Bank of America may be eyeing shared networks of ATMs powered by blockchain tech, according to a newly revealed patent application.
The filing, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, outlines a system via which a cash-handling devices could utilize blockchain technology to “accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions.”
Blockchain could also help such devices “handle a relatively larger amount of transaction volume while reducing its physical cash transportation needs,” the document reads.
Currently, most ATMs are dedicated to their respective banks and those institutions’ operating systems, Bank of America said in the filing, yet support for multi-purpose, “multi-tenant” – different stakeholders that share access to a single software system – functions is needed to offer various micro-services related to brand and marketing opportunities.
The bank is effectively looking to implement “ATM as a Service” to enable customers without existing relationship with a participating financial institution to transfer money across the same ATM network or even access point-to-point video communication using the ATM.
As the patent explains that, to do this, the system would implement an “open and robust” data transport layer with “full” encryption and security.
It goes on:
“The data transport supporting ATM management, signaling, and non-financial institution and financial institution transactions may be strictly communicated to a cloud platform … and subsequent hosting of web and application services may allow secure and scalable operations. “
The patent filing is just the latest to emerge from Bank of America, which has filed more than 50 blockchain-related patents as of August 2018, according to a research report by iPR Daily, a media outlet specializing in intellectual property.
Last month, the bank was awarded a patent for a novel method for storing cryptocurrencies.
Bank of America ATM image via Shutterstock