MasterCard launches MDES token platform for mobile payments

MasterCard has announced US availability of a token platform that enables card issuers to store tokenized versions of their customers’ card details on Apple’s new NFC devices as well as NFC phones and tablets from a range of other manufacturers. Visa has also launched a token platform today.


MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) “helps transform any connected device into a commerce device to make and receive payments,” the payment network says.

“The MDES platform is helping power the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch to enable secure payments to take place for contactless and in-app payments.”

“All MasterCard transactions made through Apple Pay are ready to use industry standard EMV-level security, and are protected using standards-based payment tokens. Tokens are card numbers that mobile devices use in place of the card number printed on the plastic. MDES validates the transaction, maps from the token back to the PAN and forwards it to the issuer for authorization.

“Why do we use tokens? Using tokens enable us to deliver a more secure and a better payment experience. The extra layer of security comes from the fact that we can lock a token to a specific device or channel. If the token is somehow compromised and a fraudster tries to use it MDES will block the transaction.

“The better customer experience comes from the fact that in the event a device is lost or a plastic card is compromised we can break the link in MDES between the tokens and the card — and reissue the token or the card — without disrupting the consumer. It’s truly powerful when you can use advanced technology to deliver more security and remove consumer pain points.”

MDES supports contactless payments and Digital Secure Remote Payments (DSRP), the company adds. “DSRP is a transaction method where a consumer is able to make in-app purchases using a token. Contactless payments leverage NFC technology for point-of-sale transactions, while DSRP delivers EMV-like transactions for in-app payments.”

“While MDES launched in the US in 2014, it will expand more broadly to other major markets during the course of 2015.”

“The convergence of physical and digital commerce is not in the future, it’s happening now,” MasterCard adds. “Connected devices such as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and wearables such as the Apple Watch are blurring those lines as they play an increasingly prominent role in all aspects of our daily lives. This shift of every device becoming a shopping device is the biggest change we’ve seen in payments since the introduction of plastic, and yesterday’s news is a defining moment in the industry’s evolution.

“New solutions like Apple Pay embody the digital transformation taking place around the world and reinforces our commitment to delivering secure, digital payments. Together, with our partners, we’re moving important products and solutions like EMV and mobile payments out of neutral and driving them forward at full speed.”

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