New tokenization capability helps strengthen security of bank account information for customers

Secure Token Exchange for better deposit (or checking) accounts protects customers and financial institutions on The Clearing House’s RTP® and EPN network.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Tokenization for deposit and current account information, which ensures that a customer’s bank account and routing numbers are never transmitted with a payment, will soon be available to financial institutions that use the RTP® and EPN networks, the real-time payments networks and the Automated Clearing House (ACH) networks operated by The Clearing House.

Secure Token Exchange (STE) for customer deposit and checking accounts is a new optional feature currently available for the RTP network that issues tokens for a customer’s bank account and routing numbers. These tokens can be used as real account numbers for transactions on the RTP network. This helps reduce instances where a customer’s bank account numbers are stored outside of their bank, such as with a fintech app, biller, retailer, or other third parties. The tokenization of customer deposits and checking accounts for EPN is targeting availability later this quarter.

Tokens for customer deposit and checking accounts use random numbers to replace a customer’s actual account numbers when making a payment. Even if compromised, the token can be disabled, rendering it useless to cybercriminals.

PNC Bank is one of the first financial institutions to use STE for customer deposit and checking accounts. More than nine million PNC customers will be able to have their account numbers tokenized when making payments on the RTP or EPN network.

“Enabling the tokenization of our customer account numbers represents another step in our journey to help customers conduct more secure transactions with the third parties of their choice,” said Bill Demcak, PNC Chairman, President and CEO. “This capability aligns with our commitment to protect our customers’ accounts by providing them with ways to grant secure access to the financial information they entrust to us.”

Akoya LLC is the first third-party service provider to use STE for account number tokenization on behalf of financial institutions connected as data providers to its Akoya Data Access Network. Fintechs and other data recipients will be able to retrieve tokenized account numbers directly through Akoya.

“Akoya can automatically exchange real accounts and routing numbers for tokens and deliver them to fintechs and data aggregators for financial institutions,” said Stuart Rubinstein, CEO of Akoya. “This mitigates the significant security and risk issues associated with enabling payments and works seamlessly with existing payment rails.”

“In today’s connected and digital economy, customers are increasingly using electronic payments to make purchases, send money to friends and family, and pay bills,” said Jim Aramanda, President and CEO, The Clearing House. “Customer account number tokenization, which replaces actual account numbers with a token, is another step financial institutions can take to make their customer accounts even more secure when making payments.”

The RTP network offers the banking industry a modern platform for domestic payments, with rich data capabilities and immediate payment confirmation. The system allows for instant settlement and availability to payment recipients, so these funds can be used or cashed out in seconds. The RTP network currently reaches 61% of demand deposit accounts in the United States, and all federally insured depository institutions, regardless of size, can join the network. Over 240 financial institutions use the RTP network, with more joining every week. Since 2017, the RTP network has offered a flat rate pricing structure for all depository institutions that have no monthly fees, volume discounts, or minimum volume requirements.

EPN is the industry’s private sector ACH service, helping financial institutions process and settle ACH transactions and providing related services. Year after year, EPN continues to grow and reliably processes around 70 million transactions every day, with over 121 million transactions at the last daily peak.

About PNC

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and a local offering of personal and business banking services, including a full range of lending products; specialized services for businesses and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For more information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About Akoya

Akoya is transforming the way consumer financial data is accessed and shared. Through a unique integration with Akoya’s Data Access Network, data aggregators and fintechs can connect directly to financial institutions to securely obtain consumer-authorized financial data via APIs. Akoya manages these relationships and provides an interoperable solution available to the entire financial services industry. Please visit www.akoya.com or follow Akoya on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more.

About the Clearinghouse
The clearing house operates United States-based payment networks that clear and settle over 2 trillion dollars every day via wire transfer, ACH, check image and real-time payments. It is the most experienced payments company in the country, with a long track record of delivering secure and reliable systems, payments innovation and strategic leadership with financial institutions. More recently, The Clearing House revolutionized the US payments infrastructure with the RTP® network, which supports immediate payment clearing and settlement, as well as the ability to exchange associated payment information via the same secure channel. These RTP capabilities enable all financial institutions to offer safer, faster and smarter digital transaction services to their corporate and retail customers. Learn more at www.theclearinghouse.org.

SOURCE The Clearinghouse

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