Tokenisation to enable ubiquity of commerce devices

February 25, 2016 | Ryan Andrew

With the growing number of digital wallet services that rely on its technology, tokenisation has been a particular focus for the GSMA in recent months, and a central topic within the digital commerce industry. The ‘Tokenisation for Mobile Payments’ seminar at MWC 2016 – hosted on February 23rd and moderated by the GSMA’s Claire Maslen – featured a panel of industry experts: Thierry Millet of Orange, Christian von Hammel-Bonten of WireCard, and Sherri Haymond of MasterCard, who examined in depth how the technology is evolving payments for consumers and merchants alike.

WireCard’s Christian von Hammel-Bonten discussed mobile wallet solution, Orange Cash. After download of a free app, the solution enables Orange customers with NFC-enabled smartphones to conduct fast, convenient contactless payments at Visa terminals. After initial launch in selected French cities in 2014 was met with success, the solution is now available nationwide in France as of last October. Orange Cash was developed and managed in partnership with WireCard, a global leader in payment service provision whose technical expertise across numerous platforms make it an ideal partner for Operators deploying new payment technology. Providing unique insight into Operator perspective, Thierry Millet described the crucial role tokenisation has played in enabling Orange to embrace the growing contactless infrastructure and provide millions of its customers with secure, convenient mobile payment.

As emphasised throughout the seminar, central to tokenisation is its ground-breaking enhancement of data security, which experts asserted will significantly increase consumer confidence, helping the market to scale. Elimination of PAN (primary account number) exposure afforded by token use, von Hammel-Bonten explained, vastly reduces the likelihood of the theft of account information. In addition, where previously any security compromise would necessitate replacement of the PAN, use of the token means that the PAN remains in a secure ‘vault’, so in the event of any data compromise, users need only detach the token from the PAN.

MasterCard’s Sherri Haymond explored how tokenisation meets consumer demand for simple, convenient payment in an increasingly connected digital world. By enabling the development of solutions for commerce devices across a vast array of sectors with the knowledge that they will operate with the highest level of security, tokenisation will completely streamline user experience – key to its impact on digital payment. Haymond proceeded to explain MasterCard’s pioneering Commerce for Every Device program: in which MasterCard’s MDES (MasterCard Digital Enablement Service) platform harnesses tokenisation technology to bring contactless payment to countless devices across multiple scenarios.

Having set the standard for data security, tokenisation has already advanced mobile payment enormously, as highlighted by Millet. With digital and physical commerce continuing to converge, the impact of the token on the payment ecosystem can only increase exponentially. Indeed, as Claire Maslen declared, tokenisation is ‘delivering on all its promises’, and with continual innovation across the sector, its greatest transformations are undoubtedly still to come.

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