Why Credit Card Tokenization is a Startup’s Best Friend

Think of some of the biggest names in e-commerce: let’s say Amazon, Apple and Expedia. When you go to make a purchase on their website or in iTunes, what do they have a common? Your billing and credit card information is stored as part of your account profile, which allows you to finalize your purchase with one simple click.

Companies do this because they recognize the importance of creating a seamless shopping experience. The more steps you add to the checkout process, the more likely your customers will drop out. This gets amplified if they have to re-enter their credit card number every time they make a new purchase.


Now let’s say you have a brand new startup and you want to offer customers the same great “one-click” checkout experience. You tell your developer, “store the credit card numbers so that returning customers don’t have to re-enter everything.” All of the sudden your developer’s eye widen, his smile disappears and he begins to imagine all of the nightmare scenarios that could occur from storing these.

From a marketing side of things, the business decision is a “must” that makes perfect sense. From an IT side, it’s a huge security undertaking that can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in compliance fees. Even worse, a hacker stealing all of your customers’ credit card numbers can destroy your startup’s reputation right out of the gate.


This is where credit card tokenization shines. It allows you to enjoy an enterprise-grade solution while at the same time drastically reducing your security scope. By using a payment gateway with card tokenization, your developer can store a “token” of the credit card number without storing the actual card number in your database. When your returning customer makes a new purchase, the token is sent and the payment gateway retrieves the original credit card number to process.

You can now sleep at night knowing that your customers have an easy one-click solution, and your developers can go back to dreaming in code.