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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 25, 2023 • Issue 23:12:02

Navigating ecommerce challenges: Advancements in tokenization

By Mark Van Horn


As the landscape of ecommerce expands, it grapples with numerous challenges in its day-to-day operations. From accommodating a plethora of payment methods to navigating intricate fraud, data security, payment processing and regulatory concerns, the ecosystem also considers growing ecological awareness.

The significant surge in online payments presents both opportunities and complexities for businesses and consumers alike. However, the increase in transaction steps and diverse payment technologies introduces friction into the system. While heightened security measures are essential to address these challenges, they also carry the risk of false declines.

A recent survey highlights that 45 percent of consumers opt for a competitor after experiencing a false decline, resulting in estimated losses of $50.7 billion for retailers (see tinyurl.com/y27w2jft). In ecommerce, payment is not only a critical step for merchants, but also a major friction point for customers, influencing the likelihood of abandoned carts and decreased customer loyalty.

How network tokens are designed to help merchants, processors

Network tokens play a crucial role in addressing these challenges by concealing the cardholder's primary account number (PAN). This tokenized approach protects sensitive data throughout the payment flow, striking a balance between security and a seamless customer experience. The goal is to enhance, maintain up-to-date card data, and ultimately optimize approval rates, leading to increased profits for merchants and successful, secure transactions for processors and banks.

Processor tokenization, a proprietary service offered by PSPs, acquirers and processors, reduces a merchant's PCI scope. Unlike general tokens restricted to the merchant and PSP, network tokenization collaborates with card issuers and networks to offer additional benefits and protect the PAN throughout the value chain.

How does the transaction ecosystem benefit?

The benefits of network tokenization extend across the entire payment ecosystem, leading to improved payment authorization rates, lower transaction costs, fewer false transaction declines and reduced overall fraud rates. The technology is particularly vital in supporting click-to-pay credentials on file, addressing consumer concerns about storing credentials with retailers. For retailers and issuers, the acronym CoF stands for "credentials on file," but for many consumers, it may as well stand for "concern over fraud."

Approximately 75 percent of U.S. consumers are concerned about someone stealing their credentials if they store them on file with a retailer, according to Mastercard research. However, that same Mastercard research also shows that 81 percent of U.S. consumers have saved their credentials on file with merchants they trust and frequent online – because they like the convenience (see tinyurl.com/3kp7pv2v). As we enter 2024, merchants and payment processors are increasingly relying on advanced tokenization technologies. However, network tokens, while effective, require specialized technology partners for seamless integration due to ongoing developments.

New network-agnostic tokenization solutions

Today's leading solution providers offer network-agnostic tokenization technologies that enhance ecommerce transactions' security and customer experience. A harmonized API integration enables quick tokenization of cards regardless of the network, managed by technology partners, reducing complexity and speeding up time-to-market.

In the competitive e-commerce market, especially during holiday shopping seasons, a seamless payment process is crucial for gaining customer trust. Click-to-pay and network tokenization emerge as a dynamic duo reshaping the ecommerce landscape, simplifying the online shopping experience, enhancing approval rates and deterring fraudulent attacks.

These technologies complement each other, offering a safer and better experience for customers. In today's ecommerce landscape, operational efficiency is paramount for success. With the right technology, strategy and partners, merchants and processors can navigate the evolving payments environment, ensuring a successful holiday shopping season and a promising 2024. end of article

Mark Van Horn is the Digital Solutions Lead in North America for Giesecke+Devrient (G+D). With his extensive experience as an entrepreneur in emerging technology and as a leader within the G+D digital team, Mark is a respected thought leader and market strategist within the payment technology industry. His insightful approach to solution initiatives and digital advancement has positively impacted the payment ecosystem as a whole. You can reach him via email at Mark.VanHorn@gi-de.com.

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