By Robert Evatt
Copyright © 2013, Tulsa World. All Rights Reserved
Tulsa-based TokenEx works to make online transactions more secure, but the technology stays hidden from everyone who uses it, said Alex Pezold, co-founder and CEO.
“Users will never know that TokenEx is in the middle of their transaction,” he said.
But significantly more people will be using it now. TokenEx’s “tokenization” data security has been adopted by the World Vision humanitarian organization, which processed nearly 13.5 million credit card transactions last year.
Thanks to the agreement, these transactions will now flow through TokenEx.
World Vision is a Christian charity that tackles worldwide issues such as poverty and injustice.
Pezold said no one at TokenEx has previous contacts with World Vision – the charity found TokenEx via an online search.
“They looked at more established vendors,” he said. “The deciding criteria were our flexibility and our service offerings.”
Should the credit card transactions from World Vision remain constant, it will single-handedly triple TokenEx’s volume by the roughly 5 million it processed last year.
Tokenization is a relatively new form of online transaction security that replaces credit card numbers with tokens that have no relationship to the actual credit card numbers they’re replacing. Unlike encryption, there’s no way to decrypt the token and determine the credit card number.
TokenEx combines tokenization with encryption and key management to provide multi-layered security.
In addition to protecting customers from fraud, online transaction security also shields companies from their surprisingly high liabilities, Pezold said.
“The Ponemon Institute has estimated credit card fraud costs companies $133 per data breach,” he said.
Pezold and Jerald Dawkins spun TokenEx out of True Digital Security, a Tulsa-based digital security firm.
“We were talking about tokenization and sketched the idea for TokenEx on the back of a napkin at the Starbucks at 61st Street and Yale,” Pezold said.
So far TokenEx’s clients include charities, e-commerce sites and one health organization.
Despite the sudden massive increase in TokenEx transactions, the company’s server sites in Tulsa and Dallas have enough capacity to absorb it with no immediate need for additional resources, Pezold said.
“We haven’t had to make any kind of infrastructure or employee adjustment to accommodate them,” he said. “In fact we could probably handle four or five more World Visions where we are now.”
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447 or firstname.lastname@example.org