Visa Is About To Make Mobile Payments Safer Than Ever

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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New tokenisation technology could help speed up adoption of Apple Pay in Europe

Mobile payment technologies such as Apple Pay have received a major boost in Europe today following a significant announcement that should help speed up their rollout.

Visa Europe has announced it is launching new security technology which will make mobile payments safer than ever before, with financial institutions able to implement the new methods in a few months’ time.

apple payEasy does it

The launch, which has been tailored especially for the European market, means that from mid-April this year, customers across Europe will be able to use mobile payments easily and securely thanks to improved tokenisation technology.

Tokenisation protects customer payment information, such as the account numbers or name on a digital wallet, by substituting a series of numbers that can be used to authorise payment without exposing actual account details.

When consumers use their mobile device to make a contactless payment in a store, a token is submitted, rather than their account details, helping to cut down on the risk of fraud.

The new technology will also make it easier for systems such as Apple Pay (pictured above), which is set to hit the UK later this year, to be used safely and securely by consumers at a wide range of retailers.

“This is an exciting time to be in the payment industry,” said Sandra Alzetta, executive director, core products for Visa Europe. “We believe that 2015 will be the year that mobile payments will be in the hands of consumers across Europe.”

“Tokenisation is one of the most important technologies to emerge in digital payments and has the potential to start a whole new chapter in the kinds of products that are developed.  For that reason, we’ve designed this flexible and scalable service, enabling issuers, merchants and acquirers to provide consumers with the next generation of innovative payment methods – all with the high level of security they expect.”

Quick send

Alongside this improvement security, Visa has also announced a major expansion of its peer-to-peer money transfer service. Formerly known as Visa Personal Payments, the newly-monikered Visa Direct will allow card holders to transfer money quickly and securely across the globe using multiple currencies using just a mobile phone number.

Available this summer, the expanded Visa Direct service, which in its current guise has around 200,000 users across Europe, will be available in 20 languages and will now also support multiple currencies to make it faster and easier than ever for people to send money to friends and family using their smartphone.fastacash

The company has also teamed up with Singapore-based fastacash to enable Visa Direct users to send peer-to-peer payments via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and LinkedIn (pictured right). Although only open to certain banks at the moment, Visa hopes the partnership will help bridge the gap between consumers wanting to use social media to transfer money, and banks and payment service providers.

“Consumers are demanding payment services that integrate with their mobile lifestyle and their favourite social network, said Sue Onians from Visa Europe.

“Our world is getting smaller and quicker in terms of interaction and payments should keep up. Consumers want to be able to transfer money easily and securely across geographic borders without limitations, to their friends and family. Visa Direct from Visa Europe enables this while our partnership with fastacash will make this even easier through social networks.”

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