Introduction to Card Tokenisation

Tokenisation (Digital Wallets) 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 (BIN sponsors). Mastercard offer the Digital Enablement Service (MDES) and Visa offer the Visa Token Service (VTS). Thredd supports both of these tokenisation services.



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