Business 14 November 2017

Dan Taylor

Mastercard files for instant payment blockchain patent

Mastercard has become the latest multinational payments company to explore blockchain patents, after their most recent application was published.

Unveiled last week by the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office, the filing demonstrates how Mastercard are hoping to leverage blockchain technology for smoother transactions, effectively allowing instantaneous settlement via the distributed ledger.

The filing is the latest of several applications for blockchain patents from Mastercard, as the firm looks to increasingly explore potentially relevant use cases for the technology.

The system would ensure that merchants could get access to their funds sooner, as well as easing the administrative burden on settlements at present. The technology would also enable Mastercard to keep and reference a permanent record of all transactions, for verification of payments actually made.

The patent covers the storage of a raft of transactional data, including the size of the transaction, profiles for the parties to the transaction, confirmation of each transaction, and a guarantee of payment.

According to the text of the application, the system would enable Mastercard to offer payment guarantees, as well as lubricating the entire payments process for merchants.

“There is a need for a technical solution where a payment transaction can be guaranteed in a manner that is readily verifiable by an acquiring financial institution and/or merchant, and where the guarantee can be used in conjunction with multiple types of payment instruments as well as multiple transaction types, including e-commerce transactions,” the text stated.

The news comes as the latest move from Mastercard on blockchain tech. Back in September, details of the company’s last filing were unveiled, which demonstrated plans to hold payment histories within a blockchain environment.

Last month, Mastercard announced open access to its blockchain tools for developers as part of its efforts to streamline business to business payments with the help of blockchain technology.

As one of the biggest global names in payments, it is perhaps unsurprising that Mastercard are increasing their research and development activity around blockchain. Thought to be one area of financial services ripe for the benefits of the technology, Mastercard are among other notable financial services companies in increasing efforts to explore distributed ledger technology.

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