Mastercard Patent Filings Tout Blockchain for Immutable Data Records

Sep 17, 2018 at 08:00 UTC
Updated Sep 17, 2018 at 08:01 UTC

Payment services giant Mastercard is looking at the use of blockchain for keeping track of consumer payments, newly published patent filings suggest.

In a series of largely similar patent applications published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mastercard outlines how a distributed ledger can be used to record “point-to-point transactions” as they are processed. This information can then be used by organizations or members of those organizations to create a log of items procured during the course of business.

A blockchain ledger can, in particular, be used to streamline account management, one of the applications explains, by simplifying the process in which purchase orders are registered orders and monitored.

Monitoring purchases on multi-service platforms can likewise be simplified using a blockchain, Mastercard contends in the documents.

The firm goes on to explain:

“The use of digital ledgers, such as blockchains, may further facilitate the services provided by such a platform, by enabling data to be stored clearly and in a format that is easily auditable by participating entities. In cases where ledgers like blockchains are used, the ledgers may be provided even more benefits as they may be immutable and resistant to tampering, which may further increase the reliability of such data.”

“As a result, such a platform may provide a great number of services to entities while doing so in a manner that is more secure and transparent than any number of systems dedicated to even a single one of the multiple services,” the patent application states.

As previously reported, Mastercard has secured several patents related to blockchain, including one that details a method for speeding up cryptocurrency payments. The payments giant has also indicated its interest in hiring blockchain specialists in the past, marking another sign that Mastercard is actively pursuing applications of the technology.

Receipts image via Shutterstock

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