Visa tokens surpass physical Visa cards as online shopping trend surges

Jack Forestell, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Visa

Visa announced that the company has now issued over 4 billion network tokens worldwide through Visa Token Service (VTS), marking a major milestone in its proprietary offering to help secure digital payments and further accelerate ecommerce innovation and acceptance.

This historic milestone, which nearly doubled Visa’s token count in one year, surpasses the number of physical Visa cards in circulation worldwide. This milestone underscores the powerful security that tokens provide to merchants, issuers and consumers alike.

What is Tokenization?

“Tokenization is a simple, yet powerful concept pioneered by Visa: conceal and devalue sensitive payment data to stay ahead of fraudsters and make digital payments more secure,” commented Jack Forestell, Executive vice president and chief product officer at Visa.

“The uptick in issuers, acquirers, merchants and consumers all transacting with Visa tokens, reinforces that the future of money is truly digital, and digital money must be built on trust.”

E-commerce volume has grown by over 50% since the onset of the pandemic. But with the convenience of online shopping comes increased consumer expectations and demand for safe transactions. Visa is innovating ahead of consumer demand through Visa Token Service, which replaces 16-digit Visa account numbers with a digital token only Visa can unlock, helping to protect the underlying account information from fraudsters and bad actors.

How instrumental are tokens in ecommerce?

Tokens are the unsung heroes of ecommerce which the entire payments ecosystem can benefit from, with issuers, acquirers, merchants, and consumers all seeing a range of benefits including reduced fraud, ease of use across devices and more. Visa analysis shows that across over 8,600 issuers and 800,000 merchants, Visa tokens have led to a 28% reduction in fraud rates and a 3% increase in approval rates – increasing sales for merchants.

In an age where most of our financial lives exist in the cloud, advanced technology helps ensure customer data is protected wherever transactions take place. Authentication 2.0 – the future of consumer protection – is anchored by tokens and tools such as Visa’s Cloud Token Framework (CTF), which is designed to enhance security and increase approval rates for card-not-present transactions across multiple payment experiences and devices.

“This milestone is indicative of the continued investment Visa is making in safe, reliable and seamless transactions around the globe. Continued adoption of tokenization will help enable Visa’s mission of helping individuals, businesses and economies thrive,” added Forestell.

For more information on how Visa is leading the Token transformation, visit here.