Mastercard Awarded Patent for Blockchain-Based Travel Itinerary Bidding System
Global payments processor Mastercard has successfully secured a patent for a bidding system which streamlines the travel itinerary for users.
A Stress-Free Tour
On June 7, 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded MasterCard the patent for a distributed ledger technology(DLT)-powered solution which allows travelers to book services, including hotels, airlines, tour guides, and taxis.
As per details, the platform relays itinerary requests of travelers to relevant merchants that offer the requested services. Interested parties then place “bids” on the platform for the perusal of users.
After the product’s launch, itinerary details will be visible on the public blockchain to all connected nodes on the network. Service vendors bids will be reviewed by MasterCard’s processing server before getting displayed to the traveler, presumably to prevent fraud.
“The use of a blockchain can ensure all travel providers to have an equal opportunity to earn the business of a traveler, without requiring them to seek out every potential travel provider and without the travel provider having to expend significant resources on marketing and outreach.”
In essence, the solution is a win-win scenario for both merchants and travelers. It helps travelers save time, money and energy while generating more sales for merchants.
Championing the Revolution
Several firms started integrating blockchain technology into their systems in 2017 when the price of pioneer cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC) hit an all-time high of $20,000 on some exchanges.
Seemingly ahead of the trend, Mastercard has been experimenting with DLT since 2014. The payments giant applied for a “Method and System for Instantaneous Payment Using Recorded Guarantees,” patent at the time, dubbed as a super-fast method of sending money using blockchain technology.
Notably, the USPTO awarded another Ankur Arora-built patent to MasterCard on June 8, 2018. As stated, the patent describes a blockchain-based verification for users of payment cards.
The patent added:
“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.”
Mastercard is poised to permanently mitigate some of the risks card users face while using the ATM and at a point-of-sale (POS) terminal.