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Visa to Remove 16-Digit Account Number in Online and Mobile Payments

Company announces new deployments of Visa Token Service to protect consumer account information

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 13, 2015-- Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), the global leader in payments, today announced that it is expanding the use of new security technology that replaces the traditional 16-digit Visa account number with a unique series of numbers, helping to prevent exposure of sensitive consumer account information in online and mobile payments.

“In 2015, Visa will offer secure payments across a wide variety of devices, platforms and apps,” said Charlie Scharf, chief executive officer, Visa Inc. “In order to enable these innovative new ways to pay, we are deploying smart technologies that help to prevent fraud, while also maintaining consumer and merchant trust in digital commerce.”

In September 2014, Visa launched Visa Token Service (VTS), an innovative technology that replaces sensitive payment account information found on plastic cards, such as the 16-digit account number, expiration date and security code, with a unique series of numbers that can authorize payment without exposing actual account details. To date, more than 500 financial institutions have started to implement VTS. In 2015, the service will expand to more payment environments, helping merchants, financial institutions and mobile device manufacturers to offer secure digital payment experiences.

Mobile Devices and Platforms

  • Visa Token Service made its commercial debut in October 2014, enabling mobile payments on select Apple devices using Visa accounts through the Apple Pay service.
  • In 2015 other leading device manufacturers and technology companies will begin deploying Visa Token Service to deliver secure mobile payments through their phones, tablets and other connected devices – expanding the reach of this secure mobile technology to tens of millions of consumers.

Mobile Payment Applications

  • Visa also plans to tokenize transactions initiated online with Visa Checkout, Visa’s online payment service that allows consumers to complete eCommerce purchases in just a few clicks.
  • More than 110 merchants globally, including Gap, Gymboree, Neiman Marcus, Orbitz, Pizza Hut and Staples, who have already deployed Visa Checkout, will have the opportunity to benefit from safer transactions using Visa’s token technology.
  • In 2015 financial institutions globally across Asia Pacific, Latin America and the U.S. will also begin deploying Visa Token Service in support of their mobile payment applications and services.

Online Retailers

  • Visa is also helping to improve the safety of eCommerce by eliminating the need for online retailers to store payment account information in order to easily fulfill eCommerce purchases. In 2015, Visa expects some of the largest eCommerce merchants to deploy Visa Token Service, using tokens to process consumer eCommerce purchases rather than actual payment account information.

“Removing card account numbers from the processing and storage of payments represents one of the most innovative and promising technologies we’ve seen in decades,” said Scharf. “This, combined with chip card technology, advances in account holder authentication through analytics and biometrics, and more sophisticated risk monitoring, will allow Visa account holders to enjoy new, secure payment experiences.”

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.

Source: Visa Inc.

Press Only:
Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, +1 650-504-4537 (mobile)
elswanso@visa.com