Akamai Technologies has announced the launch of the Edge Tokenization electronic payment security service to enable credit card data to be converted to a token prior to web transactions landing on a merchant's infrastructure.

It said that this will help reduce information theft and compliance risk, while lowering Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance costs.

Akamai said that by relying on EdgePlatform, Edge Tokenization enables consumer credit card data to be identified and replaced with an anonymous token, which along with the true card number, is stored in a secure data vault managed by the tokenisation provider.

Additionally, by removing credit card data from the online merchant's infrastructure, Edge Tokenization helps customers conduct business in the cloud.

Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder of Akamai, said: “Meeting stringent PCI compliance standards often takes repeated efforts, significant investment and regular maintenance, translating into high costs and significant IT resources. We developed Edge Tokenization as a cost efficient solution for web retailers to complete transactions in the cloud securely and at scale, without sacrificing performance.”

Akamai interacts with existing payment gateway Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to tokenise card and cardholder information without ever storing higher-risk data to disk.

As the transaction occurs on Akamai's level 1 PCI-compliant network, the tokenisation process occurs securely and close to the end-user to reduce potential risks.