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Mastercard Wins Public Blockchain Patent

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2018 is showing unparalleled blockchain adoption among enterprise companies and state-level organizations.

Make no mistake, everyone is praising blockchain tech in 2018. Mastercard has a lot of ideas for the blockchain, from Travel Itinerary Bidding Systems to Coupon Authentication Systems, it’s literally a race to implement some of this stuff.

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Announced on June 8th, 2018, Mastercard applied for patents to use a public blockchain.

To verify payment cards at the point of sale (POS), Mastercard has also looked into blockchain technology. In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Mastercard has devised a process to send and retrieve payment credentials through a “publicly accessible blockchain.” Mastercard wants to hit the ground running, on the blockchain. This means, the 2020s will be full of blockchain systems globally.

Mastercard Plans to be Blockchain Native

To put this in perspective, Mastercard has to date filed for more than 35 patents in blockchain technology. Last year, Mastercard announced it will be opening up access to its blockchain technology through its developer’s API. (Initially, the technology was to be made available for B2B transactions, specifically to address the demands of cross-border payments.)

Coupon Authentication

The patent, granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 31, outlines a way for merchants to cut down on coupon fraud and more effectively issue targeted discounts to specific customers. The company first applied for the patent in Nov. 2016. The implications for loyalty, retail and at the point of sale here are quite obvious.

In one potential application of this system, an individual will be assigned a blockchain address, whose credentials will be stored in a payment instrument such as a credit card or digital wallet application.

We already know PayPal is also seeking for faster payment processing via the blockchain. We also know Facebook is likely to develop its own altcoin on the blockchain likely for a peer-to-peer payments play and alternative bank for those in the world without access to a legitimate banking account.

As a solution to payment friction, network validation, and peer-to-peer exchange, blockchain is becoming increasingly seen as the future of payments and also a way to onboard younger consumers and investors in crypto to mainstream services.

While cross-border payments is a well known blockchain vertical, travel is a big new play. From the patent of June 7th:

“The use of a blockchain can ensure that a traveler’s desired travel itinerary is publicly accessible to each merchant that is capable of bidding on the itinerary. This enables all travel providers to have an equal opportunity to earn the business of a traveler, without requiring the traveler to seek out every potential travel provider, and without the travel provider having to expend significant resources on marketing and outreach.”

As for the publicly accessible blockchain with POS of June 8th:

It’s also a question of better security, as Mastercard says that transactions would be secure, as the card need not be physically presented, and users need not be concerned about their payment credentials being “skimmed” from the payment device.

“The transaction may be conducted via the display of a machine-readable code to the point of sale device, which may further prevent skimming as the reading of such a code can be more easily controlled via control of the underlying display; the display can be easily shielded and is often obscured when in a pocket or purse.”

This pushes the trend of the POS getting smaller and becoming invisible of virtual (as in the case of AmazonGo), yet another trend that blockchain helps to enable. The payments, loyalty data and other plays here are just immense.

Meanwhile Cryptoslate reports that Samsung and Maersk are just a few industry leaders turning to blockchain for supply-chain and data storage solutions. So blockchain also impacts most definately any kind of supply-chain where important customer data exists. Master card faces $2 billion issue of stolen credit card payments, so here is an important solution with a public blockchain.

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