Visa tokens pass physical cards in circulation numbers


Visa has issued its four billionth network token for e-commerce payments, a statistic that means it has now surpassed the number of physical cards in global circulation.

According to Finextra, the Visa Token Service replaces 16-digital account numbers with a digital token that only Visa itself can unlock.

Launched in 2014, VTS has seen an explosion in usage since the onset of the pandemic, with volumes of ecommerce growing by over 50% since the start of Covid-19. Finextra highlighted that token count has almost doubled to four billion in the space of one year.

The VTS technology aids the protection of the underlying account information from threat actors and fraudsters. According to analysis by Visa, across over 8600 issuers and 800,000 merchants, its tokens have led to a 28% reduction in fraud rates and a 3% increase in overall rates of approval.

Visa EVP and chief product officer Jack Forestell said, “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.”

Visa and Mastercard recently cited fraud and increased competition to justify post-Brexit fee increases on cross-border payments from the UK.

Back in 2021, the two firms increased cross-border interchange fees on purchases made by UK consumers to European firms. Fees climbed from 0.2% to 1.15% for debit cards and 0.3% to 1.5% for credit card transactions.

This move caused ‘uproar’ in UK Parliament and led to a market review by the Payment System Regulator, which said it has not seen evidence that shows that there have been significant changes in the costs for card issuers.

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