Mastercard Inc. (MA), the leading global payments & technology company, is actively exploring the use of blockchain to keep track of consumer payments, according to a series (one, two and three) of similar patent filings published recently by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (See also, Most Blockchain Patents Last Year Were From China.)
Harnessing DLT to Efficient Account Management and Record Keeping
Titled “Method and system for recording point to point transaction processing,” th patent filings describe methods based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) for providing a multi-service platform to enable secure storage of key data for transactions, “including point to point and business to business transactions.” Highlighting the particular use of blockchain to efficiently restructure account management for keeping up with the needs of financial book keeping, one of the implementations mentioned in the filing explains how blockchain can be used to simplify registering and monitoring buy orders. Storage on the blockchain will be structured in such a manner that data will be formatted for easy retrieval, and will facilitate any necessary audit and reporting by participating entities. Owing to the intrinsic nature of a digital ledger being immutable and tamper-proof, DLT provides an ideal platform that ensures reliability of stored records.
The secure recording of the transactions will be performed as the transactions are processed. The information can then be retrieved and utilized by the entitled organization, its authorized members, partners or auditors, to generate a log of transaction details like items purchased during the business cycle.
Mastercard continues to build on its long list of blockchain and DLT-based patents. A recent report ranked the Purchase, New York-based payment processing giant at number three among companies with patent filings linked to blockchain-related technologies. While Mastercard had 80 patents as of August 10, Alibaba Group Holding Inc. (BABA) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) grabbed the top two ranks with 90 and 89 patent filings, respectively. (For more, see Alibaba, IBM, MasterCard Top Global Blockchain Patent Rankings.)
Amid the long list of blockchain-related patents held by Mastercard, the most prominent one is to speed up payment processing by using a system based on digital currency. Won in July this year, the system envisages using a new type of user account that would have the capacity to transact using existing fiat currency systems, but with cryptocurrency tokens instead. (For more, see Mastercard to Speed up Crypto Payments.)
The company has also been reported to be looking to hire blockchain specialists in the recent past, indicating its growing interest in blockchain technology.