Mastercard to roll out tokenisation service for SA e-tailers

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Mastercard country manager Suzanne Morel.
Mastercard country manager Suzanne Morel.

Mastercard is preparing to roll out a tokenisation service in SA to allow consumers to safely transact when purchasing goods from e-commerce merchants, or making in-app payments.

The new service is part of the financial services company’s strategy to develop solutions and services aimed at increasing financial inclusion in SA and provide a safer way for consumers to transact.

More than 11 million South Africans remain either unbanked or underbanked and around 65% of all transactions are still done in cash, locking merchants and consumers into unnecessary risks and high transaction costs, says the company.

Mastercard country manager Suzanne Morel told ITWeb that the company has embarked on an aggressive strategy focused on diversifying and expanding its offerings through developing solutions and services that support enterprises, SMEs and female-owned businesses through its investment initiatives aimed at displacing cash while powering an inclusive digital economy.

The new tokenisation service, to be introduced over the next few months locally, will create a safer and convenient way for local cardholders to transact online wherever they would normally save their card details on file.

Tokenisation is used in the global fintech industry as a way to substitute sensitive data with non-sensitive data by safeguarding a bank card’s primary account number by replacing it with a unique number.

“Mastercard’s key focus area is developing solutions and services that can support SMEs who are the backbone of our economy,” notes Morel.

“The tokenisation service encrypts consumer data by replacing Mastercard bank card numbers with digital tokens. Every time a transaction is made online, a unique token is created to make the payment and ensures that a consumer’s 16-digit card number is not stored anywhere. This prevents improper usage at any other location and provides additional security for consumers and merchants alike, resulting in higher approval rates while minimising online fraud.”

The tokenisation solution, according to Mastercard, is able to reduce the merchant’s exposure to card data compromise and also provides a secure way to keep sensitive card details away from a merchant’s system, protecting consumers during data breach incidents.

It also reduces the scope of payment card industry data security standard compliance requirements and its associated cost.

This year has seen consumers worldwide accelerate their shift to digital payments and e-commerce, making it important for e-commerce platforms to make the checkout experience simple and convenient.

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