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Network Tokens

Network Tokens represent a cutting-edge security feature provided by each card network offering the promise of higher authentication rates, lower costs, and the avoidance of some tokenization fees. These tokens serve as dynamic substitutes for actual card numbers during digital transactions, significantly bolstering security and privacy. Network Tokens are compatible with a wide range of digital wallets and payment applications and remove the need for consumers to update their cards when being issued a new one, ensuring a seamless user experience. Their primary purpose is to enhance the security of digital payments and safeguard sensitive card information, offering robust fraud prevention measures.

How to use Network Tokens with Basis Theory

Basis Theory Network Tokens

Basis Theory Network Token Enrichment offers seamless integration to the networks to acquire their tokens without having to fulfill the requirement of becoming PCI Level 1 compliant or developing each one of the network integrations yourself. Once acquired, these Network Tokens work natively with our existing services to get your data to any partner that can accept them. Learn more about the flow of Network Tokens in our Basis Theory Network Tokens section below.

Any Third Party Provider

The nature of the Basis Theory platform is to never lock you into a single provider or offering, enabling your engineers to build any solution your company needs to succeed in its market. This means you’re able to use our Tokens, Proxy, and Reactors to integrate with a Processor or third-party network token provider that has an API - for example Pagos, Cybersource, Adyen, etc. Learn how to implement Network tokens with our guide.

Direct to the Networks

Basis Theory provides the rails to connect directly to Visa, Mastercard, or AmEx. Customers would need to have their own agreements with each of the networks. Basis Theory’s role is to provide the infrastructure to securely create new tokens and process transactions, without customers needing to take on any additional PCI Scope.

Basis Theory Network Tokens

Creating Basis Theory Network Tokens

The creation of a Network Token starts with creating a Basis Theory Token, commonly via capturing the user's credit card data through a checkout form or API call, depending on your use case and PCI status. The next step is to request a Network Token for that record via a simple API Request (e.g. POST /network_token), which enriches the original Basis Theory token with the new Network Token and returned to store within your own systems.

Provision Network Token Diagram

Customer-Initiated Transactions

Customer-initiated transactions require a cryptogram to be created and sent with each charge. Basis Theory enables each merchant to request a cryptogram for each of their transactions before or during the payment flow. Basis Theory will also update the Network Token enrichment to include this new cryptogram - allowing you to either temporarily hold it within your system or utilize our Expression language without touching the cryptogram.

Provision Customer Initiated Transaction Diagram

Merchant-Initiated Transactions

For subscriptions or installment plan transactions, your processor should not require a cryptogram - this removes the need to request a cryptogram for your Basis Theory Network Token for these transactions.

Provision Merchant Initiated Transaction Diagram


Can I store Network Tokens and Cryptograms myself?

Yes! While Basis Theory offers token enrichments to manage them on your behalf, you are capable of storing the Network token and temporarily holding onto the cryptogram for the time of your transaction. This offers the ability to go directly to your Processor without Basis Theory in the middle of your Network Token transactions.

How does lifecycle management work with Basis Theory Network Tokens?

Network Token lifecycle will entirely be managed by Basis Theory within our tokens. When there are any changes to the underlying Network tokens, the enrichment tied to your token will be updated. This prevents added complexity from your systems and ensures tokens are up-to-date and ready to be used when you need to charge your customers.

Can I generate a cryptogram outside the payment flow?

Yes. Many merchants want more granular control over the entire process, including making specific calls to get the cryptogram through Basis Theory.

Does my processor accept Network Tokens?

Network tokens are a newer technology, this has led to processors and acquirers having varying strategies for implementing Network Tokens within their ecosystem. This makes it increasingly hard to give a definite answer on whether your specific processor will accept Network Tokens - we suggest you reach out to your representative and understand their ability to accept third-party Network Tokens. Feel free to loop us in, we’re happy to help you out.

Can I automatically create Network Tokens for every credit card tokenized?

Yes! We are able to turn on functionality to automatically retrieve a Network Token on your behalf whenever you create a card or cardNumber. Let us know if you’re interested in this, and we can get this enterprise feature activated on your tenant.

Do I own my own TRID / how do I use my own TRID?

Yes. Basis Theory will facilitate creating your TRID (Token Requestor ID) with each of the Networks on your behalf. Once created, you’ll be able to use this ID with any provider in the future.

If you have a TRID from another service provider, we are happy to work with you on utilizing this TRID with Basis Theory.

Can I create Network Tokens in batch?

Yes. When your organization is ready, we can bulk-create Network Tokens for any card stored within Basis Theory. This is extremely important for organizations bringing cards from a processor or adding Network Tokens into their existing card-on-file payment flows.

Do I need Network Tokens and an Account Updater Service?

This depends on your goals as an organization and your overall payment orchestration strategy. Account Updater is a more established product with much more issuer participation - so there are some advantages to using both such as:

  • Network Token Provisioning: Using both Account Updater and Network Tokens before you provision a FPAN for Network Token usage ensures, you’re using the most up-to-date version.
  • Multi-Processor Flexibility: Using both enables orchestration with multiple processors in cases where processors don’t accept Network Tokens and FPANs are required.
  • Acceptance Optimization: Rates between PAN and Network Tokens, keeping FPANs up to date enables the ability to refine & optimize transaction success rates.
  • Cost Optimization: Different processors offer different rates for certain BINs or incentivize the use of Network Tokens.

How do I get pricing for Basis Theory Network Tokens?

Reach out to our team to get a clear implementation plan on utilizing Basis Theory Network Tokens - typically, understanding your general goal is helpful. Are you looking to test the viability of Network Tokens? Or are you prepared for a comprehensive and all-encompassing solution? In either case, let's talk!