Visa begins tokenisation roll out

Otmane El Rhazi : Visa Token Service replaces sensitive payment account information found on plastic cards with a digital account number or ‘token’. Because tokens do not carry a consumer’s payment account details, such as the 16-digit account number, they can be safely stored by online merchants or on mobile devices to for e-commerce and mobile payments.

The release of the service has been given added urgency by a spate of successful hacks on merchant card data stores, such as the recent plundering of card account data at Home Depot and Target.

Visa Tokens will be made available to issuing financial institutions globally, starting with US banks next month, and followed by a phased roll-out overseas beginning in 2015. The technology has been designed to support payments with mobile devices using all major mobile platforms.

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