CARD TOKENISATION (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     18th November 2023        

Context: Enhanced security and a reduced risk of data breach have emerged as top benefits of Card on File (CoF) tokenisation for customers and the industry respectively in the backdrop of India issuing over 560 million tokens over the past year, according to a Visa report.

Card Tokenization

  • About: Card tokenization is a simple process of anonymizing sensitive information on a recipient’s card (like the card number, expiration date, and security code) with a personalised and unique identifier, or a token, which acts as a stand-in for the actual card data and can be used for all transactions.
  • Working: Tokenization begins when consumers enter their card information on a website or mobile application and agree to store their card details by giving explicit consent to the merchant.

o Post-consent, instead of retaining the real card information, the payment gateway or the merchant generates a token through card networks, issuer banks, or specialised tokenization platforms.

o This tokenization technology generates a unique token associated with the card details and every merchant and instantly returns it to the merchant. From then on, the merchant only uses the token, keeping sensitive information out of their systems.

  • Advantages of tokenization:

o Security: Tokenization enhances security by replacing sensitive data with unique tokens, reducing the risk of data breaches.

o Compliance: Helps organizations comply with data protection regulations by minimizing the storage and handling of sensitive information.

o Fraud Prevention: Reduces the risk of fraud as tokenized data is meaningless without the corresponding tokenization system.

o Streamlined Transactions: Improves transaction efficiency by using lightweight tokens instead of bulky sensitive data.

o Enhanced Privacy: Protects customer privacy by minimizing the exposure of personal information during transactions.

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