Understanding Security & Mobile Debit Payments

2 minute read
2 minute read

Just a little over a year ago, we made the news as the first domestic debit payment network to launch with Apple Pay and just recently we announced the launch of INTERAC Debit on Android Pay – all of which makes use of the INTERAC Token Service Provider (TSP).


I’m sure you are asking yourself, just what the heck is a TSP, and why should I care? Well it involves a lot of acronyms and technical payment industry details, but the crux of it is, when you decide to add your card information to a mobile wallet, your actual card details are verified with your bank, and stored in the TSP’s “token vault”. We then create new card details and those are what is stored on your phone. This is what we call “tokenization”.


“Big deal,” I hear you say, “What does this mean to me?” We won’t put the debit card into the mobile wallet until your bank is satisfied that the person adding the card is indeed you. You can verify your identity by receiving a code through email or text message, by using your banks mobile app, or by calling your bank and answering some questions.


The security doesn’t stop there — if your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can have the card on your phone disabled by calling your bank, or using a service like Find My iPhone, and your physical card will continue to work. In fact, if you have added your card to other phones of yours, those will continue to work as well.


Another security benefit is that when you use your debit card with a mobile wallet, the merchant only gets your tokenized card information. The tokenized card information is of no use to the bad guys, because it is tied to your phone and mobile wallet. So even if they get a hold of it, it has no value for them.

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