Visa has announced that it’s phasing out the use of 16-digit account numbers in digital payments, opting instead to expand its new Visa Token Service. VTS essentially replaces the account number with a randomly-generated series of numbers for each transaction.
It’s a more advanced form of security, as advocated by industry experts like the FIDO Alliance, and in combination with other measures it can prove a vastly more effective security tool than older password and PIN systems. Visa launched VTS last September, just in time to see it implemented in Apple Pay, which uses the token system in combination with biometric scanning to secure mobile payments.
Visa says that so far over 500 financial institutions have adopted the new system, and predicts that many more banks and companies and payment environments will adopt VTS over the next year. That will almost certainly prove important as rivals start to challenge Apple’s mCommerce platform, further driving the expansion and popularity of mobile commerce globally. And given that Visa launched its own digital payment service last summer, this kind of security will be essential in driving that enterprise forward as well.