Break the Token Barrier

Break the Token Barrier and Save Your Company Issues with migrating credit card tokens. 

Merchants who receive millions in revenue from online payments have a big barrier that prevents them from getting more competitive pricing on their transactions and better servicing –  it’s the cost of moving their “tokens.”   Tokenization is the process of encrypting credit card data into randomly created numbers – AKA a token.  Tokenization protects the credit card data while still allowing the merchant to run recurring and/or repeat transactions without having to recapture the credit card information from the cardholder.

The management of credit card tokens is a crucial component of payments for merchants with recurring customers.   Often merchants want to switch payment gateways and/or credit card processors.   Reasons include cost reduction, software functionality, security, and compliance.    For merchants with stored credit card tokens, switching payment gateways can be a scary and hazardous undertaking.

Recapturing credit card numbers from the customers is a safe and easy approach that solves any issue with switching credit cards.  However, many merchants do not want to ask customers for their credit card information again. Contacting customers to recover credit card data can be perceived as obtrusive and inconvenient, which could result in a bad customer experience.  Moreover,  customers may become nervous and hesitant as a result, giving delayed or insufficient responses. Recapturing credit card information also poses security issues. In order to prevent security breaches and illegal access, merchants must handle sensitive client data with extreme caution. The merchant is in charge of protecting consumer information, and any improper treatment can erode confidence and damage the shop’s image.  Finally, customers may need to be further educated on the benefits of the migration and the significance of providing their credit card information once more.  This can be time consuming for the merchant.

Assuming a merchant does not want to or cannot recapture credit card information from its customers, the only other viable option is to migrate credit card tokens from one payment gateway to another.

What can go wrong?

  1. Errors can occur during the mapping process rendering some to all tokens useless.
  2. Delays in the migration can cause “down time” when the merchant can’t process transactions.
  3. Onerous fees charged by the outgoing gateway.

Maintaining the correctness and integrity of the data is one of the main difficulties when moving credit card tokens between payment gateways. The data formats, encryption techniques, and tokenization strategies that each payment gateway uses may be different. It can be difficult and error-prone for merchants to map the current credit card tokens between payment gateways. Customer dissatisfaction, refused payments, and unsuccessful transactions can all result from inaccurate or inadequate mapping.

Planning and testing in detail are essential for reducing data integrity and mapping problems. The use of tokenization processes, encryption algorithms, and data structures at both the source and destination payment gateways must all be thoroughly analyzed. A smooth transition can be ensured with careful mapping, validation, and testing methods during the migration process.

When migrating credit card tokens to a new payment gateway, it is critical to consider the compatibility of the new system with existing systems and integrations within the business infrastructure. Incompatibilities can lead to disruptions in data flows, error-prone transactions, and operational inefficiencies.

Different payment gateways may have varying application programming interfaces (APIs), integration requirements, and data exchange formats. If the new payment gateway does not seamlessly integrate with the existing systems, it can lead to technical complications, delays, and even temporary service disruptions.

Moving credit card tokens between payment gateways requires a substantial modification to the system’s underpinnings. Any delays or interruptions experienced throughout the migration process may have an influence on the payment processing operations, resulting in losses in money and a poor customer experience. To minimize disturbance, the migration procedure must be quick and effective.

Planning and coordination must be done carefully if payment processing interruptions are to be avoided. It is essential to develop a comprehensive migration strategy that involves extensive testing, staggered deployments, and fallback plans. Before going live, a migration simulation in a controlled environment, like a test environment, can assist find and fix any potential problems. To manage expectations and ensure a smooth transition, communication with key stakeholders, such as clients and business partners, is also crucial.

Finally, many gateways either do not allow for the export of tokens on their gateway or charge a large fee for the procedure.   Some critics will argue that these gateways do this to hold merchants hostage and prevent them from leaving.  These fees must be balanced against the benefits of switching gateways.  Generally speaking, when the reduction in fees can pay for the cost of transition within 6 months it becomes wise to make move forward with a carefully planned strategy that lets you reap great rewards for breaking the token barrier.