News Details

Card Tokenization

  • by Rebecca Wharton
  • Sep 19, 2019, 07:10 AM

Card Tokenization And What it Means To You.

Have you seen a “$0.00 authorization hold” on your debit or credit card? In some cases, this temporary authorization is a new practice called “tokenization." Merchants and other processors are taking some extra steps to protect consumers’ accounts.  It has been reported that Amazon, PayPal and other large merchants have begun to tokenize cards on file to better protect their consumers’ account information. While this is a positive development in terms of fraud mitigation for online purchases, it has caused some confusion for cardholders.

What is tokenizing?

Tokenization is a process by which the primary card account number (PAN) is replaced with a surrogate value called a token. Essentially, tokenization protects credit and debit card numbers in a secure, virtual vault that can be transmitted across wireless networks without adding unnecessary risk.

What does tokenizing involve?

When the card is tokenized by the merchant, a “$0.00 authorization hold” may be visible within your account. For Visa transactions, it appears the description says “VISA Card Provisioning Services," but does not reflect a specific merchant.

We want to reassure you that this is normal, when a card is tokenized, and the hold will eventually clear. Many merchants will begin to tokenize cards on file. and you may see alerts or transactions showing the $0.00 authorization hold, particularly during a time when you are about to complete a purchase.  These will become more common and should not cause alarm.  As always if you have NOT had any contact with the merchant and/or if you receive an alert or see a pending transaction for a purchase that you did not authorize, please call the Credit Union at 410-534-4500 to report the fraud and block your card.