Partnerships / Acquisitions

Mastercard Certifies TCH As Token Services Provider

Mastercard money

The Clearing House and Mastercard announced news on Thursday (Oct. 19) that they are partnering to enable The Clearing House (TCH) to provision and manage Mastercard-branded tokens on behalf of banks.

In a press release, TCH said the deal establishes it as one of the first third-party token service providers to be certified by Mastercard, enabling it to support current and future token capabilities, such as mobile payments, remote purchases and Internet of Things (IoT) transactions.

“The safety and security of payments is paramount to TCH and our owner banks, and was a core rationale for our initial token work stemming back several years,” Dave Fortney, executive vice president of product development and management at TCH, said in the report. “We are excited to partner with Mastercard to provide issuer optionality and functionality for token services.”

The Clearing House has been a longtime participant in tokenization, which replaces a physical card number with a unique alternate number or “token.” TCH said the agreement paves the way for it to offer fully compliant tokens that transact over the Mastercard network.

For Mastercard, the partnership builds on the company’s aim to support a token ecosystem and enable issuer optionality for services. In an interview with PYMNTS, Sherri Haymond, Mastercard executive vice president of digital partnerships, said that the partnership with TCH comes as “an extension of what we have been doing since 2014,” when the company announced the debut of its tokenization service, MDES. It also comes on the heels of published standards dating back to 2016 centered on third-party creation of Mastercard tokens on behalf of Mastercard issuers.

The relationship announced on Thursday allows banks issuing Mastercard-branded cards the option to tokenize accounts through TCH. Speaking broadly of tokenization, she said the goal is to make “data useless if it gets into a fraudster or criminal’s hands … what we are trying to do with tokenization is create a world where, eventually, there are no card numbers stored anywhere.”

The Clearing House said it will launch its card tokenization solution in the next quarter and is in the process of extending tokenization to other networks it manages, including Real-time Payments (RTP).


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