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Digital ‘Banking-as-a-Platform’ solution delivers instant PSD2 compliance for banks, mitigates digital payment risks and eliminates disintermediation

Token, Inc., a new kind of payment network and API ecosystem enabling banks to quickly transform the PSD2 compliance threat into a revenue generating opportunity, launches today.

Based on proprietary and patent-pending ‘programmable tokenization’ technology, Token has created a digital payment network designed to empower banks to market leadership in digital transactions. The Token platform leverages each bank’s policies and procedures and integrates with their core system APIs to provide an instant springboard into the execution of cryptographically secure, PSD2-compliant digital transactions.

The power of Token

Token’s platform frees banks from the ‘shared secrets’ model of transaction security where sensitive information like card numbers and usernames and passwords, or OAuth tokens, are used to authenticate users. This practice pre-dates the digital age and remains critically vulnerable to attack, yet still underpins the overwhelming majority of banking transactions, including those ‘secured’ by third-party token service providers.  Instead, Token enables banks to control the entire transaction chain, issuing and redeeming payment authorizations in the form of pre-programmed ‘smart tokens’. These can encapsulate any number of arbitrarily complex terms and conditions in accordance with the instructions of the account holder, including their exclusive assignment to individual transaction amounts, between specific parties, at precisely specified times. They can also execute callouts to external Web Services. As a result, sensitive card or account data never leaves the bank’s systems, masked or otherwise, vastly reducing the bank’s security vulnerabilities.

New revenues and the end of bank disintermediation

Given that the Token solution integrates seamlessly with each bank’s infrastructure, banks no longer have to relinquish front-end control of their customer relationships to digital payment-enabling partners. Token’s platform also enables banks to issue value added services and retain ownership of the resultant customer profiling data. These advantages benefit banks by eliminating the widely documented threat of disintermediation, while providing a model that both increases margins and reduces time-to-revenue for new digital services.

The team behind Token

The team behind Token consists of bank, payment and security experts from Google, Barclays, Citibank, MIT, Stanford, Amazon, Facebook, McKinsey and BancTec, and was founded by serial Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur, Steve Kirsch. Token’s CTO, Yobie Benjamin, was formerly the Global CTO at Citigroup.

“Token was designed to meet the needs of payments in the digital age; it is a simple, powerful, extensible and secure transaction network that enables banks to establish PSD2 compliance virtually overnight,” comments Steve Kirsch, CEO, Token. “Banks’ over-reliance on out-dated networks and third party service providers is not only commercially counterproductive, it is also a data security nightmare. It’s time for a change and the banks we are engaged with agree.

“PSD2 is our focus right now, but Token can enable retail and wholesale banks to streamline a wide variety of use cases, including e-commerce checkouts, bill payment, P2P transactions, B2B payments, account information aggregation, cash sweeping and more,” adds Kirsch. “PSD2 is just the beginning.”

Funding & partnerships

Token has raised millions of dollars from Google, Facebook, Xiaomi, Tesla and Paysafe executives, together with two VC firms: PlugAndPlay Ventures and Digital Currency Group. Token’s integration partner is CGI. Its rules and regulations partner in the US is NACHA.

Market traction

Token is engaged with many of the largest banks in the UK and Northern Europe and is working particularly closely with Nets, one of the largest digital payments specialists in the Nordics, to explore options in instant payments and PSD2. The largest consumer banks in a number of EU countries are committed to move forward with Proof of Concept trials.