Tokenisation – in the cloud and around the world

By Sandra Alzetta, Executive Director Digital Solutions • Visa

May 18, 2016

With the launch of Android Pay in the UK, Sandra Alzetta looks at the enabling payment technologies – the token service. And, its most recent innovation – device-based cloud.

It’s now a full year since the Visa Europe Payment Token Service (VEPTS) went live for our UK client banks, allowing them to start live proving ahead of Apple Pay’s debut in the UK in July 2015. One year later and we’ve made tremendous progress. Issuers representing 95% of Visa’s volume in the UK now use VEPTS to make Visa with Apple Pay available to their consumers. And, since the initial launch, it’s been fascinating to see the emerging behaviours of cardholders as they encounter this new way to pay with their digitised Visa cards. The vast majority of the face-to-face payments are, of course, domestic. But it’s also clear that our token users have the confidence to make full use of Visa’s growing contactless acceptance base globally when they are travelling.

Tokenisation – in the cloud and around the world

To date, UK issued Visa payment tokens have been used to make contactless transactions in 57 different countries around the world, with Australia, Poland, Spain, Republic of Ireland and France at the top of the chart.

In April, we enhanced our token service to support tokenised cloud-based payments. That means VEPTS now enables our issuers to make tokenised payments available to their customers who use eligible Android OS devices. And we are thrilled that the launch of Visa with Android Pay in Europe is the first manifestation of this. In partnership with Google, we are offering a new type of token – device-based cloud – whereby the token sits on the device’s operating system for NFC payments and on the cloud for in-app purchases. That means that consumers using Visa with Android Pay will be able to enjoy the security and convenience of making payments quickly and easily whether they are tapping their device on a POS terminal or shopping on-line on their device.

Tokenisation enables Visa and our issuers to work with new partners. Together, this means exciting new products and cutting-edge innovation that provide the ability to distribute different tokens pointing to the same payment account to specific devices or merchants in an easy and secure manner. As payments increasingly move from plastic to digital, and new entrants join traditional stakeholders in payments, Visa’s mission is to ensure that every Internet-connected device, appliance or wearable, can become a secure place for commerce. We believe tokenisation will be a key component to this evolution. The launch, in partnership with Google, is an important step towards this goal.

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