Blockchain Patents…For Everything Else, There Is Mastercard

Blockchain, Opinion | June 22, 2018 By:

The hottest news recently has been the vast number of blockchain patents that have been submitted by financial institutions like MasterCard.  But why?

It’s pretty obvious really, all of the major financial institutions recognize the supreme properties that blockchain technology has to offer, especially within the financial market. Creating patents around technology and the various competitive advantages it could have in service, security, efficiencies amongst others, all of these major companies are now creating patents as fast as they can in order to remain ahead of the curve and to transition their businesses into the future of our consumer lives.  Recently, two Mastercard patents have been gaining some buzz, one being based around security and the removal of credit card fraud, the other being a consumer platform that allows holiday providers/hotels to bid on a client’s travel plans, both utilize blockchain technology to be possible.

 I think the more intriguing of the two is the new travel service that will be able to understand where I want to go in the world and then allow various providers to bid on providing me the best possible travel, accommodation, food, and entertainment. Looking at it from a technical standpoint, blockchain will be used to send out a request to various providers and, without giving them personal information about you, they will simply bid on an encrypted piece of information that states where a person or party  would want to go and potentially some key information about them that allows the supplier to make a more accurate service offering ( I.E. are they a family, old/young, male/female, etc) but nothing physically specific like your names, contact details, or any other personal information that would make you identifiable.

MasterCard recognizes that as a trusted global merchant, it should capitalize on its global use and recognition; the travel industry is a prime example of where MasterCard will potentially make the most money (through international fees) but may also suffer the greatest fraud through skimming.

 This brings us nicely to their next major use of blockchain technology – overcoming the $2 billion per year that is lost to credit card skimming and fraud.   Utilizing blockchain technology to verify transactions, details, locations, patterns, and trends, all of which is recorded and verified on a blockchain ledger, means that MasterCard aims to use this technology to overcome global fraud on its cards.

 In reality, this truly is the beginning of the endless possibilities that MasterCard and other global brands will use blockchain technology, to grow their service offering and business.  The race for patents is an essential one, as major companies carve out their future into the technology landscape, trying to “future-proof” their success and also pave the way for potential new market leaders.