Visa’s ‘Tokenization’ Announcement in Europe Could Accelerate Apple Pay

Visa Europe is working with handset manufacturers, which must include Apple, to bring the security of contactless cards to mobile devices customised for the needs of the European market, the company announced today (via TNW).

Visa payware

Since tokenisation is at the heart of the new mobile payment solutions, Visa will launch its own tokenisation service and make it available to financial institutions from mid-April 2015. The technology protects customer data by substituting the payment account information found on the credit card with a series of numbers which will be used to authorise a payment.

The tokenisation technology is already in the Visa contactless card, and according to the latest data from Visa, 100 million have already been issued across Europe. When analysing how Europe stands in terms of contactless payments, we find that there are 1.8 million contactless terminals on the old continent.

You may recall that rumours have surfaced about Apple Pay launching in the UK this year. Well, apparently every sign points to this country: There are 200,000 contactless terminals in the UK, and half of the issued contactless cards are issued here.

The Visa Europe announcement is important and could signal Apple Pay’s arrival in Europe, as the introduction of tokenisation technology by Visa, MasterCard, and American Express was a key component in the launch of Apple’s mobile payment platform in the US last year.