Introduction to Card Tokenisation

Tokenisation is a security technology which replaces the sensitive 16-digit permanent
account number (PAN) that is typically embossed on a physical card with a unique payment
token (a digital PAN or DPAN) that can be used in payments and prevents the need to
expose or store actual card details.

Tokenisation enables cardholders to access mobile wallet functionality — provided by
companies such as Apple and Android — which allows payments to be made in store from a
smart device such as a smartphone or tokenised device. Tokenisation also helps merchants
to improve the security of online payment transactions by replacing the sensitive PAN card
details with a token and storing this instead. The token can then be used for repeat or
recurring payments.

Both Mastercard and Visa offer a tokenisation service to card issuers. Mastercard offer the
Digital Enablement Service (MDES) and Visa offer the Visa Token Service (VTS). GPS supports both of these tokenisation services.

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Note

GPS refer to the Visa service as the Visa Digital Enablement Program (VDEP).


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