UPDATED: NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Relatively little noticed amid the widespread coverage of Google’s unveiling of its new Android Pay platform last week are the continued tokenization plays by major payment networks, Visa and MasterCard Worldwide, including Visa’s announcement of a new tokenization program and pricing policies, geared toward such platforms as Android Pay.
The payment schemes see a chance to lock in issuers and keep transactions on their networks, while setting up what is believed to be a long-term play for earning tokenization revenue. While volumes are small now, momentum for tokenizing cards on smartphones and other types of devices for transactions in mobile and other channels is expected to be huge down the road. So Visa and MasterCard were not about to miss an opportunity to tout their wares with the forthcoming launch of Android Pay.
Both Visa and MasterCard have said–either publicly or privately–that they will waive token fees this year. Visa is now promoting a new program that it says waives token fees for issuers indefinitely. And MasterCard has yet to say when it will charge token fees, but MasterCard is expected to follow suit.