In the second of three blog posts on our pioneering Interac TSP offering, we look at the security of its token provisioning process.
Both our brand and our values as a company have always been based on the principle of trust, and one of the foundational elements of that trust is user security. As discussed in our first post on our Interac TSP offering, tokenization ensures security by keeping personal account numbers away from transactions between users and merchants, replacing real account numbers with uniquely-assigned but randomly-generated tokens.
This minimizes the risk from third-party eavesdropping on the transaction. But what if a user’s phone has been stolen? A second and equally important method used by our platform to protect users is the provisioning process, which governs how (and whether) a tokenized payment credential is enabled on a mobile wallet of a mobile device.
When a user first initializes their mobile wallet, a request with the user’s card information is sent by the mobile device to the Interac TSP, asking for authorization to provision payment credentials on the mobile device. At this point one of three things will happen:
- If the financial institution has pre-authenticated the user (or knows enough about the user to approve the request immediately), the financial institution will send its approval to the Interac TSP and payment credentials will be immediately provisioned. This path is sometimes referred to as the “green flow” scenario.
- More typically, the financial institution will require additional information to authenticate the user, and will provide one or more authentication options for the user to choose – for example, the user may be provided a one-time-password via text or email (the user would enter this into the mobile wallet, which would in turn validate the password with the financial institution), may phone into the financial institution’s call centre, or may log on to the financial institution’s mobile banking application on the same mobile device. Once the financial institution authenticates the user through any of these methods, it will send the Interac TSP an approval message and payment credentials will be provisioned. This is the “yellow flow” scenario – the standard approach for OEM Wallets, under our offering.
- Finally, for a variety of reasons a financial institution may simply decline the user’s request for payment credentials. These provisioning processes mean that the significant investments made by financial institutions over the years to be able to reliably authenticate their clients in ways other than face-to-face – whether they’re checking their accounts online or asking call centre representatives for increased limits on their cards – are now part of a multiple-factor verification regime ensuring a user’s mobile wallet cannot be provisioned with payment credentials after being stolen or cloned. Provisioning is not only a good thing for users and financial institutions, but a good thing for merchants too, who will face a far reduced risk of fraud and will enjoy a much higher certainty that their valued customers are exactly who they say they are when using their mobile wallets to pay.
What’s more, the fact that authentication is the responsibility of the financial institutions, while the creation and management of tokens is the responsibility of the Interac TSP, means that each of these two critical functions are being run by the entity most capable of securing it – yet another proof point for our conviction that partnerships bring the best talents to the table and create the best solutions. And as we all know, in matters of financial security, “best” is a minimum requirement.