Card On File Tokenisation

In a technology-centric world, where interest in mobile payments is on the rise, consumers are seeking convenient and secure payment options for their mobile devices.

This is especially crucial due to the contemporary spending culture whereby many consumers store their account information in locations such as online retailers, airlines, transportation networks and wireless carriers amongst other things.1 The abundance of this sensitive information online exposes a significant proportion of the population to security and fraud threats.

Tokenisation services, like Mastercard’s Digital Enablement Services for Merchants (M4M), alleviate this risk in a way that provides greater convenience for you.


Mastercard Digital Enablement
Service for Merchants

What it is

When you enter your 16-digit card number for an online transaction, your information passes through various digital channels. As this takes place, your information may become vulnerable to interception, which can result in fraudulent purchases.

Tokenisation solves this problem by transforming these sensitive payment details into a ‘token’, unique to the wallet/merchant, meaning that your card can’t be cloned or used fraudulently.

How it works

1. When you enter your card details, they’re immediately replaced with a Mastercard token.
2. The Mastercard token is unique to both you and the business you’re shopping with.
3. When you then make a payment, the token is transmitted – not the card details.
4. If your card details ever change, the new details are automatically mapped to the Mastercard token. This reduces preventable declined transactions and ensures continuity of your payments.

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  • Payments aren’t interrupted and you are relieved of the administrative burden of manually updating each merchant where your card is stored on file
  • Without lost and/or expired card declines slowing down the payment process, you can complete your transaction without hassle
  • Your purchase experience remains seamless, and your payments made more convenient 
  • The tokens used in this solution provide more information and greater visibility to card issuers during payment authorisation. False declines, which occur when the standing of your card mistakenly triggers an issuer’s fraud logic, are reduced so that your preference to spend with your Mastercard isn’t displaced and you can continue to accrue any rewards you have with us. 
  • With the technical framework implemented to eliminate accessible card credentials from the payments space, the leverage upon which hackers operate diminishes. Instead, encryption into unique tokens reduces the risk of fraud and data breach and enables you to have greater confidence that your payments are secure.

Next Steps

Mastercard is working with merchants across the globe to ensure your payments are protected
and effortless which means there’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the benefits that are already in place.

1 - Mastercard Newsroom, Mastercard Continues to Define the Future of Digital Payments with Tokenisation Support for App E-Commerce and Recurring Payment Card of File Programs, Purchase NY – June 15, 2015