MasterCard Worldwide launched Digital Enablement Express (Express) on Sept. 8, 2015, a program designed to enhance and scale the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES). Express makes it easier for digital wallet and payment providers, device manufacturers, and merchants accepting MasterCard to set up MDES accounts with card issuers and financial institutions, the company stated.
Established in 2013, MDES replaces a cardholder's primary account number with a token that is digitally transmitted to a mobile device. Consumers using this method can securely tap, wave or click their connected devices to make payments. A recent survey by MasterCard found that tokenized MasterCard payment products were a preferred method of payment for millions of consumers who use digital wallets.
The growing popularity of digital wallets and confluence of new technology players entering the space was the basis for MasterCard's decision to create an expedient method for stakeholders in the digital wallet value chain to board and securitize new merchant accounts. Representatives at MasterCard expect Express to improve MDES efficiencies, speed and performance while furthering global adoption of improved security standards.
Additionally, company representatives stated that Express will protect consumer privacy by restricting access by third parties to consumer cardholder data "by limiting the use and sharing of sensitive cardholder data and transaction information, and enabling the use of tokenized credentials to protect payment integrity, decrease fraud rates and protect merchant rights."
Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Capital One Bank, Fifth Third Bank and KeyBank have already enrolled in Express. Frank LaPrade, Chief Enterprise Services Officer at Capital One Financial Corp. described Express as "a streamlined and efficient way for companies to create and rapidly bring to market new products and services as the pace of the evolution of digital payments continues to accelerate."
MasterCard issuers can use Express to securely digitize millions of tokens not only for digital wallets but across the entire payments ecosystem, including mobile and stationary intelligent devices, Card on File systems and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) environment, MasterCard noted.
Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer at MasterCard stated that Express enables the company's technology partners to "make their offerings available to all MasterCard issuers in a simple, safe and consistent manner, extending our network model into digital enablement.
MasterCard expects that having one set of standard terms across its MDES platform will expedite the process of digitizing and tokenizing MasterCard accounts and improve efficiencies in the connected world. The company is positioning Express as an enablement platform and has drawn the line at monetizing transactions between financial institutions and token requestors. "MasterCard does not facilitate [pass-through] fees between financial institutions and token requestors under the Express program," the company said.
MasterCard also noted the potential for connected devices to become secure payment instruments. The company views this development as one that creates both opportunities and challenges for financial institutions. MasterCard stated that it will continue to work with global technology partners to provide secure digital payments to consumers at scale.
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