Visa's tokenization service opens to third parties

The Visa Token Service replaces traditional 16-digit account numbers with a randomly generated, one-time use code.

Visa is opening up its Visa Token Service (VTS) platform to third parties. The move will make the tokenization program available to a range of new partners including device manufacturers, issuers, IoT developers, wallet providers, merchants, and others to offer its digital payment service on any device.

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The effort is based on a new certification program centered around Visa Ready that will give technology companies access to Visa's network of tools and services, including VTS, as well as development and marketing support.

First introduced in 2014 around the launch of Apple Pay, the Visa Token Service is designed to support payments with mobile devices using all major mobile platforms. It replaces traditional 16-digit account numbers with a randomly generated, one-time use code to make both online and mobile payments more secure.

Visa previously secured deals with device manufacturers and technology companies to deploy Visa Token Service as part of their mobile payments systems. The payments giant also extended the service to its online payment service Visa Checkout, as well as to e-commerce platforms and online retailers.

With today's announcement, Visa says it hopes to use VTS to bring consistency around the tokens as envisioned in the EMVCo token standards. Visa also wants to expand the tokens market to other companies to develop new, secure payment services.

"Secure digital payments will take a huge leap forward with Visa's token service provider program, by accelerating tokenization throughout the industry," said Jim McCarthy, EVP of innovation and strategic partnerships for Visa. "By expanding tokenization and giving both issuers and token requestors choice, digital payment solutions will continue to grow and give consumers peace of mind when paying on any device."

Visa said Giesecke and Devrient, Gemalto, and Inside Secure are the initial partners participating in the token service provider program to offer new expanded access to VTS.

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