An application released last week by the US Patent and Trademark Office shows that multinational financial services corporation American Express (AmEx) is seeking to patent a blockchain payment system.
The application details a blockchain-based system to aid financial transactions, specifically in terms of confirming transaction totals and merchant identities. It would also encrypt the proof-of-payment details using the blockchain’s public key, maintaining this on a first blockchain node.
This encrypted data would then be propagated to a second blockchain node which would allow a smart device to decrypt this, sharing the information with a secondary smart device and triggering the correct payment to take place.
The concept was developed with the objective of providing a stronger quality of payment evidence for merchants and customers that goes beyond what is offered on a standard receipt. This blockchain solution would have the potential to offer an extended look into the details of each transaction, covering such elements as contract and transaction data.
AmEx has offered a variety of applications for its proof-of-payment concept. This includes circumstances from standard payment operations to customers being able to use the card they made their purchase with to do such things as unlocking a hotel room by retrieving the proof of payment on the blockchain.
While no decision has been made as of yet in regards to hosting the service on a public or private blockchain, the application notes the benefits of a public network’s cumulative computing power in improving security.
AmEx’s blockchain ventures
Earlier this year, AmEx announced it would begin trials for a membership rewards program, utilizing blockchain standardization technology Hyperledger whom they partnered with last January. The open-source project allows a variety of companies to contribute software code, with IBM already participating in this.
Blockchain has been acknowledged by AmEx as still in its early stages of adoption, but it also recognizes it as a rapidly growing industry that it clearly sees as crucial to be a part of.
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