Tokenisation is much talked about in a variety of payment contexts at the moment, so we thought we’d blog about it.
First things first
Firstly, let’s define what we mean by tokenisation. It’s the process of replacing sensitive card data with a token, which cruise operators can use across various front- and back-end systems instead of the real card data.
This has a number of benefits. There are the obvious data security ones that come with reducing your PCI DSS scope. You are never actually processing or storing card data in the clear on your systems. If the tokens were compromised, the random strings of numbers would be little use to a criminal.
We store the real card data in our secure data centre. We use ‘format preserving tokenisation’ to create your tokens, so they look just like a normal card number with either 16 or 19 digits.
This means you can use the tokens in existing business applications and systems. For example, you may have stored card data to perform certain tasks, such as reserving cabins, performing pre-authorisations, top-up authorisations, or processing delayed and amended charges. You can still perform these tasks using the tokens instead.
If you have stored card details, speak to us. We can tokenise card numbers retrospectively without completing a transaction, which reduces your risk exposure and maintains consistency across back-end systems for all passengers.
What many people don’t realise is that tokenisation can also deliver day-to-day operational, cost and marketing benefits.
Our tokens work cross-channel, so if the customer booked the cruise online with a card and then uses the same card onboard, our systems will recognise this. This makes the logistics of refunds etc. easier.
It can also help power business expansion, because our tokens also work across geographies and sub-brands within your group. This single template helps minimise considerations and costs if you have cross-channel or cross-border expansion plans.
The number of data security breaches, especially in the hospitality sector, seems to be hitting like an incoming tide, pardon the pun.
As your finance director and indeed entire C-suite will appreciate, the costs of a data security breach are much larger than the regulatory fines for losing customer data. Seen in this light, the costs of implementing tokenisation (to reduce your risk exposure and PCI compliance scope) are modest compared to the costs of data compromise.
Finally, tokenisation is also relevant for marketing colleagues. As tokens are a unique way to identify passengers across your systems, they can be used for loyalty and promotions. For example, sending a promotional offer to a regular passenger.
As tokenised card data serves as a proxy for the card and cardholder, it can also be analysed internally, more so than real card data in the clear. This is useful for uncovering buying patterns and trends to plan marketing activity.
Want to know more?
For more information about tokenisation, please have a look at our Secure Payments Guide. Or for a free consultation on your particular needs, contact us using the form below.
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