Tip Sheet: Visa Opens Some Tokenization Tasks to Vendors but Keeps Control of Core TSP Function

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – We have terms, such as trusted service manager, or TSM, and token service provider, or TSP, to describe roles in the digital payments ecosystem, and now we might need yet another term for technology suppliers that provision and manage the lifecycle of tokens. 

Despite what Visa would have us believe in its latest tokenization press release, issued a few weeks ago, these technology suppliers, such as Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient and Inside Secure, are not “issuer TSPs” or “token requestor TSPs.” They are instead gateways for the actual TSP, which is Visa with its Visa Token Service, or VTS. 

Visa generates the tokens for cards carrying its brand and remaps them to the original PANS during the transaction. It stores the mapping tables in a token vault, along with the ID of the entity, such as a wallet provider, that requested the token to begin with. That's also where the token is generated. This is the core role of the TSP, and it’s how the proprietary standards body, EMVCo, which Visa co-owns, defines TSPs.

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