Visa Launches Token Service for Safer Online, Mobile Transactions (Sept. 11, 2014)
Visa Inc. has launched Visa Token Service to provide more security for e-commerce transactions, including online and mobile, by replacing payment account information with a digital account number, or token, which can be stored safely by online merchants or on mobile devices. Visa will begin rolling out the service to U.S. financial institutions next month, and a global rollout will begin in 2015, the payments network said this week. Additional benefits of the service include facilitating transactions without sharing consumers’ personal account information; adding another layer of security by limiting tokens to specific merchants, mobile devices or types of purchases; instantly reissuing tokens linked to lost/stolen mobile devices without changing account numbers or reissuing plastic cards; and processing and routing by merchants, acquirers and issuers, similar to traditional card payments.
Last month, U.S. merchant groups, including the National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores and National Restaurant Association, banded together calling for open standards for tokenized payments, to be managed by an independent body. The major payments networks, however, have taken the lead in standardizing the technology. In March, EMVCo—a partnership between American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa—released its own tokenization standards and invited payments industry participants to provide feedback.
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