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Carta Worldwide's Universal Tokenization Platform Set to Make Digital Payments Safer

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

November 05, 2014

Carta Worldwide's Universal Tokenization Platform Set to Make Digital Payments Safer

By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

With the arrival of November comes the inevitable consideration of the holiday shopping season, and while Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa often spark folks to make purchases, and that means plenty of mobile shopping going on as well. With that in mind, Carta Worldwide might well have just the ticket to help make mobile shopping—and even regular shopping—a little safer with a universal tokenization plan geared toward protecting users of near-field communication (NFC) mobile payments, including proximity and remote.

The new tokenization system is set to be simpler to not only bring out, but also manage once it's in place, adding extra security to the process as well as fraud protection mechanisms. It's part of the EMVCo Tokenization framework, along with certain payment network standards, and this combination allows for a global deployment for NFC mobile payments. More specifically, in a tokenization system, the system generates a secondary account number—called a token—that represents the cardholder's actual 16-digit personal account number (PAN). This token allows charges to be made accordingly, but if the token is intercepted, it's essentially useless without the accompanying information, so hacking becomes somewhat more difficult in response. Tokens can be restricted on several factors for added protection, including limits by device, by channel, by the merchant in question or even by location.

The tokenization service itself, meanwhile, is just part of a wider array of tools available from Carta, who can offer up everything from digital credentials management and provisioning to token transaction processing—which makes sense given how much processing is required in a token transaction to link the token to the actual PAN—as well as a set of software development kits (SDKs) geared toward building mobile payment applications with tokenization included. Plus, the tokenization service can support both payment models turning to host card emulation (HCE), as well as hardware-based Secure Element models, either in subscriber identity module (SIM) form or hardware-based models.

Carta's CEO, Brian Semkiw, offered up some explanation on Carta's new service, saying “Carta is unique; as the world's only next-generation digital transaction processing technology for issuing banks our platform was architected specifically for the digital ecosystem. Our tokenization service is being used by industry-leading clients in markets across the globe. We are excited for the innovation that is driving mobile commerce to become a real mass-market force.”

The recent range of hackings at places like Home Depot, Dairy Queen, and Target (News - Alert) not so long ago, is likely going to have some shoppers very concerned about pulling out the credit or debit card, or especially the mobile device. While the lessons of Black Friday a couple years back when eBay (News - Alert) showed us all how great mobile shopping could be by having users do all the Black Friday shopping from the midst of a relaxing spa day, the need for greater security around such platforms has only gone up with the sheer use of same.

Services like Carta's tokenization tools are likely to help here, especially if the public in general is more aware of the use of such tools. The appearance of security is just as important as actual security, and the safer shoppers feel, the better. Only time will tell if it all works out, but not that much time will have to go by before another holiday shopping season comes to a close.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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