Visa launches India’s 1st card ‘token’ service for online platforms

Visa's card tokenisation service is currently available with ecommerce platforms such as Grofers, Bigbasket and MakeMyTrip.

New Delhi: Digital payments firm Visa on Wednesday launched Card-on-File (CoF) tokenization services in India in line with the recently issued guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to secure customers’ financial data.

Visa’s card tokenisation service is currently available with ecommerce platforms such as Grofers, Bigbasket and MakeMyTrip.

“Having launched CoF tokenization services in over 130 countries globally, we are confident of the technology’s ability to build a safe, secure and seamless environment for digital payments,” TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa, said in a statement.

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Tokenisation is the process of replacing credit or debit card details with a unique set of characters or a ‘token’ that enables payments to be processed without exposing any sensitive account details that could potentially breach security and privacy of the consumers.

The tokenisation system generates 16 random characters, called as ‘token’, to replace the original credit card number while online shopping.

The tokenisation system returns the 16-digit random characters to the e-commerce site to replace the customer’s credit card number in the system.

Card-on-File (CoF) tokenisation provides two key benefits — consumer and ecosystem security and an enhanced checkout experience.

The RBI’s recent card tokenisation guidelines mandate replacing the actual card data with encrypted digital tokens, which are then used to facilitate and authenticate transactions.

This devaluation of sensitive card details alleviates risk and reduces vulnerability of sensitive data, as only tokens are present in transit, across the ‘in-rest’ and ‘in-use’ phases.

These new guidelines are expected to enhance consumer trust in ecommerce payments, ensure seamless transaction experience as well allow card issuers the comfort of authorizing a higher number of transactions.

The RBI’s consent for card-on-file tokenisation by card networks for transactions on mobile phones, tablets, laptops/desktops, wearables, IoT devices etc. is aimed at making card-based digital payments more secure and frictionless.

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