Payments giant Mastercard recently filed an application with the USPTO or US Patent and Trademarks Office for a patent on retrieval and conveyance processes that would verify the payment credentials of users over a blockchain that’s publicly accessible.
The application has been filed to explore uses of public blockchains to securely verify payment cards at their points of sale.
Features of the retrieval and conveyance process
According to the document filed by Mastercard with the US Patent and Trademarks Office, there is a two-way method in the whole process. The first shall be encoding a payment card’s image, subsequently storing it on the blockchain after encrypting it with a private and public key.
When a retrieval request is made following a particular payment, the system makes use of the private keys already provided for decrypting the image in order to verify it.
Benefits of the process
Since this system would be integrated with point-of-sales devices, it is claimed by Mastercard that all transactions would be more secure since it would eliminate the need for the card to be presented physically.
Users would no longer have to worry about their personal payment credentials getting “skimmed” from a payment device, as is commonly seen nowadays in most cases of credit card fraud.
Putting the card on the public blockchain would enable a transaction to be conducted by way of a machine-readable code display on the point-of-sales device. This, Mastercard claims, would prevent skimming further as the code reading is more easily controllable through the underlying display control. The display, moreover, can be easily hidden and remains obscured also when in a purse or pocket.
The move has been viewed by industry watchers as a praiseworthy effort by Mastercard to make effective use of a public blockchain for potentially improving a very common but crucial issue in its cards business.
This would effectively control the scourge of card skimming at points-of-sale and ATMs where about $2 billion is stolen annually the world over. Mastercard is also seeking to construct a blockchain that allows its cardholders to transmit their reservation requests and travel itineraries to concerned merchants.
This broadcasted information will remain publicly visible and give merchants a chance to make bids for potential clients through the blockchain. This is likely to change existing models of air ticket and hotel aggregators.