Visa announced on Tuesday that it will be rolling out tokenization in Europe, an essential technology that allows for secure and convenient contactless payments using various technologies (via The Next Web). The tokenization service will be available to financial institutions in mid-April and helps pave the way for the launch of Apple Pay in Europe.
“This is an exciting time to be in the payment industry. We believe that 2015 will be the year that mobile payments will be in the hands of consumers across Europe," said Sandra Alzetta, Executive Director, Core Products for Visa Europe. "Tokenisation is one of the most important technologies to emerge in digital payments and has the potential to start a whole new chapter in the kinds of products that are developed."
Visa, MasterCard and American Express were among the credit card companies that launched tokenization in the United States ahead of the launch of Apple Pay last October. The technology replaces your credit card information with a randomized series of numbers during payment authorization to secure your account details when you tap your smartphone on a contactless payment terminal.
Apple Pay remains limited to the United States, although an international expansion could start with Canada as early as March. The NFC-based mobile payments service requires an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and will also be compatible with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 when paired with an Apple Watch.