Visa Europe is introducing tokenisation technology to European banks this spring ahead of the expected rollout of Apple Pay and competing payment methods.
The new token-based security from former parent Visa Inc, as well as MasterCard and American Express, will be introduced to banks by mid-April.
The tokenisation service protects customer data, substituting the payment account information found on a plastic card with a series of numbers that can be used to authorise payment without exposing actual account details. When consumers use their mobile device to make a contactless payment in a store, a token is submitted, rather than their account details.
Apple Pay uses tokenisation to secure transactions in the US, but Visa Europe has yet to clarify whether Apple with use its version to secure transactions in Europe, Reuters reported.
Tokenisation will enable “issuers, merchants and acquirers to provide consumers with the next generation of innovative payment methods”, said Sandra Alzetta, executive director of Core Products for Visa Europe.
“We believe that 2015 will be the year that mobile payments will be in the hands of consumers across Europe,” she added.
Visa Europe also announced that it was expanding its peer-to-peer payments capabilities globally with Visa Direct by partnering with fastacash to enable payments through social media applications.
Visa Europe has operated independently of Visa Inc since 2007. The company is in cooperation with more than 3,700 European banks, and has more than 500 million cards in circulation.
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