NFC Times Exclusive Insight – MasterCard Worldwide Tuesday announced its hub-like commercial tokenization program, Digital Enablement Express, a widely expected move that matches a similar service that rival Visa introduced in late May, Visa Digital Enablement Program, or VDEP. Like VDEP, MasterCard’s new tokenization program has signed up Google and Samsung for their respective payments services, though neither MasterCard nor Visa has announced that Apple would join.
As NFC Times reported in June, Visa and MasterCard strategists are believed to see their respective tokenization programs and technologies as a way to keep transactions on their networks and issuers locked in as more and more cards are expected to move to smartphones and other devices. In addition, some industry observers believe the major networks will eventually charge for tokenization some years down the road, after mobile payments are in full swing.
Both international schemes maintain that they are offering their tokenization services to streamline the onboarding of payment accounts to wallets or other payment apps globally, reducing fragmentation and other problems that could stand in the way of mobile payments achieving scale. That is why they say they are waiving fees for their tokenization services.