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Passenger Journey: ICC or Tokenisation?

Tracking the passenger journey:

ICC or Tokenisation?

In cEMV ticketing, there is a need to store payment activites (taps, check-ins/check-outs etc) and compare them with an identifier linked to the passenger’s journey, the pre-purchased ticket or account-based/card-based ticketing. The Chinese wall between payment transaction flow, according to PCI standards, and ticketing intelligence making it impossible to recognise travellers purely based on EMV data.

There are multiple methods to solve this problem. The most well-known card chip serial numbers (ICC) and tokenised card data are discussed in this blog.

Arguments against ICC

  1. The ICC data is not unique. Although the chance of duplicates and thus data corruption is small, it is a risk for large systems.
  2. Banks renew the payment card every 3 to 4 years. A new bank card means a different serial number, and any product linked to the previous ICC data will be lost.
  3. Online purchases transfer no ICC data. And mobile devices have their serial number. The result is that the operator cannot recognise the traveller’s purchases cross channels and limits the passenger’s journey.
  4. ICC data exchange needs additional communication from the validator to back-office

We have to conclude that ICC data will shield the transit organisation from PCI compliance but as a result the cEMV ticketing system is limited to a mono-channel, plastic bank cards-only system.

The alternative? Tokenisation and no we are not talking about crypto

A more sophisticated, simple and future-proof way to recognise cross-channel purchases is tokenizing the Funding Personal Account Number and using the token as an identifier. The identifier can connect any purchase and action to the ride, whatever payment means and channel the passenger uses, as long as the FPAN is the same. The token is a stand-in for the unique FPAN, and the token is not in the scope of the PCI standards. Mastercard and VISA facilitate and support tokenization in multiple ways.Β 

At first use tap, the token is created. Every time you tap the validator with any payment means belonging to the same FPAN, i.e. card, phone or wearable, the token is retrieved and forwarded to the ticketing system. The ticketing systems can now aggregate all actions for the token and decide how to calculate the fare. The ticketing system will even consider online purchases based or (pre-purchased) subscriptions.

The conclusion in one sentence, is that tokenising users card data number will enable passenger identification across multiple channels, while remaining uncomplicated. Ultimately this improves the passenger’s journey experience.

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Vayapay is a Payment Service Provider for mobility with a cloud-based smart payment platform. We focus on the PCI-compliant building blocks in the cEMV ticketing system: the omnichannel payment gateway and the token vault. Our platform is PCI DSS certified, developed in Northern Europe, and used and trusted by transit organisations in Europe. We have the MTT rules embedded in our payment gateway to enable your ticketing system for cEMV ticketing.