Tech 20 April 2018

Dennis Wafula

Walmart punts on blockchain tech to secure payment data

The U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published two patent filings by Walmart describing blockchain-based applications that will help secure payments and protect private information from third parties.

The first patent filing is for a vendor payment sharing system that will help customers order items online and still have the wide selections of in-store shopping. The proposed vendor payment system will have a network that can automatically conduct transactions on a customer’s behalf.

The system will have a computer device, which customers can use to access and received data, and a server, which is programmed to receive information from the customer computer device including “an acceptance indication of the products delivered from a courier service.”

“The server is also programmed to automatically process payment for a total amount due for the products and services related to obtaining and delivering the products and to automatically divide the payment between parties that provided services related to obtaining and delivering the products. The system further may be programmed to encrypt the payment and the division of the payment with a blockchain,” according to the filing

The second patent is for a courier shopping system that will use a blockchain to encrypt payment information. In this system, courier orders are automatically generated after a customer completes and sends his or her shopping list. The system can select a substitute for the item depending on the customer’s preference data in cases where the item is not available in the marketplace. It will also provide information on payments between the vendor and the customer.

The decentralized nature of the blockchain technology and its ability to keep records secured has made various institution seek to use it to make better systems for their operations. PayPal filed a patent for a blockchain-based transaction system to be used when making payments in their platform.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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