Akamai and Visa Let Retailers Skip Credit Card Routing with Tokens

With the rise of virtual payment systems, used in games, online shopping and becoming further integrated into social networks, it’s important to protect consumer interests and their financial information. Akamai Technologies, provider of cloud optimization services in the media sector, is incorporating payment security into the cloud with Edge Tokenization.

Akamai is launching a new payment tokenization service, designed for retailers’ eCommerce solutions. It enables credit card data to be encrypted, then it’s assigned a token prior to web transactions on a merchant’s infrastructure. This streamlines payment processes, bypassing the need to route customer credit card data on their own infrastructure. This also reduces the points of interception for possible credit card theft.

Completing the tool set needed for Edge Tokenization, Akamai has teamed up with Visa subsidiary CyberSource, acquired earlier this year, providing direct and turnkey options for retailers. Through this partnership, retailers have no need to access credit card information, while still allowing for a hosted payment system. According to the company,

“Meeting stringent PCI compliance standards often takes repeated efforts, significant investment, and regular maintenance, translating into high costs and significant IT resources,” said Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder, Akamai. “We developed Edge Tokenization as a cost efficient solution for Web retailers to complete transactions in the cloud securely and at scale, without sacrificing performance.”

Akamai interacts with existing payment gateway Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to tokenize card and cardholder information without ever storing that higher-risk data to disk. Because this transaction occurs on Akamai’s level 1 PCI-compliant network, this replacement occurs securely and close to the end user, which further reduces potential risks.

Akamai, which has been seeing increasing shares these past few weeks, is making its claims in an increasingly competitive market. The cloud provider serves a number of media and retail members, developing its need to offer specific products and solutions. Clients such as the NFL and Brightcove have turned to Akamai for various distribution and monetization needs, which seek cross-device standards for things like HD streaming to the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

We’re seeing more products align themselves in the direction of online payments options. As the industry gains attention from established financial and credit institutions, more consumer-oriented solutions emerge. Akamai’s new Edge Tokenization extends these newer platform perks at the publisher level, bundling it with other cloud-based services.

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