The payment ecosystem is continually evolving and at the forefront of this current evolution is Network Tokenisation – an important enhancement to the tokenisation service used by many payments providers today.
For those unfamiliar with tokenisation, it’s a process whereby an alias value is assigned to a cardholder’s regular 16-digit primary account number (PAN) and stored in a database known as a ‘token vault’. When a transaction is processed, the alias is sent by the acquirer, and then replaced by the PAN before being sent to the Issuer. This ensures payment information is securely stored and transmission of those details are limited. Network tokenisation further increases the security provided by standard tokenisation; in that it expands the interoperability of the tokenisation process to all participants in the payment ecosystem.
Network Tokenisation is not just an optional add-on, secure functionality, but an exciting foundational technology to further enable simple and secure digital commerce, that provides enhanced security, a reduction in declined payments, and seamless buying experiences for the new world of commerce.
The tokenisation process has expanded to include additional participants in the payment ecosystem. Each ‘token requestor’, such as a gateway or merchant, is issued a unique token, which can only be used by that merchant, device, channel or transaction type. The result of this is that each PAN card ends up with multiple tokens assigned to it, and each token has a unique combination between two participants. This means that in the event of a data breach, fraudulent transactions are limited to those originated by the parties who were assigned the token, and other tokens linked to the PAN will continue to work as normal.
Reducing Declined Payments
The interoperability of Network Tokenisation is not limited to security benefits. Account updates are now performed in real-time between each party. Let’s take the example of the fraudulent transaction process. One suspect transaction can result in the card being suspended for all use until a replacement is sent to the customer. Network Tokenisation’s segregated security mentioned above ensures that where fraud occurs on a specific token, that designated token can be halted/suspended while the fraud investigation takes place. This ensures no interruption to the customer for any other of their day-to-day, standard transaction activity, but also their subscription or card-on-file payments setup with all other merchants.
The real-time account update information also offers the ability to provide further updates when card information is changed. Take the example of a re-issued card with a new expiry date. All the tokens are automatically updated with the new credentials. This will result in common declined transaction scenarios faced by subscription merchants now being addressable with the advanced lifecycle management that network tokenisation offers. Customers will no longer need to head to their subscription service channels and spend time updating expiry dates, CVV/CVC and other account values in the event of a lifecycle change to their account.
Consider this from your own, personal point of view, we’ve all been through the process of trawling websites and hitting the phone to ensure ongoing subscriptions are up-to-date and not interrupted when we’ve had a new or replacement card issued. There’s nothing quite like being caught without your streaming services or having an interruption to your insurance. Network Tokenisation thankfully makes that task a thing of the past with the real-time updates to all card details.
This enhanced customer experience also offers merchants an average authorisation uplift of 2.2% (Source: VisaNet), addresses up to 28.8% of declines (Source: Visa) linked to lifecycle management, and reduces operational time spent in following up interrupted subscription payments.
Network Tokenisation and the Future of Your Business
As mentioned earlier, Network Tokenisation is a foundational technology that will offer further customer experiences. Early examples of this include presentation of the fully branded version of the customer’s card during the checkout experience. This creates a familiarity for the customer that is a step ahead of the current obfuscation of card number, and as outlined in relation to account updates, this artwork can also be updated in real-time, ensuring the experience is as recent as a replacement card with new artwork.