The payments industry has a long history of collaborating to develop the necessary standards that allow merchants and financial institutions to offer a consistent and secure payment experience, while providing consumers the confidence to shop anywhere, anytime.

“This continued transition from plastic cards to digital is all about providing consumers with the ability to easily and safely make a purchase. They would no longer need to store their actual card account number when shopping online or with a smart device; the token would serve as that stand-in,” said Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer, MasterCard. “This proposed global standard builds on our track record of working across the industry to deliver safe and secure payment products. What we're introducing today is comparable to how the industry came together to develop and use the magnetic stripe, EMV and NFC on a global scale.”

“By working together to form a common global standard for online and mobile shopping, we will be able to provide enhanced security, interoperability and consistency for all participants within the digital payments ecosystem,” said Mike Matan, Head of Global Network Business, American Express. “In addition, we will be able to drive the rapid adoption and expansion of digital payments, delivering innovative new products and services that will allow consumers to realize the full potential of digital commerce in today’s world.”

How a Token Standard Could Work

Once a standard is agreed to and implemented, issuers, merchants or digital wallet providers would be able to request a token so that when an account holder initiates an online or mobile transaction, the token – and not the traditional card account number – would be used to process, authorize, clear and settle the transaction in the same way traditional card payments are processed today. Tokens can be restricted in how they are used with a specific merchant, device, transaction or category of transactions.

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