Partnerships / Acquisitions

Visa Expands Tokenization With Finalized Rambus Purchase

Visa Expands Tokenization With Finalized Rambus Purchase

Visa’s announcement of a June deal to purchase the token services and ticketing arm of Rambus – previously known as Bell ID and Ecebs LTD – was finalized on Tuesday (Oct. 22), Visa said in a press release.

“The acquisition strengthens Visa’s tokenization capabilities beyond card-based payments on the Visa network, to those using domestic card networks, account-based and real-time payments, extending the security and convenience of tokens to more transactions than ever before,” Visa said in the release. It also enables Visa to reach new markets, including the 28 countries where Rambus operates.

The Visa Token Service (VTS) is a new security technology that replaces account numbers with a unique digital identifier called a token. The technology allows payments to be processed without exposing actual account information.

The digital ticketing portfolio from Rambus aligns with Visa’s mission to offer mobility solutions to worldwide public transit operators. The collaboration will bring improved transit ticketing between consumers and transit.

Visa originally inked a deal in June to buy the token services and ticketing business of chipmaker Rambus. The payments company said at the time that the combination of its extant tokenization offerings with the local and account tokenization enabled by Rambus will help to secure payments of all types done across the globe.

Visa has long since offered tokenization through VTS for card-based payments on its network. Now, the addition of Rambus’ token technology will help Visa extend to transactions beyond Visa’s cards, including account-to-account transactions, payments done on domestic card networks and payments done across real-time payment systems. The assets gained in the acquisition help banks control or suspend tokenized bank account numbers, limit token use to specific channels and set spending limits.

The token services already reach 100 markets, which account for 90 percent of Visa’s total payments volume.

Against that backdrop, in the build-versus-buy debate, TS Anil, Visa’s senior vice president and global head of payment products and platforms, said the decision came down to buying the added capabilities that come with Rambus’ holdings. The combination allows Visa to build on existing capabilities “rather than starting from scratch,” noted the executive.

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