The FINANCIAL — MasterCard on June 15 became the first payment network to provide tokenization services to private label (store-branded) credit card issuers, enabling merchants to take advantage of the latest digital payment innovations. BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kohl’s and JCPenney will be among the first retailers to bring mobile payments to their private label cardholders later this year.
The company also announced partnerships with some of the largest private label credit card issuers in the U.S., including Synchrony Financial and Citi Retail Services, to enable consumers to use their eligible credit cards within participating mobile payment and digital wallet services.
According to Equifax’s National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the number of open retail credit card accounts exceeded the 195 million mark by the fall of 2014. As the only network to offer private label support for wallet service offerings, MasterCard continues to enable consumers to pay when, where and how they want – and on the device of their choice.
Tokenization support for private label issuers is made possible through the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES), which enables a connected device to be securely used for everyday shopping and payments. MDES supports contactless (NFC) payments with a mobile device at a physical point of sale, as well as from within a mobile app. Transactions are secured using industry-standard EMV cryptography and take full advantage of the most secure payments technology in the world, according to MasterCard.
“Thanks to our ongoing innovation and strategic partnerships, we are helping shape the future of how private label credit cards work in whichever digital wallet customers choose,” said Margaret Keane, president and CEO of Synchrony Financial. “It was recently announced that our retail partner, JCPenney, will be among the first to offer its private label credit cardholders the ability to checkout with Apple Pay later this year. We are committed to working with our retail partners, MasterCard, and key payments industry players to preserve the benefits of our private label credit cards and patented Dual Cards in third-party digital wallets.”
“We’re seeing significant momentum and innovation around digital wallets, and a key focus for MasterCard is that consumers can leverage these new offerings safely and securely. MDES was developed to ensure that any connected device can be used to make purchases, and deliver the simplicity, security and convenience people have become accustomed to when using a MasterCard account of their choice,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. “MasterCard is helping merchants capitalize on mobile payments, ensure the best possible consumer experience for their consumers and encourage both repeat business and customer loyalty.”
Since the announcement of MDES in 2013, millions of MasterCard accounts have been tokenized for use in popular digital wallet services. MDES currently provides tokenization services for credit, debit, co-brand, prepaid and small business cards, with private label tokenization beginning in the third quarter of this year.