Mastercard files blockchain patent
Mastercard has filed a patent for a blockchain system to improve payments, as further evidence of the technology’s increasing take-up by mainstream financial institutions.
Labelled as “Method And System For Payment Card Verification Via Blockchain,” the patent filed with the US authorities in recent weeks is for a blockchain system that aims to provide faster and more secure payments for credit cards.
In the application, Mastercard highlights the vulnerability of existing wireless payment methods, which it claims can sometimes be intercepted.
Mastercard lauds its blockchain technology as a more secure means of making payments, though with “minimal participation” by consumers.
The firm appears to think that blockchain will enable it to improve payment security without creating additional inconvenience for users.
Mastercard made particular mention to the threat currently posed by “skimming,” the practice where criminals can extract payment information from credit cards held in wallets or when data is being wirelessly transmitted at the point of sale.
The firm’s new payments solution uses an encryption process to lock information from credit cards on the blockchain.
Both public and private keys are then issued so that information can be unlocked to make purchases.
Speaking at the Money 20/20 conference earlier this month, Ann Cairns, vice chair of Mastercard, boasted that the firm had already built a blockchain that could “run the whole” of its network.