Visa Launches Token Service to Accelerate Mobile Payments

visa contactlessVisa has launched an innovative technology aimed at providing a secure environment to drive innovation in online and mobile commerce.

The service, called Visa Token Service, replaces sensitive payment account information found on traditional credit and debit cards with a digital account number, or token. Because these tokens do not carry a consumers payment account details, they can be safely stored on mobile devices or by online merchants to facilitate mobile payments and eCommerce transactions.

Beginning with US financial institutions next month, Visa plans to roll out the service globally over the next 12 months, having tested the technology over the past year. It has worked with numerous launch partners, including financial institutions, merchants and processors, to ensure the ecosystem was secure and fit for market.

“When you make the payment environment safer, you open up a world of possibilities where commerce can take place in different forms and consumers can shop anywhere, on any device, with confidence,” said Charlie Scharf, CEO of Visa. “Visa Token Service is yet another example of where we have opened up our network to create meaningful solutions in the form of new standards, tools and services that can enable digital payment experiences that are both engaging and secure.”

Visa, along with American Express and MasterCard, was a launch partner for Apples mobile payment service, Apple Pay, which was unveiled along with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch last week.