Visa's tokenisation scheme to debut in Australia

Frustrated fraudsters to deal with throwaway digits

Australian and European shoppers will be able to use a throwaway Visa card token to shop online in a bid to reduce fraud.

The scheme is being rolled out across Australia and Europe to Visa-allied banks and merchants.

Shoppers will be issued tokens that will be matched to their cards. Validated transactions will map tokens to card numbers, sending the unique data to the card's issuer for authorisation.

Visa Australia boss Stephen Karpin talked up the tokens as the next logical step in digital payments.

“While tokenisation will be a largely invisible part of the payment process for Australian consumers, it will bring the benefit of added security to their digital payments,” Karpin says.

“This is timely because Australians have proven to be a nation of early adopters with respect to payments innovation.

“Just as 2014 was the year contactless payments reached mass adoption in Australia, with over 75 million Visa transactions taking place on tap and go each month, 2015 is poised to be the tipping point for mobile payments.”

Australia was a good choice for the token deployment project given its high use of smartphones, double that per head of the US and UK, and what Visa said was "ahead of the curve" use of payment innovation technology.

The card giant's Europe chief has told AppleInsider a similar story, saying the technology will start rolling out from April.

Visa will also this year forge a peer-to-peer cash funnel dubbed Visa Direct allowing money to be slung about using mobile phone numbers, and card numbers, and would even be plugged into Twitter and Facebook for social media transfers.

The tokenisation process is something the payment's mobile head says blurred the lines between card present, not present and point of sale transactions which will in time put an end to the various terminology.

It is the grease that oils the Apple Pay machine currently used in the United States where shoppers can pay with their iDevices.

The expansion of the payment tokens could be seen as paving the way for Apple Pay to go global.

Mastercard and American Express worked with Visa on a common tokenisation scheme, but are yet to announce their own use of the regime.

More information on the scheme is available in Visa's whitepaper (pdf

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