Google Pay, Mastercard ink pact to provide tokenised card payments

In case the mobile device is misplaced, card details will remain secured as a digital token. The token can be updated by the card issuer in case of loss, expiration or replacement of the card.

He said the timeline to implement tokenisation guidelines from January 1 is short and that shorter timelines generally tend to advantage larger players at the expense of smaller ones.

Mastercard and Google on Tuesday announced a partnership through which Google Pay users can transact using Mastercard credit and debit cards on the app. Mastercard cardholders will be able to make payments through a digital token without sharing card details with merchants.

Google Pay Android users will be able to scan and pay across all Bharat QR-enabled merchants and tap-and-pay machines, and make in-app transactions with their respective cards. In case the mobile device is misplaced, card details will remain secured as a digital token. The token can be updated by the card issuer in case of loss, expiration or replacement of the card.

For registration, users will have to carry out a one-time set-up by entering their card details and a one-time password to add their cards to the Google Pay app.

Sajith Sivanandan, business head at Google Pay and NBU – APAC, said, “We are excited to collaborate with Mastercard for card tokenisation, which will offer users state-of-the-art security for card payments. This is already live for several credit card issuers on Mastercard, and we are working closely with other banking partners to further expand the adoption of tokenisation in India. We are hopeful that the added simplicity and convenience will make an ever-larger base of users feel secure in making more payments digitally.”

Industry members said that while tokenisation as a technology ensures better safety and security for card owners, there needs to be more consumer awareness about it, as it may lead to a scenario where keying in card details repeatedly poses a threat to anonymity of card information.

Speaking to FE, Sijo Kuruvilla, executive director of the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), an industry body for digital start-ups, said, “We at ADIF have concerns about readiness. These norms require an ecosystem-wide change in tech systems and workflows. This policy change affects three major players: banks, intermediary payment systems, and merchants. In the scenario that banks are lax on preparedness, the brunt of that will be borne by merchants in the form of loss of revenue — we are looking at revenue losses of anywhere between 20-40% at the minimum.”

He said the timeline to implement tokenisation guidelines from January 1 is short and that shorter timelines generally tend to advantage larger players at the expense of smaller ones. “At this point, it is crucial for the [Reserve Bank of India] to closely assess industry readiness and take appropriate measures to address the concerns around business disruption and assure business continuity,” he said. ADIF plans to send another set of recommendation related to tokenisation to the RBI soon.

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