Tokenization: Securing the Digital Payments Ecosystem

| September 30, 2014 | Technology & Innovation

MC-CARD-EDIT02Payments across the globe are evolving in ways that are blurring the line between how consumers conduct transactions at brick-and-mortar retailers and in the online merchant community.

Mobile payments are a primary contributor to this evolution as well as the progressive convergence between the physical and digital worlds. In fact, this convergence has the potential to alter the way that consumers shop at physical and virtual merchant locations, as the nature of the interaction moves away from traditional plastic cards to payments-enabled Internet-connected devices and other forms of digital payment.

Technological innovation at MasterCard is driving solutions that promise to enable digital payments across a wide spectrum of transaction types, including payments initiated through digital wallets and near-field communication (NFC)-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and “in-app” payments. The drive behind digital payments is not only fueled by convenience, but also by consumers’ desire for enhanced protection of their payment information. Among the solutions are payment “tokens” that are designed to replace a card’s primary account number (PAN) with a surrogate value. This substitution provides an additional layer of security that eliminates the need for merchants, digital wallet operators (DWOs), and other transaction participants to store account numbers.

Collaborative Development of the Payment Tokenization Specification

In October 2013, MasterCard and the other payment brands introduced a proposed framework for a new global specification for enhancing the security of digital payments using payment tokens. READ MORE


  • All views expressed on the published articles at are those of each of the authors, and do not in any way represent the opinions of Mastercard International Incorporated or any of its affiliates (“Mastercard”). Mastercard is not responsible of the information contained in these articles.