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What is Payment Tokenisation?

By Inma Anglada, Head of Market Development • Visa Europe

August 10, 2016

What does it do?

Visa’s Tokenisation technology is enabling Europe's payments industry to create a new generation of digital payment experiences while protecting consumers’ sensitive information from fraud. With consumers across Europe now increasingly expecting seamless payment through their mobile’s and other connected devices, Visa’s Payment Tokenisation Service provides a unified platform to help card issuers and other industry participants enable rich new digital payment experiences across multiple environments.

Why is it important for payments and what value does it have?

Tokenisation is one of the key underlying technologies enabling the transformation we are seeing worldwide in mobile, wearable and online payment. Visa’s Payment Token Service is a unique set of tools which allow issuers to connect to multiple token requestors such as wallet providers and merchants, and open up a range of exciting new payment experiences addressing all manner of mobile and connected devices.

Tokens look like (and are processed exactly) like a regular Visa card number (PAN),minimizing the integration effort and leveraging Visa’s existing acceptance infrastructure worldwide.

Through one single integration with Visa, banks can issue, disable and reactivate tokens in real time, manage digital card art and transaction risk, state selected domains for use of a token (by device, by merchant, by channel, etc.) and thereby develop multiple new opportunities to serve customers.

Although our initial deployments of tokenised payment focused on mobile payment services, the Visa Token Service is a live and rapidly evolving service with numerous new service and partner opportunities continuing to emerge across the globe. In Europe, the service is already enabling leading Visa clients to develop their own contactless payment apps, as well as participate in services such as Android Pay and Apple Pay.

And this is just the beginning – we are also expanding the service to allow retailers to develop streamlined payment experiences tokenising their Cards on File, tokenised payments are also rapidly expanding to the web browser through work.

What does it mean for the future?

Although at Visa Futures 16 we were only showing examples, Tokenisation is not just a new technical development, it is intended as a future-proof solution to provisioning and managing secure digital payment credentials across a multitude of different digital payment options. The beauty of tokenisation is that it builds on existing infrastructure to provide secure and convenient payments in the exciting new world of connected commerce. The limit is your imagination.

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