Visa introduces CVV-Free Online Transactions for Tokenised Cards in India


In line with RBI’s guidelines, first payment network to introduce the solution for domestic ecommerce transactions


Visa (NYSE: V), the global leader in digital payments, has introduced CVV (Cardholder Verification Value) free online transactions for domestic tokenised credentials in India. The move is in line with the Reserve Bank of India's guidelines on tokenisation, which came into effect last year. As the first payment network to introduce CVV-free online transactions across the merchant ecosystem, Visa aims to make domestic card-not-present (CNP) tokenised transactions faster while ensuring safer and secure transactions for its consumers.

Ramakrishnan Gopalan, Head – Products, India and South Asia, Visa said, “We have always strived to ensure a superior payment experience, coupled with minimum friction and best-in-class security. With the accelerated use of tokens, merchants who use tokenisation for transactions on Visa cards, need not collect the CVV2 anymore for domestic online transactions originating on tokenised credentials, as this is already taken care of when the card was first tokenised. We are confident this move will unlock positive and smooth payment experiences for consumers on their online domestic transactions.”

CVV2, simply put, is the three-digit number on the back of a physical debit or credit card. Collecting CVV2 remains mandatory during initial token provisioning. Going forward, merchants and acquirers can stop collecting CVV2 during subsequent token-based domestic CNP transactions for evolved, safe, and secured payments.  

Tokenised transactions are two-factor-authenticated and use an encrypted token instead of actual card details. In addition, they use a Token Authentication Verification Value (TAVV) cryptogram for cardholder-initiated transactions.

Visa was the first network to provide Card-on-File tokenisation services in India. As of March 2023, Visa has issued over 250 million tokens in India. Since the implementation of the guidelines in October 2022, tokenisation has seen rapid adoption across the ecosystem and token transactions have constituted a majority of domestic card-not-present (CNP) transactions in India.