The Visa Network is Ready For Tokens, Are You?

by Tim Sloane 0

Digital Transactions has published the article “Visa’s Test Results: Record Peak Volume And Expected Smooth Sailing for Tokens.” The article states that the network is ready for the peak traffic associated with the upcoming holiday season.

“Visa Inc. can now process a peak volume of 56,000 messages per second—a record high—and foresees no glitches resulting from a new card-number masking technology expected to go into production some time this fall.
Visa arrived at these results upon completing an annual stress test earlier this month in anticipation of the upcoming holiday shopping season. The test takes “five very long and grueling days,” Manny Trillo, senior vice president of network processing at Visa, tells Digital Transactions, “during which the network subjects its hardware and software to a range of scenarios up to and including a simulation of system outages.”

The article goes on to explain how load testing also indicates “smooth sailing for tokens.”

“One new transaction type Visa, as well as other big networks, is likely to be processing by the time of the holiday rush is the tokenized payment. Both Visa and MasterCard Inc. have released specifications for this process, and Visa expects the first issuers to go live with it later in the year. With tokenization, issuers replace the actual card account number at the time of authorization with a randomly generated string of digits that is useless to data thieves. Typically, the message data are also protected by a cryptogram.”

While it is important to know that Visa has tested the network to determine that network performance will not be negatively impacted by tokens, the far bigger question is what business model will Visa use to drive the broad use of tokens?

Visa announced July 24 that it would directly offer “an innovative tokenization service” to issuers. On August 11, Seeking Alpha identified this service as a “long-term market potential of $10B+ in annual revenues.” It remains to be seen how, or if, Visa will accommodate token schemes introduced by issuing processors.


Overview by Tim Sloane, Vice-President, Innovation

To read the full story, go to Digital Transactions.