Issuers: get ready for a token-focused future

Payment tokens offer massively improved security by turning sensitive personal information such as credit card and account numbers and turning them into a secure “token”, represented by a unique set of characters inside transaction data flows.

They can be stored on mobile devices or shared between banks, merchants and intermediaries during any kind of transaction – Thomas Normann, Chief Product Officer at MeaWallet, explains how payment tokens are taking over the world.

Since 2014, token use in payments has erupted, with the seven billion tokens issued in 2023 estimated[1] to have delivered a 30% reduction in card payment fraud, while also increasing acceptance rates by making it easier to identify authentic transactions and cutting the need for escalated authentications which cause consumers to drop transactions.

Tokens: a twin for cards in the digital world

Recent data from Worldpay shows that online commerce is growing twice as fast as point of sale (POS) worldwide – and that by 2027, almost one dollar in five world-wide will be spent online.

The great news for card issuers is that two-thirds of consumers still want to use cards, whether that’s in the traditional way, or as part of a digital wallet.

Increasingly, consumers are opting to use their cards inside a digital wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, with half of online transactions to be wallet-based by 2027[2].

However, as the number of wallets grows, issuers need to make sure that their card is top-of-mind for consumers looking to activate their wallet.

And that, in turn, means making sure that you have tokenization in place to secure your card inside any wallet solution – whether it’s from another bank, a tech giant, a fintech or a telco.

Over the next five years, digital wallets will see unprecedented growth, with new functions such as loyalty schemes and Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL), plus an increased emphasis on security as we use digital wallets in wider areas of our lives.

What it means for card issuers

As digital wallets grow in importance, card issuers need to be ready with a solution that can tokenize for any kind of wallet.

In Africa and Latin America, for instance, major wallet solutions such as PIX (Brazil) and GhanaPay (Ghana) are just some of the multitude of wallet solutions that are popular with consumers – not to mention other wallet options from telcos and fintechs.

“As digital wallets grow in importance, card issuers need to be ready with a solution that can tokenize for any kind of wallet, anywhere.”

From a consumer point of view, what matters is being able to “pair” their preferred payment method (such as a card) with one or more digital wallets quickly, securely and easily.

If an issuer is able to offer a simple, secure tokenization option, they will continue to grow card transaction volume and value in the face of competition from new payment methods such as account-to-account payments that bypass cards, cash paid into digital wallets, wallet top-up from account and others.

MeaWallet: enabling token activation

Founded in Norway and active worldwide, MeaWallet is one of the few firms operating today which enables processors, fintechs, neobanks and retailers to activate tokens securely and use them across the payments value chain using a simple off-the-shelf process that integrates easily with existing systems.

MeaWallet is used by more than 200 card issuers across five continents as their go-to tokenization option for card payments inside digital wallets of all kinds.

It’s also used as a white-label solution by software firms that work for banks to enable tokenization in their clients’ services.

To find out more about how MeaWallet enables simple and effective tokenization solutions for more than 200 issuers worldwide, visit:


[1] Visa Risk Datamart, Global, FY21 Q3–FY22 Q2 Token Fraud Rate vs Fraud Rate for merchants with over 1,000 or more CNP token transactions per month

[2] See Finance Magnates, 21 March 2024: “Digital Wallets to Power 50% of online sales by 2027”: 

The post Issuers: get ready for a token-focused future appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.