Mastercard Patent Would Put Credit Cards on a Public Blockchain
A patent filing from Mastercard explores how to use public blockchains to securely verify card credentials at the point of sale.
Payments giant Mastercard is exploring the use of public blockchains in securely verifying payment cards at the point of sale, public documents show.
According to a patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and released on Thursday, Mastercard has come up with a conveyance and retrieval processes to verify users' payment credentials over a "publicly accessible blockchain."
The document explains that the two-way method first encodes an image of a payment card and then stores it on the blockchain after encryption with a public and private key. Upon a retrieval request when a payment is being made, the system will use the provided private keys to decrypt the image so it can be verified.
By integrating this system with point-of-sale devices, 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.
Mastercard stated in the document:
Although whether an actual product will arise from the concept, the work marks a notable effort by Mastercard to utilize a public blockchain to potentially improve a common issue with its core card business. According to some sources, card skimming at ATMs and point-of-sale across all providers sees around $2 billion stolen per year globally.
In addition, another blockchain-related exploration by Mastercard was also revealed in yesterday's patent update, which seeks to build a blockchain to allow consumers to broadcast their travel itineraries and reservation requests to merchants.
Since the broadcasted information will remain visible to the public, it gives merchants the chance to bid for potential customers over the blockchain, potentially changing the existing model of hotel and air ticket aggregators.
Mastercard image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.