Bluefin, Visa pursue network tokenization


Dive Brief:

  • Bluefin, the Atlanta-based data and payment security firm, will integrate with Visa’s card network to provide tokens across card brandsthe companies announced on Friday.
  • With the new network tokenization capabilities, card brands can issue a token and distinct transaction cryptogram that facilitates transactions across multiple payment processors, gateways and acquirers, the company explained in a Jan. 20 release.
  • Bluefin’s payment gateway will be able to process the network tokens as part of the new tie. Network tokenization will be available for Bluefin’s merchants and partners, according to the press release.

Dive Insight:

Bluefin’s partnership with Visa is aimed at reducing payment fraud. Per the announcement, Bluefin has 300 international partners that serve 34,000 enterprise and software companies across 55 countries.

Card fraud will cost the payments industry $408.5 billion internationally over the next decade, according to the research firm Nilson Report. In 2030 alone, the card industry is expected to lose $49.32 billion in fraudulent transactions as the overall payment card volume is predicted to surpass $79 trillion.

Tokenization is a key aspect of securing the digital economy, replacing sensitive information with an token that helps hide sensitive information from cybercriminals,” Ansar AnsariVisa’s global head of platform products, said in a statement. “We hope to continue to expand working with companies like Bluefin to help keep all members of the payments ecosystem secure, as well as remove friction in digital commerce.”

Fraud is expected to continue roiling the industry in coming years. Nilson Report predicts that U.S. fraud losses will reach $17 billion dollars by 2030 as the country’s total card volume balloons to less than $19 trillion.

“The acceleration of digital commerce and card-not-present (CNP) transactions has underscored requirements for secure payment processing and data input,” Bluefin Chief Information Officer Tim Barnett said in the release. “We are excited to provide our partners and merchants with greater flexibility around how they tokenize cardholder data through the addition of this network tokenization option.”

Similarly, other payment platforms are working to protect personally identifiable information and health information. Semafone, a payment security and compliance company, teamed up with Avaya in 2021 to safeguard payments for call centers amid the Covid-19 pandemic-driven remote work environment. 

Many companies are trying to enable faster money transfers and tout the availability of funds as a selling proposition, but this is creating risks that must be addressed by technology.

Payments fraud is a focus for service providers and regulators. Senator Elizabeth Warren has already raised the alarm on payments fraud via peer-to-peer platforms like Zelle and urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to update Regulation E of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to provide stronger consumer protections for peer-to-peer payments transactions.


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