Mastercard to USPTO: Blockchain, The Best Answer to Coupon Verification

Mastercard Blockchain

Payments giant Mastercard is filing a patent indicating it is looking to blockchain as a component to verify customer’s coupons’ validity.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published Mastercard’s application for a “Method and System for Authentication of Coupons via Blockchain”. It proposes using blockchain “specifically [for] the storage of coupon data in a blockchain to ensure redemption only by authorized individuals and immutability of coupon data.”

Reduction of the danger of data alteration is the main goal. This is prevalent in certain systems where coupon data is stored including those that “have been developed that directly associate a coupon with a transaction account, to ensure that only the specified transaction account is eligible to redeem the coupon.”

Mastercard wrote:

“However, this requires the entity to store data regarding coupons that are associated with transaction accounts, which can be resource-intensive and subject to data manipulation. In addition, the entity must offer a suitable interface for the consumers to access the data storage to identify what coupons have been associated with their transaction account.”

The company further observed:

“Thus, there is a need for a technological solution whereby coupons can be issued to an individual for redemption only by the individual, and where the system relies on a publicly accessible data source to enable implementation without the use of additional resources for the issuing entity,”

While the patent approval is not certain, the focal point — authentication — is easily observed in other intellectual property applications, with emphasis on “the prevention of fake identity use.”

Sonya Geelon, Mastercard Ireland’s country manager, said:

“We’re driving projects that promote financial inclusion at home and abroad, and are working to provide consumers, businesses and governments with the most innovative, safe and secure ways to pay.”

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