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EMVCo publishes tokenization framework specification

The first version of the EMV Payment Tokenization Specification has now been published and is available to download. The document sets the scene for the arrival of MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay transactions on a mobile phone using the widest possible range of “last inch” technologies.

EMVCo Payment Tokenization Specification Technical Framework v1

The framework describes “the payment tokenization landscape, the types of entities whose participation is key to supporting payment tokenization, sufficient detail to implement multiple use cases, and the benefits of adopting a unified approach.”

It also “provides an insight into the role the specification will have in facilitating broad-based acceptance of a payment token as a replacement for a traditional card account number.

“This includes data message formats to ensure the interoperability of tokens and the consistent approach that should be used to route and authenticate a payment token,” EMVCo says. “The framework also explains how security can be improved by limiting payment tokens for use in a specific environment, and how an existing ecosystem can advance to become globally interoperable.”

The new specification will also “maintain compatibility with the current payment infrastructure and will be complementary to the existing EMV chip specifications to ensure consistency across all payment environments.

“Moving forward, EMVCo will actively solicit associate, subscriber and public feedback to support enhancements and inclusion of additional use cases. The specification framework will evolve with industry input collected to broaden its applicability and relevance to marketplace needs.”

“It is vital that we have a consistent approach to identify and verify a payment token request, which is supported by industry agreed channel controls to manage where and when the payment token can be used,” Dave Meadon, chair of the EMVCo executive committee, explains. “This level of consistency eliminates data vulnerabilities at key points in the transaction, which ultimately enhances security.”

“Our specification work will aim to provide a globally aligned technical framework for payment tokens,” adds Christina Hulka, chair of EMVCo’s board of managers. “This will ensure consistency in data fields and the ability for transactions to gateway successfully throughout the payment ecosystem. By engaging with interested parties we can ensure that industry needs are met across stakeholders. This will enable us to create a standardised, secure and reliable environment across all payment channels.”

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