Is tokenization same as encryption?

  • Team Omega
  • January 7, 2012

Tokenization is a jumble of unique symbols, alphanumeric characters or values replacing credit card numbers, randomly generated for a particular transaction carrying sensitive data and information within them.  The last 4 digits alone represent the actual credit card number.  Tokenization is extremely difficult to break down into actual card numbers. As tokenization is specific to a single transaction it is hard to reverse or recapture the credit card number it was used for.  Hence hackers don’t particularly care for them.

Encryption is the conversion of plain text or numbers into a much less intelligible set of characters to a common person.  It’s a way less sophisticated process compared to tokenization and the information can be easily de-crypted if the key required for it is used.  The key is an algorithm that undoes the work of the encryption algorithm.