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Not a token gesture

By Sandra Alzetta, Executive Director Core Products • Visa Europe

February 22, 2016

This year’s Mobile World Congress again featured the world’s leading handset manufacturers, software developers and service providers. With hundreds of companies displaying products, visitors were amongst the first to see new devices and services that will change the way we’re entertained, manage our daily routines and even the way we interact with our car and home.

Payments were one of the main topics discussed – with Visa Europe helping to lead the conversation.

The financial service industry is now intrinsically linked to the types of innovation that will be demonstrated during the four days of the congress. Fintech companies across the globe are taking advantage of the myriad new features and technologies, integrating payment into new places, making the act of buying or moving money faster and smarter than ever. In the past 12 months alone, we have seen developments such as the launch of Apple Pay in the UK as well as the arrival of Android Pay and Samsung Pay in the USA. We’ve also seen the birth of a new era of wearable payments, with contactless payment functionality added to smartwatches, wristbands and even clothing.

By expanding our Visa Europe Payment Tokenisation Service (VEPTS),we are now enabling banks, technology companies and other players in the evolving payments landscape to offer compelling, friction free payment experiences across mobile devices – whether the token is stored on the device or in the cloud. In the coming months, the service will continue to expand across a growing number of new services such as internet browser-based wallets and retailer-specific checkout services including popular card on file solutions as favoured by many online retailers.

VEPTS makes the mass market storage and management of tokens representing payment credentials both easy and secure. In doing this, it is helping the industry establish a range of next generation digital payment solutions that meet the consumer need for fast, easy and convenient payment methods regardless of device or service used.

What does this development actually mean in terms of its impact?

Practically, by expanding the reach of VEPTS to support new use cases, we are accelerating the payment innovation opportunities available for each of the stakeholders involved.

Through a single integration with our token service, banks are able to create or participate in a number of existing and future payment propositions accessing a range of new digital partners. And, likewise, the new partners only need one connection into VEPTS to access all the participating banks. This creates an environment where the focus can be on the optimal cardholder experience.

Retailers will also stand to benefit when digital wallets, such as Visa Checkout, are tokenised, further reducing friction when it comes to payment. With the technology in place, retailers will be able to spend their time focusing on a richer, deeper shopping experience for the consumer rather than on the back end payment solution.

Similarly, the ability to tokenise card on file data will mean that retailers will have the option to store de-sensitised payment credentials within their online services as tokens which will be restricted to their environment only.

*NOTE: Check out this great review of our tokenisation panel, from our co-hosts Kaspersky, on cybersecurity and how tokenisation is helping make payments safer: Kaspersky tokenisation blog piece

In summary

Tokenisation is the enablement technology the payments industry is focussed on. With tokenisation being described as the “the best currently available solution to significantly increase the security around payment card data”, our expansion of VEPTS will make payment easier and more secure, generating increased user confidence and faster up take of new payment technologies.

Only time will tell where payment innovators will go next in terms of design and functionality – but it’s a fair bet that we’ll see new innovations stemming directly from our work in this area as connected devices, including cars and homes, continue to evolve.

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