Mastercard May Use Public Bockchain For Card Verification At PoS
Mastercard is looking at the possibility of using public block chain to securely verify credit/debit cards at the point of sale. The information came to limelight when an application was filed with the US Patent and Tradmark Office (USPTO) and published last week. The card processor has developed a conveyance and retrieval process to validate users’ payment credentials over a “public accessible blockchain”.
The patent describes a two-way process which begins by encoding an image of a payment card and then storing it on the blockchain. The storage is done after encryption with a private and public key. A retrieval request is sent whenever a payment is made by a user. The system will use the provided private keys to decrypt the image for verification.
Mastercard, in its patent application, has mentioned that integrating the system with PoS terminals would make the transactions secure as the card need not be presented physically and users need not worry about their personal details being “skimmed” from the payment device.
“The transaction may be conducted via the display of a machine-readable code to the point of sale device, which may further prevent skimming as the reading of such a code can be more easily controlled via control of the underlying display; the display can be easily shielded and is often obscured when in a pocket or purse.”
Card skimming at ATMs an PoS locations result in a theft of $2 billion every year. Mastercard has also revealed that it intends to build a blockchain that will allow consumers to broadcast their reservation requests and travel itineraries to merchants. As the requests are put up on a public blockchain, merchants will be able to bid for potential customers, leading to a complete change in the manner travel and hotel industry operates currently.