EMVCo updates its EMV Payment Tokenization Specification – Technical Framework bulletin.
The update will provide the payment community with a global, consistent framework to implement ‘Payment Account Reference’ (PAR). To be used by merchants, acquirers and payment processors, PAR can enhance security by limiting references to a cardholder’s primary account number (PAN) in the payment ecosystem.
Payment tokenization is the process of replacing a PAN with a unique payment token that may be restricted in its usage, for example, with a specific device, merchant, transaction type or channel. Traditional PAN-based payments will continue to be used alongside EMV Payment Tokens.
The introduction of PAR, which does not contain financially sensitive data, enables the payment acceptance community to link a cardholder’s payment token with their PAN transactions without needing to use their underlying card account number. This allows for a consolidated view of transactions on a payment account. This is also needed for security and regulatory reasons, such as risk analysis and anti-money laundering. It is also important for value-added services, as these often leverage historical transactional data to derive analytics and measurements to support customer programs such as loyalty.
The presence of PAR fulfills a fundamental need to link PAN-based and token-based transactions together. PAR enables the industry to move away from dependence on the PAN as the primary linkage. PAR data cannot be reverse-engineered to reveal the PAN or EMV Payment Token and cannot be used on its own to initiate a transaction such as authorization, capture, clearing or chargeback. Users of PAR data are required to protect PAR data in accordance with national, regional or local laws and regulations.
EMVCo – which is collectively owned by American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay and Visa – launched the EMV Payment Tokenization Specification – Technical Framework v1.0 in March 2014.
The PAR framework is designed to ensure global interoperability and support broad industry adoption. These latest updates are documented in the EMV Specification Bulletin No. 167, available to download without charge from the EMVCo website.
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