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What is Tokenisation?


About Tokenisation

What is Tokenisation?

Tokenisation refers to the process of replacement of actual card details with a unique alternate code known as the 'token', which shall be unique for a combination of card, token requestor and identified device.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted authorised card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to consumers requesting it, in an effort to improve the safety and security of card transactions.
According to RBI, no entity in the card transaction or the payment chain, other than the card issuers and/or card networks, are allowed to store the actual card data. Any such data stored previously will have to be purged.
Payments experts said that tokenisation was a necessary step due to the rapidly growing mobile payments in the country and major card companies actively pushing contactless payments.
In the absence of tokenisation, customers enter the card information manually every time they transact online and this increases the chances of error in entering data leading to transaction failures.
Tokenisation, as a technology solution, bridges this inconvenience gap and enables customers and businesses to sustain business as usual, by converting customer card information into a coded token.
Tokenisation provides consumers added layer of security by converting sensitive cardholder data to a string of randomly generated numbers known as a token.
A customer needs to provide a one time consent through OTP (one-time-password) and undertake a transaction to tokenise their debit and/or credit card for the first time. Hence, this feature enables users to utilise saved card details for seamless transactions.
Tokenisation is available for all types of card transactions including contactless transactions, in-app payments, QR code-based payments and token storage mechanisms.
In this process, tokenisation takes the security of a physical EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip and applies it to non-card environments such as mobile, online and proximity payments.
Fraud detection
Tokenisation helps prevent fraud by offering financial institutions, merchants, and third-party payment providers, such as digital wallet operators, a secure way to enable mobile and online payments without sharing sensitive account information.
Tokens do not carry the consumer’s primary account number, reducing the risk of storing tokens on mobile devices, online merchants, and in cloud-based mobile apps.
Connected devices and risk-based authentication makes it easier to detect frauds. Tokenisation also makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to cardholder data. Earlier, card numbers were stored in databases and exchanged freely over networks.
With tokenisation, sensitive data of all kinds including bank transactions, loan applications, and stock trading are substituted with tokens. However, the security level of the app and the customer’s mobile itself also needs to be taken into consideration.

How to request for tokenisation facility?

To enable tokenisation, a customer can use a third party (token requester) app such as the UPI app, a bank app or a mobile wallet app. At present, the facility shall be offered through mobile phones and tablets only.
Customers cannot be charged for availing the tokenisation service and they will have the option to register or deregister their card for a particular purpose and also the option to set and modify per transaction and daily transaction limit.
The customer shall be free to use any card registered with the token requestor app for performing a transaction. Tokens tied to lost or stolen mobile devices can be instantly reissued — without the need to change the consumer’s primary account number or reissue the plastic card.

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