Mastercard Improves Online eCommerce Security Capabilities

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As digital commerce continues to accelerate owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mastercard has announced that it will offer new security services to merchants in South Africa. The company says that it hopes this will further protect consumers and increase 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.

“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,” says Suzanne Morel, Country Manager for South Africa at Mastercard.

“With consumers feeling safer shopping virtually, eCommerce 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 a 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 program was designed to be fully compatible with existing acquirer and payment service provider (PSP) “local” token and encryption solutions.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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