26 June, 2018
Mastercard has filed a patent that would allow for the ability to verify customers’ identities and accounts via blockchain for credit card payments.
The use of blockchain technology in credit card payments could increase security, reduce incidents of card “skimming,” and allow transactions to occur without a physical card presented. According to Mastercard, this would be accomplished “via the display of a machine-readable code to the point-of-sale device,” which can be easily hidden from others’ view and concealed in a purse or pocket. If Mastercard can bring this idea to fruition, they hope the use of blockchain will decrease the $2 billion lost to ATM and point-of-sale theft each year.
Patents for coupons and travel
Mastercard has also patented a system to utilize “blockchain wallet addresses to authenticate coupons and allow merchants to issue targeted discounts to their customers more efficiently.” Affiliated with 22,000 banks and financial institutions globally, Mastercard is in a prime position to transition to a “more secure and transparent way of making and tracking payments” when and if they implement these new systems.
In addition to these efforts, Mastercard is looking to blockchain to improve the efficiency of travel. The company filed a patent that aims to “streamline the global travel industry by connecting travelers to a wider range of hotels, airlines, and other service providers than most currently do prior to booking their itineraries.” The proposal would allow travelers to submit their itineraries, make reservations and necessary adjustments, and receive competitive offers—effectively as bids—from travel providers via a blockchain-enabled platform.
Other blockchain patents
Other major players are exploring blockchain projects and applying for patents in various fields as well. Walmart, for instance, recently won a patent to create a blockchain-based health care records system for patients in emergencies who cannot communicate. The retail giant was also awarded a patent for an electrical grid system for energy consumption using digital currency.
In a reflection of the growing corporate interest in blockchain technology, major companies around the world have drastically increased their hiring of developers specializing in blockchain.
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