Networks Continue to Dominate Tokenization as Vendors Wait for Token Service Provider Specs

May 10 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – More than two years after EMVCo released its tokenization guidelines, there are still few token service providers operating besides those of the major payments networks, and there are no specifications yet from top networks Visa and MasterCard to help vendors to tokenize cards supporting their brands.

While MasterCard told NFC Times it is “finalizing” its third-party token service provider specifications, they are not expected to be released for at least a few months, and one informed source expects it to be longer. Visa told NFC Times that details about its certification specs are “not public information,” but a Visa representative, speaking to bank regulators in Taiwan this week, said the network’s certification specs are not expected to be released until the third quarter of 2017, a person who attended the meeting confirmed to NFC Times. 

The apparent delays in releasing the specifications, including those to certify third-party token service providers, or TSPs, has fueled some industry speculation that Visa and MasterCard are dragging their feet to give their own tokenization services an advantage. 

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