Credit card security and fraud protection may already be a focused-on issue, but it's set to change even more rapidly in the near future. 

Freezing one's credit score just became free in September, which means Americans will freeze their credit scores more often, and be more protected against fraud. But security is changing even more than some might think. 

Digital commerce is expected to grow hugely in the near future, a trend that credit card issuers are getting out in front of by creating the security tools to match those spending habits. E-commerce accounted for about 10% of all retail sales in the U.S., according to Statista, but is expected to reach 14% by 2021.

MasterCard Inc.  (MA) sees roughly 20% of its spending volumes coming from digital channels, as opposed to brick-and-mortar, but the rate of digital volume is expected to grow by around 20%, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse data. 

MasterCard Executive Vice President of Merchants and Acceptance Linda Kirkpatrick broke down how MasterCard is enhancing card security in light of the expected digital trend. 

"In the digital world, we have to make those transactions as safe and as secure as in the physical environment," Kirkpatrick said. MasterCard has launched tokenization. Basically, MasterCard takes a card holder's 16-digit card number and converts it into a token, which is a system that changes the coding behind the card number after every time the card is used online.

"So if a fraudster steals a card number and attempts to use it on another site, they can't because it renders that card number useless," Kirkpatrick said. 

"Tokenization is really a way to create the same level of safety and security in the digital space as we have in the physical space," she added. 

 

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