MasterCard Applies for Public Blockchain Patent

Blockchain integration is finally permeating into the mainstream – attracting even the giant corporations as a solution to structural inefficiencies. Announced on June 8th, 2018, MasterCard applied for patents to use a public blockchain.

Blockchain technology has proved itself a powerful application to ease the problems of payment friction, network validation, and peer-to-peer exchange. With cryptocurrency and decentralized technology becoming increasingly used, more and more companies rooted in traditional tech are moving to integrate blockchain into their existing infrastructures.

Samsung and Maersk are just a few industry leaders turning to blockchain for supply-chain and data storage solutions and now payments giant MasterCard applied for patents to use a public blockchain for payment card validation and a travel itinerary bidding system.

Facing the $2 billion issue of stolen credit card payments, MasterCard aims to reduce susceptibility to “skimming” – using a counterfeit card reader to steal payment credentials – through the integration of a public blockchain.

The patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reveals MasterCard’s potential plan to store encoded payment credentials on a public blockchain and use conveyance and retrieval methods to validate each payment card upon the point of sale.

Outlined on the USPTO website, the patent states:

“A method for retrieval of payment credentials from a third party data source, comprising: reading, by an input device of a point of sale device, a machine-readable code displayed by a computing device; decoding, by a decoding module of the point of sale device, the machine-readable code to identify at least a public key… wherein the publicly accessible data source is a blockchain network.”

MasterCard has also won a patent for a system of itinerary bidding based on a blockchain network. The system allows various travellers to upload their itineraries to a public blockchain where the information is sent to hotels, airlines, and other travel services that can then reply to travellers with bids for reservation requests.

On the USPTO website, the patent outlines the benefits of blockchain to MasterCard’s new systems:

“The use of a blockchain can ensure that a traveller’s desired travel itinerary is publicly accessible to each merchant that is capable of bidding on the itinerary… As a result, travellers save both time and money with respect to their travel itinerary, and travel providers are provided with greater opportunities to earn and increase revenue.”