American Express launches token security for mobile payment services

amex_mobileAmerican Express has launched its American Express Token Service, a suite of solutions designed to enable its card-issuing partners, processors, acquirers and merchants to create a safer online and mobile payments environment for consumers.

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

Based on EMVCo’s Payment Tokenization Specification and Technical Framework published earlier this year, American Express Token Service offers the following features:

  • a token vault to store and map tokens to card account numbers,
  • the ability to issue tokens,
  • lifecycle management services to create, suspend, resume or delete tokens and
  • additional fraud and risk management services, such as authorization and payment data validation capabilities, for card-issuing financial institutions.

American Express Token Service is available in the U.S., and international rollout is expected to begin in 2015.

“We believe our payments network is a tremendous asset to American Express – one that will allow us to offer our customers new features and technologies to meet their evolving spending needs,” said Paul Fabara, President, Global Banking and Global Network Business, American Express. “As we move ahead, we are excited to bring these new capabilities to our customers and look forward to continuing to serve them.”

American Express has also announced that it has developed network specifications for Host Card Emulation (HCE). 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. 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. American Express’ HCE specifications are available today globally.

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Categories: Host Card Emulation, Mobile Payments, Mobile Wallet, Near Field Communications, Tokenization

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