US financial services company American Express, also referred to as Amex, was granted a blockchain-related patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on July 12. Called “systems and methods for blockchain based proof of payment,” the patent application was initially filed on January 12, 2017. The invention was created by Amex’s travel unit – American Express Travel Related Services.
According to the patent’s description, the new system will automate proof-of-payments by generating a payment payload that includes the merchant’s ID and the transaction amount and encrypting the data on an initial blockchain node. The encrypted data can then easily be moved to a second blockchain node that stores the entire ledger of blocks. Eventually, a smart connected device is needed to decrypt the payment payload data from the second node and match it to a second ID (the customer) presented at the smart device.
The proposed blockchain-based system could allow connected smart devices to validate proof-of-payments and initiate actions. The description then identifies several potential use cases for the proposed system, such as hotel reservations, rental, or ensure ticketless access to venues. Amex has already shown interest in blockchain technology. The US company is part of Hyperledger and RippleNet.
On the same day, US tech giant IBM was granted two blockchain-related patents, which follow on four patents granted a week previously.