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Amex pushes tokenisation as replacement for credit card numbers

American Express this week launched a tokenisation service in the US that aims to replace payment card numbers with unique tokens.

“With American Express Token Service, traditional card account numbers are replaced

image of American Express card

Amex pushes tokenisation as replacement for credit card numbers

with unique ‘tokens,’ which can then be used to complete payment transactions online, in a mobile app or in-store with a mobile Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled device,” the firm noted in a statement.

“By using tokens, merchants and digital wallet operators will no longer need to store consumers’ sensitive payment account information in their systems. In addition, tokens can be assigned for use with a specific merchant, transaction type or payment device to provide further protection against fraud.”

The American Express Token Service is based on the Payment Tokenisation Specification and Technical Framework published this year by EMVCo, the organisation that maintains the EMV standard for chip-enabled payment cards.

American Express plans to start rolling out the service internationally in 2015.

The move follows efforts by the big three credit card giants – Amex, MasterCard and Visa – to push the framework for a new global standard that is designed to make online and mobile payments more secure and straightforward.

Separately, Amex announced it has developed and launched network specifications for Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology. “American Express’ HCE specifications provide its card-issuing partners with additional security options and solutions for payments made with mobile NFC-enabled devices that support Android OS KitKat,” added the statement.

“With HCE, card issuers use a secure cloud server to store their customers’ card account details, which can be transmitted from the cloud server to an NFC-enabled mobile device and then to a Point-of-Sale terminal in a fast, secure manner.”

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