Visa announces its first tokenised transaction in Australia bringing new mobile payment experiences and security benefits


Tokenisation to accelerate Australia's move to mobile and digital payments

Sydney - Visa, the global payments technology company, has today announced that the Visa Token Service, a new layer of security for mobile and digital payments, is live with NAB Pay. NAB Pay is NAB's new mobile payment service that enables customers to use their mobile phone to make in-store purchases without the need for a physical card.

According to Stephen Karpin, Group Country Manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, "Today Visa's first tokenised mobile transaction has launched in the Australian market and we are excited about the potential it brings."

"Australian consumers are ready for the next wave of digital payments with growing interest in using their smartphone to make payments. Tokenisation will not only accelerate the move to mobile, by bringing the added benefit of a new layer of security, it will also provide a secure foundation for previously unimagined ways to pay. In the future, any Internet-connected device could become a secure way to make payments," he said.

Tokenisation replaces the 16 digit card account number with a unique digital identifier (a "token") that can be used for card payments in the digital world, without exposing a cardholder's more sensitive account information.

Visa cards that are tokenised are also domain controlled, meaning the tokenised card is linked only to a consumer's phone or wallet application, transactions are validated in real-time by Visa's global payment processing platform VisaNet, and if the phone is lost or compromised, the consumer's account doesn't have to be closed and new cards issued.

Visa works in concert with financial institutions, technology platform providers and device manufacturers to incorporate new and advanced identification methods to further protect consumers in every transaction, through device identification, biometric authentication, and other capabilities.

"Visa's approach to security consists of multiple layers. If a fraudster gets past one door, they'll find the one behind it is locked. What tokenisation does is add another layer of protection, which is important as payments become increasingly digital and mobile. As payments evolve, security has to evolve with it," said Mr Karpin.

The Visa Token Service is a new security technology that first launched in the United States and is being rolled out in several markets across the world, with Australia again at the forefront of payments innovation.

According to Mr Karpin, "Australians have proven to be a nation of early adopters with respect to payments innovation, with almost seven in 10 face to face Visa transactions now made using Visa payWave, setting the scene for a move to mobile 1," he said.

A number of factors highlight Australians' preparedness for paying with their mobile in-store, including:

  • Australians have one of the highest rates of smartphone ownership 2.
  • Visa payWave is currently experiencing the highest levels of popularity in Australia, at more than double the rate of the second highest country 3.
  • Further, the EMV chip technology standard has been successfully adopted by Australian financial institutions and rolled out to cardholders and merchants in this market provides the infrastructure for a move to mobile payments.

As payments shift from plastic to digital, Visa is helping financial institutions, merchants and technology partners to offer consumers a secure, simple and consistent purchasing experience, regardless of where they are and what device they are using.

The Visa Token Service supports a broad range of use cases including proprietary wallets such as NAB Pay, third party wallets and remote payment applications such as in-app payments, or where customer card details are held on file for recurring remote payments.

"We are supporting a range of mobile payment solutions in market and are continuing to work with our financial institution partners and technology providers to make more mobile payment options available to Visa cardholders," added Mr Karpin.


1 VisaNet data, October 2015
2 Visa/UMR Strategic study, February 2015
3 Tokenisation: Why Australia, why now, whitepaper, February 2015


About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information visit and @VisaNewsAU.

Media contact:
Teneille Rennick
02 9253 8841 or +61 449 892 915
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