Mastercard Files Blockchain Patents for B2B Transactions

- September 17th, 2018

MasterCard has filed three separate patents for the use of blockchain technology in business-to-business transactions, the US Patent & Trademark Office revealed last week.

Financial service giant Mastercard (NYSE:MA) has filed three patent applications to use blockchain technology track consumer payments and facilitate business-to-business (B2B) transactions. 

In the separate filings revealed by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) last week, Mastercard claims digital ledgers, like blockchain, can easily record and process point-to-point transactions.

The documents, which were filed by Mastercard in March of this year to the USPTO, claim that existing settlement systems do not meet the needs of 21st century B2B collaborations.

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“Currently, existing settlement systems often operate using the settlement of individual payment transactions,” the filings read. “As the number of transactions being processed, and therefore settled, increases, the strain on the processing power of settlement systems and those of financial institutions increases, as well as the number of fund transfers that must occur every day. ”

All three filings claim that current B2B systems have a range of issues, including having too many unconnected methods for monitoring, making and increasing payments.

In solving these problems, Mastercard said in the patents that blockchain can play a vital role in allowing data to be stored 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,” the patents read.

Mastercard claims the blockchain ledger can streamline account management by making the purchase and registered orders process more easily monitored.

The systems, the patents state, can be built on a public or a private blockchain with a number of blocks. Each block has a block header and another one for data values. The documents explain that data values can include credentials, a public key, identifying information, purchase orders, purchase order procurement status, user information, user roles, and so on.

Meanwhile, a block header can include a timestamp, a block reference value and a data reference value.

The patents made public last week aren’t Mastercard’s first ventures into the blockchain sector. Earlier this year, the USPTO disclosed that the financial services giant filed a blockchain patent solution to store and verify identity data.

The patent, which was initially filed in September 2017, was for distributed storage and storage through blockchain to protect one’s identity.

“The use of a blockchain for the storage of identity and credential data may provide for an immutable storage of such data that can provide accurate verification thereof and also prevent the fabrication of such data,” Mastercard said in the September 2017 application.

Shares of Mastercard dipped slightly by 0.68 percent on Monday’s (September 17) trading session to close at US$216.47.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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