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Digital Wallet Safety & Security

Digital Wallet Safety & Security

Did you know that using your MTC Federal debit or credit card with digital wallet is safer than using the actual plastic card.  Why?  Digital wallets use a technology called tokenization.  Tokenization completely removes the card data and replaces it with a unique “token” comprised of random letters & numbers.  Each time you perform a card transaction, the merchant only has access to the token to gain authorization, while your sensitive card data such as account number and expiration date are stored safely at a highly secure offsite location.  If a merchant experiences a data breach, your account number will not be affected, as it was never used in the original transaction.

While some phones have their digital wallet app’s pre-installed, it may be necessary to download the app from the applicable app store.  Access to digital wallet phone FAQ’s can be found using the links below and can answer questions regarding the type of digital wallet app available to a phone and download instructions for the app:

REMEMBER: Never give out the passwords to your digital wallet apps, and pay attention to your surroundings when you enter your PIN. If you notice suspicious transactions on your account, change your passwords and contact the credit union immediately.

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What is tokenization?

In general, to “tokenize” something means to turn it into something else. This new thing represents the original thing, but is unrecognizable or unusable outside of a certain context.

Think about when you go to a fair and purchase tokens to play the games. The token represents your money. You can use the tokens for corn hole, ski ball or perhaps buy a funnel cake, but you can’t use them once you leave the fair. The tokens have no value outside of that specific event.

 

How does tokenization work when it comes to my card?

When used in card transactions, tokens are created to replace your card number. The token in this case would be a string of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers, which represent your 16-digit account number. The token, rather than your actual card number, would be used to complete the purchases you’re making with your card.

This improves payment security immensely. In a typical card transaction, there are lots of opportunities for your account number to be exposed – one nefarious worker at the point of sale could see your card number, memorize it, then use it to go on a shopping spree. Likewise, a hacker could skim your data at some point while it’s being processed, then sell it on an underground market.

But if a token – rather than your account number – is passing through all the systems involved in authorizing your transaction, your payment information stays safe. The token can only be “unlocked” when it has reached its final destination, the payment processor. Until then, it’s meaningless to anyone who might encounter it.

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