Mastercard has been eyeing blockchain as part of a novel way to verify the authenticity of consumer coupons. This is clearly displayed by a new patent application they filed.
The application for a “Method and System for Authentication of Coupons via Blockchain” was published on May 31 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It aims to make use of the tech “specifically [for] the storage of coupon data in a blockchain to ensure redemption only by authorized individuals and immutability of coupon data.”
Blockchain being a transfer system with maximum security can help reduce the risk of data manipulation that accompanies the use of certain types of systems for storing coupon data, including those that “have been developed that directly associate a coupon with a transaction account, to ensure that only the specified transaction account is eligible to redeem the coupon.”
“However, this requires the entity to store data regarding coupons that are associated with transaction accounts, which can be resource-intensive and subject to data manipulation. In addition, the entity must offer a suitable interface for the consumers to access the data storage to identify what coupons have been associated with their transaction account.”
“Thus, there is a need for a technological solution whereby coupons can be issued to an individual for redemption only by the individual, and where the system relies on a publicly accessible data source to enable implementation without the use of additional resources for the issuing entity,” the company noted.
What’s news is that Mastercard has moved in recent months to boost up its internal blockchain-related development resources as part of a wider technology play.
“We’re driving projects that promote financial inclusion at home and abroad, and are working to provide consumers, businesses and governments with the most innovative, safe and secure ways to pay,” Sonya Geelon, Mastercard Ireland’s country manager, said in April.