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A Closer Look at PCI Tokenization

Advanced security tools, such as end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and PCI tokenization, are critical to protecting your customers’ sensitive data and reducing your PCI scope. Compliance with PCI standards isn’t just recommended – it’s required for every business, no matter what size or type. So how exactly does tokenization work, and what makes it so secure? Here, we’ll take a closer look at tokenization.

What Is Tokenization?

One of the most common PCI violations is storing unnecessary data, leaving credit card numbers vulnerable to theft and fraud. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with a surrogate value, or token, that cannot be decrypted by hackers and thieves, so real account numbers are not actually stored within the system.

The security of tokenization depends on four components: token generation, token mapping, card data vault and cryptographic key management.

  • Token generation refers to the process through which the token is generated, and can involve either a strong cryptographic algorithm or a one-way irreversible function, such as a randomly generated number. Tokens can be a single- or multi-use value.
  • Token mapping is the process for associating a token to its original personal account number (PAN). During this process, merchants should not receive the real account number, and chargebacks or refunds should be able to go through without the need for the full PAN.
  • The card data vault is the central repository of cardholder data. PAN data is encrypted within storage at this location, and the vault must comply with PCI requirements.
  • Cryptographic key management refers to how the cryptographic keys are managed and used to protect cardholder data.

Stay Protected with BluePay

Our advanced security solutions include tokenization, E2EE, address verification systems and more. With a full suite of PCI compliant credit card processing solutions, you can be sure your business is safe with BluePay.

For more information on our secure payment processing services, visit or contact us today! For news and updates, follow @BluePay on Twitter.

Topics: PCI Compliance and Fraud Prevention

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Whether you're a small business, an enterprise corporation, a financial institution, or a software partner, we have created a series of blog posts to help you and your customers, learn more about the complex nature of payments. Take a look to learn how payments can help to simplify your business operation, and may even help to grow your revenue.

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