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Visa tokens overtake physical cards in circulation

Visa tokens overtake physical cards in circulation

Visa has issued its four billionth network token for e-commerce payments, surpassing the number of physical cards it has in circulation worldwide.

The Visa Token Service (VTS) replaces 16-digit account numbers with a digital token only the payments giant can unlock.

VTS was launched in 2014 but has seen an explosion in usage as e-commerce volumes have grown by more than 50% since the onset of the pandemic. Token count has nearly doubled to four billion in just one year.

The technology helps to protect the underlying account information from fraudsters and bad actors. According to Visa's own analysis, across more than 8600 issuers and 800,000 merchants, its tokens have led to a 28% reduction in fraud rates and a three per cent increase in approval rates.

Jack Forestell, EVP and chief product officer, Visa, says: “The uptick in issuers, acquirers, merchants and consumers all transacting with Visa tokens, reinforces that the future of money is truly digital, and digital money must be built on trust.”

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