Visa Europe expands tokenisation service

An expansion of the Visa Europe Payments Tokenisation Service (VEPTS) has been announced this week, which the card company predicts will open up multiple mobile payment opportunities for consumers.

The move, which was announced on Tuesday, is expected to enable financial institutions and others to integrate tokenisation into services where payment credentials are stored in the cloud such as banks' own mobile payment apps, as well as a variety of wearable and other connected devices.

VEPTS amendments will also allow for organisations to give the tokenisation treatment to internet browser-based wallets and retailer-specific checkout offerings such as Visa Checkout, as well as to card-on-file payment options as commonly used by online retailers and merchants.

Visa says that VEPTS expansion enables more entities to operate in the payments ecosystem, from financial institutions to technology partners, all through one  single Visa platform. 

Sandra Alzetta, executive director of product enablement for Visa Europe, remarked: "People throughout Europe are encountering innovative new technologies that offer fast and frictionless ways to pay wherever, whenever and on whatever device they choose.

"By 2020, our projections are for one in five consumers to pay for items using their smartphone on a daily basis and for payments on mobile or tablet to account for more than 50% of Visa transactions."

Alzetta added: "Looking at contactless as an early indicator, where adoption has doubled and spend has trebled in the last year, we believe this projection could well be a conservative estimate.

"By expanding our service to make tokenisation available to our client banks through a number of new technology partners, consumers will have access to all manner of fantastic new payment experiences accessible through their mobile phones, tablets and all manner of other connected devices."

Tokenisation is viewed as one of the safest ways to keep card details secure, by substituting a series of numbers – also know as 'a token' – for the actual account information so that wherever token data is stored, the underlying card details remain unexposed. This is true regardless of how consumers make a payment.

When shoppers make a payment with a tokenised payment service, a token is submitted into the payment process, rather than the cardholder's account details.

Last October saw MasterCard announce that it was giving consumers more secure online or in-app shopping experiences across devices by integrating tokenisation into its MasterPass digital wallet.

The move leverages the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service, which was launched in 2013 and allows the payments company's customers to use their accounts in conjunction with an array of new digital platforms such as Apple Pay.

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Visa Europe