we should exclude AutoCAD from SE, because it is already a service, as well :) – drabsv Aug 12 '16 at 10:05
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If the merchant supports it PayPal gives exactly what you are looking for with the advantage that the payment method is not shared with anybody - much safer.

  • You shop for something
  • Click on Pay with PayPal
  • PayPal gets a notification that the merchant is asking you for the sum
  • You input to PayPal your password
  • PayPal tells the merchant that you have paid, your contact & shipping details
  • PayPal takes the money from you and they pay the merchant
  • The merchant never gets to see your payment method(s)
  • If something goes wrong PayPal gives you your money back and they deal with the merchant
  • If you change address, etc., you only need to update the one site.
  • Multiple platforms are supported
  • A growing number of merchants are supporting payment this way.
  • Thanks, this is a workaround, even though not the spot-on solution - it limits the freedom of choice for the consumer. S/he might want to use other payment method and save filling out forms at the same time. – drabsv Aug 12 '16 at 10:07
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    Your requested solution would allow 3rd party access to payment details which is less secure. – Steve Barnes Aug 13 '16 at 6:13
  • Not really - I mentioned "delivery address information and preferred payment methods". Preferred payment method is whether you prefer to pay by Paypal or by Skrill or by bank transfer, etc; it does not include the payment details themselves. – drabsv Aug 13 '16 at 11:09

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