Amex replaces credit card numbers with digital tokens

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Amex replaces credit card numbers with digital tokens

Aims to circumvent fraudsters.

American Express has introduced a service replacing traditional 16-digit credit card numbers with a digital token, in an effort to improve transaction security and lift the retailer's burden of having to store payment card details.

The American Express Token Service, currently only available in the US, is based on the payment tokenisation specification and technical framework published by the organisation that maintains the EMV standard for chip-enabled cards, EMVCo.

The solution will be rolled out internationally next year, American Express said.

It removes the need for mobile wallet and online retail services to store customer card details by replacing credit card numbers with a digital token connected to a customer's payment accounts.

The tokens can be tied to specific merchants, payment devices or transaction types, which American Express expects will limit the ability for the token to be misused and reduce fraud.

The tokens can also be given a specific lifetime, and can also be suspended, revoked and reissued if compromised.

American Express also announced that it had developed network specifications for host-card emulation for its card-issuing partners to offer additional security options for payments made with NFC-enabled mobile devices running Android OS KitKat 4.4.

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