BrandArena: Mastercard, Thales and Providus Bank launch a tokenization and digitization initiative in Nigeria

Thursday 16 December 2021

Mastercard, Thales and Providus Bank launch a tokenization and digitization initiative in Nigeria

COVID-19 has led to more consumers and in-store employees avoiding physical contact and embracing social distancing. Mastercard and Providus Bank are extending the “contactless” payment solution alongside the growth of a low-touch environment, especially as more and more people are seeking safer and more secure ways to transact. 

Mastercard, Thales and Providus Bank have partnered to bring the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) tokenization and digitization initiative to the Nigeria market. The solution allows Mastercard and Providus Bank cardholders to make use of tokenized transactions online, as well as contactless tap-to-pay transactions via their mobile devices and wearables.

MDES offers consumers, merchants, and financial institutions the much-needed capability for making a payment without touching a physical device at the point of sale. 

Thales’ TSH solution is powering up the connection to the Mastercard MDES platform in order to launch on the Providus Mobile application and eMerchants. On behalf of Providus, Thales TSH is managing the flow and internal logic put in place to digitize the card, manage its lifecycle and then use it to make payments. 

“Changes during the pandemic have resulted in a consumer behavior shift that have also caused reduced interaction with cash. As a technology and digital innovator our responsibility as Mastercard is to bring cost-effective, efficient and reliable solutions that can benefit all stakeholders in the economy. Our MDES tokenization and digitization solution delivers exactly that. The innovation behind the MDES tokenization and digitization solution seeks to contribute to a cashless society that works for everyone. Our goal is to also provide consumers, merchants and our financial partners with solutions that are effective and relevant in the current environment,” said Ebehijie Momoh, Country Manager & Area Business Head, West Africa. 

Benefits to the consumer 
When it comes to payments, convenience is key and the MDES tokenization and digitization solution ensures that consumer cards (whether plastic or virtual) are always accessible to them for payments via their mobile or wearable device, for both card-present and card-not-present e-commerce payments. MDES tokenization generates a unique 16-digit token that can be used for completing an e-commerce transaction when the card is not present, instead of using their actual 16-digit card. The consumer’s actual 16-digit card number is protected from being exposed online during the transaction.

MDES enables a connected device such as a smartphone to act as a safe and secure payment method just like a physical card. Once the card credentials are provisioned to a mobile device, a cardholder is able to make purchases in three ways: by tapping at a contactless-enabled terminal, buying in-app and with e-commerce merchants.

This makes it possible for people to pay with any payment card, anywhere, on any device – through a simple click, tap or touch method, making everyday payments hassle-free, driving safety, simplicity and convenience. Furthermore, the MDES tokenization and digitization will enable Nigerian cardholders to make use of their cards when traveling within and outside the country. 

“Technology has evolved greatly in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade with the mobile phone technology playing a significant role in that space. As a Bank, our collaboration with Mastercard to provide additional value through the mobile device is a strategy to leverage existing infrastructure, while delivering simplified payment through the MDES (tokenization and digitization) offerings,” said Adeoye Ojuroye, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Strategy, Providus Bank.

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