Mastercard Boosts Online Security Capabilities as Ecommerce Accelerates in South Africa

As digital commerce continues to accelerate owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mastercard has announced it will offer tokenization services to merchants with app, eCommerce, and recurring billing card-on-file program in South Africa, further protecting consumers and increasing convenience when storing Mastercard cards in merchant databases.

Dubbed Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) for Merchants, the service uses a security measure known as tokenization to protect, speed up and simplify online and in-app Mastercard card purchases, as well as subscription-based and recurring payments like streaming music, video services and utility bills.

Tokenization encrypts consumer data by replacing Mastercard card numbers with digital tokens. Every time a transaction is made online, a unique token is created to make the payment and ensures that a consumer’s 16-digit card number is not stored anywhere. This prevents improper usage at any other location and provides additional security and peace of mind for consumers and merchants alike, resulting in higher approval rates while minimizing online fraud and reducing data breaches for merchants.

Suzanne Morel, Country Manager for South Africa, Mastercard said: “Online shopping has gained significant traction in South Africa, and it is imperative for merchants of all sizes to ensure that they are offering a convenient, enjoyable and most importantly, secure digital experience. With consumers feeling safer shopping virtually, e-commerce will be integral in economic recovery and driving revenues for businesses. At Mastercard, we are working towards protecting the interests of businesses and consumers alike and building technologies that ensure all digital transactions are trusted, secure and frictionless.”

Currently, consumers store their card numbers at five or more merchant locations In addition to the inherent security risks in the storage of card numbers online, when a card number changes, consumers are faced with the daunting task of updating payment information across all of these locations.

“This typically requires them to remember where their card has been stored, as well as the username and password they created when they stored it. If they are unsuccessful in changing the card number, transactions will fail – resulting in potential interruption in services, lower customer satisfaction and lost sales for the merchant,” explains Morel. “With MDES for Merchants, consumers no longer need to update their card details at each merchant when their card expires, allowing for seamless, ongoing payments.”

The MDES programme was designed to be fully compatible with existing acquirer and payment service provider (PSP) “local” token and encryption solutions

Mastercard has partnered with DPO Group, Walletdoc and Peach Payments in South Africa to roll out this technology to merchants and billers including Takealot, Mr Delivery, EasyPay, Zando and others over the next few months.

Peter Harvey, Managing Director for the DPO Group in Southern Africa said: “This is a very clever technical solution to a complex problem. The DPO Group has been working hard to add MDES to our core systems and I’m looking forward to offering our merchants enhanced security an improved user experience and better acceptance rates. The cherry on top is that they will get all this without having to make any changes to their systems and there will be no additional fees”.

Dan Wagner, Joint CEO, Walletdoc said: “Walletdoc is excited to partner with Mastercard to offer MDES tokenization services. Securing transactions between our merchants and their customers is our top priority. Walletdoc merchants will benefit from increased payment conversions, greater security and enhanced customer experience.”

Rahul Jain, Co-founder, Peach Payments said: “We pioneered tokenization, one-click checkouts and recurring payments in South Africa back in 2014. It is great to partner with Mastercard in taking this feature to the next level. We are excited by the enhancements and standardization MDES brings to the industry and benefits it will help drive for us, merchants and consumers alike.”

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