Payment tokenisation service launched

London, 24 February 2015: Visa Europe today announces its plan to launch a tokenisation service customized for the needs of the European market. Tokenisation technology will be at the heart of new mobile payment solutions and has been hailed as one of the best data protection and fraud prevention methods available. The new service will be available for financial institutions from mid-April 2015.

Visa Europe has developed the service to meet an increasing demand from consumers to use their latest smartphones and wearable devices for payments. Working with Visa Europe, financial institutions will be able to respond to this rapidly changing environment, providing their customers with more convenient and secure payment methods in a cost-effective way.

The tokenisation service protects customer data, substituting the payment account information found on a plastic card with a series of numbers that can be used to authorise payment without exposing actual account details. When consumers use their mobile device to make a contactless payment in a store, a token is submitted, rather than their account details.

The service supports the continuing fight against fraud, allowing financial institutions to control the environments where the token can be used – for example, a token set up only for contactless payments cannot be used to make an on-line purchase. Additionally, if a mobile device is lost or stolen, a token can be easily and promptly disabled.

Sandra Alzetta, Executive Director, Core Products for Visa Europe commented: “This is an exciting time to be in the payment industry. We believe that 2015 will be the year that mobile payments will be in the hands of consumers across Europe. Tokenisation is one of the most important technologies to emerge in digital payments and has the potential to start a whole new chapter in the kinds of products that are developed. For that reason, we’ve designed this flexible and scalable service, enabling issuers, merchants and acquirers to provide consumers with the next generation of innovative payment methods – all with the high level of security they expect.”

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe is at the heart of the payments ecosystem providing the services and infrastructure to enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. Visa Europe is also the largest transaction processor in Europe, responsible for processing more than 16 billion transactions annually – at a rate of 1,622 transactions per second at peak times.

There are more than 500 million Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Total expenditure on Visa cards exceeds €2 trillion annually, with €1.5 trillion spent at point-of-sale.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments in more than 200 countries and territories.

For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com and @VisaEuropeNews

All usage of Visa cards are subject to the issuing bank’s terms and conditions. Charges may apply. By using a Visa card abroad you can see clearly any fees you may be being charged for using your card, unlike the hidden costs of getting cash at a bureau de change, which could vary based on the value of the currency you exchange.