The long-awaited first version of the EMV Payment Tokenization Specification is now available from EMVCo. The report describes how MasterCard, Discover, JCB, Visa, American Express, and UnionPay transactions will safely occur via mobile phone. The framework attempts to lay rest on some of the security and technological concerns that many have about consumer information transferring between their mobile devices and merchant terminals.
To begin, the report delves into how tokenization works, the types of organizations that need to buy in on mobile payments in order for tokenization to be successful, and the benefits of a unified approach. Taking up a significant portion of the framework is the role of specification in convincing important players that a payment token is indeed a viable substitute for a conventional card account number. Most importantly, the framework discusses how consumer data security will be improved by limiting tokenization to specific environments.
The report also addresses the concerns of banks and merchants who may feel that tokenization will infringe on their territory, as it assures all entities involved that tokenization will maintain compatibility with the current infrastructure. It will also be complimentary to EMV chip specifications.
At the heart of the specifications is the message of the need for a consistent approach to identify and authenticate payment token requests in a fast and safe manner. This will require massive cooperation between all industry members who must agree on acceptable channel controls. Consistency, the report insists, is the key to preventing data breaches. The end goal for the specifications is a globally aligned technical framework for tokenization.
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