With larger amounts of sensitive data to manage every day, financial institutions are seeking new ways to secure their systems and databases. While encryption may have been the go-to method in the past, a new security measure is emerging at the forefront of finance: tokenization.
Tokenization is often overcomplicated – however, the reality of the process is actually quite straightforward and secure. Through the use of randomized data and central storage vaults, tokenization poses many potential benefits to banking and the broader financial industry.
The word tokenization is being thrown around more and more – and for good reason. In this article, we will discuss what tokenization is and how exactly it works. Plus, we will cover 3 key advantages of tokenization for banks.
What is Tokenization?
Tokenization is a security process that transforms sensitive data into non-sensitive data. The non-sensitive data is known as tokens that are then passed between authorized personnel.
The distinction of a token is that it does not contain the actual sensitive data. Instead, it holds a randomized piece of data that stands in place of the more valuable information. This information resides safely in a vault, safe from dangers it may encounter in the transaction process.
A popular example of tokenization within finance involves swapping out credit or debit card numbers with a different number. This different number then becomes the token that an institution’s systems can use internally to recognize which card number the token corresponds to in the vault.
How Does Tokenization Work?
As explained, a token does not carry the real sensitive data that is being transmitted. What it holds is a randomized version that cannot be reversed or deciphered without direct access to the storage vault.
This enables payment processing and other financial services to transmit customer banking data without the risk of breaching privacy protocols. Even if a token is intercepted, there is no way to make sense of the data it is carrying. On its own, a token is largely worthless.
The token vault is typically kept secure by a third-party provider. Limiting access to the vault as much as possible is crucial for protecting the real data represented by the tokens.
Benefits of Tokenization for Banks
Aside from an undecipherable level of security, tokenization offers banks a myriad of additional benefits. From security to customer satisfaction, tokenization can help reshape the way financial institutions do business.
Here are 3 key advantages of tokenization for banks:
1. Combatting Data Breaches
Without the proper security infrastructure, the data within traditional payment processing systems could be targeted by digital criminals looking to steal information to commit fraud.
Comparatively, tokenization adds an extra layer of protection from data breaches. In the event that a token is intercepted, the information it provides will be of no use to the hacker without additional data about the vault. Even then, for the location of the vault and its access information to be uncovered would be a massive feat far beyond the scope of most digital crime.
Additionally, tokenization can help to meet compliance requirements for financial institutions. There are specific requirements that deal with the protection of cardholder data, and tokenization makes meeting these all the more efficient.
2. Building Customer Trust
Tokenization can be used for more than just protecting card information. It can also be used for authenticating customer identity throughout digital financial services. Plus, it helps alleviate concerns that crop up during a customer’s digital experience.
heaps of misinformation and confusion surrounding digital finance solutions, customers can have a hard time finding a strong sense of security.
With tokenization, banking clients can rest assured that their private financial data is safe at all points of its journey. What’s more is that tokenization can aid in improving many other aspects of the customer experience, such as employing an omnichannel approach.
3. Improving Payments
Tokenization inherently gives the payment processing sector more freedom and flexibility. This enables a far greater level of innovation within the sector and exposes the enormous potential for the future of payments.
In fact, there are already major examples of how tokenization is being utilized to reshape the payments industry. Take Apple Pay, for instance – a mobile app or card that uses a token stored on your phone to complete transactions. Thousands of customers already use and place great trust in this service.
As customer expectations continue to shift, building up their trust is crucial. Tokenization is rising in popularity within the financial industry thanks to customers expressing genuine interest and preference towards it.
In truth, tokenization is popular with customers for good reason. It adds an extra layer of protection to customer data that makes it highly secure against almost all data breaches. On top of that, it serves as a crucial enabler for further innovation within the payments processing industry.
Financial institutions are sure to see the use of tokenization in banking only continue to increase. Those who are forward-thinking may even see this as the right opportunity to pioneer early innovation and gain a significant competitive edge.