Akoya Is Now “First” Third-Party Service Provider for Tokenized Payments

Akoya is the “first” third-party service provider to provide access to the Secure Token Exchange (STE), “a new optional capability from The Clearing House (TCH) that issues tokens for financial institutions’ account numbers, for the RTP network and EPN, the real-time payments and Automated Clearing House (ACH) networks operated by TCH.”

Financial institutions will be able to tokenize customer account information and “share those tokens with Fintechs and data aggregators through Akoya.”

Instead of account and routing numbers, these tokens “can be used for initiating and requesting payments and linking payment accounts.”

Stuart Rubinstein, CEO of Akoya, stated:

“Currently, moving money in the United States requires sensitive account information to be widely shared between multiple parties, which increases the risk of fraud if and when the data is exposed. In addition, a breach at one entity holding that data requires a consumer closing and opening a new account at their bank – a complicated, cost-heavy, and cumbersome process. Tokenization can mitigate risks and reduce costs in case of a breach since only the token issued to the impacted financial institution needs to be changed – not the underlying account.”

TCH’s STE issues “a unique token – a random string of characters to financial institutions that participate in the service and sponsored token requestors.”

Each token stands in for the actual account number of a deposit account and may be “used by a third party (e.g., a fintech app).”

Any scenario that “requires the storage of account information would see a significant decrease in risk and liability by leveraging tokenized account numbers.”

Jeffrey Williams, Senior Vice President of Product Development at TCH, stated:

“Akoya will accelerate the adoption of  Secure Token Exchange across financial services and reduce overall risk in the payments space. Tokenization will not affect how payments are conducted on either RTP or ACH rails.”

Akoya will act as an agent for financial institutions that “participate in TCH’s token service to request and receive tokens, creating a token-requestor gateway for entities connected to Akoya.”

This removes the need for financial institutions, fintechs, and data aggregators “to integrate directly with TCH’s token service if they have already integrated with Akoya.”

TCH is “a member of Akoya’s Board of Directors.”

Akoya is transforming the way consumer financial data “is accessed and shared.”

Through a single integration to the Akoya Data Access Network, data aggregators and fintechs “can directly connect with financial institutions to securely obtain consumer-permissioned financial data through APIs.”

Akoya manages these relationships and “serves as an interoperable solution available to the entire financial services industry.”

The Clearing House operates U.S.-based payments networks “that clear and settle more than $2 trillion each day through the wire, ACH, check image, and real-time payments.”

It is the nation’s most experienced payments company, “with a long track record of providing secure and reliable systems, payments innovation, and strategic thought leadership to financial institutions.”

In 2017, The Clearing House “revolutionized U.S. payments by introducing the RTP® network, which supports the immediate clearing and settlement of payments and the ability to exchange related payment information across the same secure channel.”

These RTP capabilities “enable all financial institutions to offer safer, faster, and smarter digital transaction services for corporate and retail customers.”

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