In terms of consumer trends, e-commerce is becoming bigger each year. It’s expected to double between 2016 and 2020 worldwide. As more shopping moves online, so does our payment information. Our payment account numbers are stored on the servers of the vendors we make purchases from. This means easier and faster payments for the consumer, but it also means higher security risks. It’s becoming abundantly clear that this is a dangerous trade-off, with new retailer breaches happening all the time.
In just the past few months, the public has been made aware of breaches at Delta Airlines, Best Buy, Under Armour, Panera Bread, Sears, Lord & Taylor, and Saks. Among the information taken in these breaches were the payment accounts associated with customers. Fortunately, one company offers a solution for consumers.
A company called Token addresses this concern by combining ease-of-use with security. The Token app allows users to input their payment account and, through a process called tokenization, generate a virtual credit card number that conceals your original information. This virtual card is powered by the MasterCard network, and can be used at any online merchant or for over-the-phone purchases. You can replace your real payment information at online merchants with these payment tokens.
This means that during the next retailer breach, hackers will only have access to your generated fake number, and not your real information. Because each token only works for one vendor, if any unauthorized charges are made on your Token, they will be declined immediately. The generated credit card numbers also come with a fake name as well, which decreases the amount of information that may be compromised.
Payment tokens are a game changer for payment security. Whereas an EMV chip-enabled credit card may tokenize your information for in-person payments, chip support is still not widespread in the U.S., and they do absolutely nothing for online or over-the-phone payments.
Using token to pay for bills, favorite subscriptions (Uber, Netflix, GrubHub), or one-time purchases allows you to make payments without having to share your real payment information.