MasterCard Suggests Blockchain-Based System for B2B Transactions

MasterCard files three patent applications for a blockchain-based system aimed at simplifying and modernizing business-to-business transactions.

Global payment services provider MasterCard has developed a blockchain-based system to simplify and bring high-volume business-to-business (B2B) transactions up to date. The invention is described in a series of three patent applications filed by the company in March, but published last week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In the similar yet separate patents, all titled “Method and System for Recording Point to Point Transaction Processing”, MasterCard explains that existing B2B settlement systems need to be updated in order to cater for the needs of the current business environment. The patents’ authors further outline that the current systems often operate using “individual payment transactions” as a core part of the settlement process. They add:

“As a result, 21st century B2B collaboration sits on an unwieldy, unconnected and largely unchanged mid-20th century B2B payments platform. As the number of transactions being processed, and therefore settled, increases, the strain on the processing power of settlement systems and those of financial institutions increases, as well as the number of fund transfers that must occur every day.”

MasterCard suggested that blockchain or another type of digital ledger technology (DLT) could be the solution for the issues in the current B2B systems. The company argues that, if given the green light, the uniform payment system developed by its team can enable data to be stored clearly and in a format that is easily auditable by participating entities.

“In cases where ledgers like blockchains are used, the ledgers may be provided even more benefits as they may be immutable and resistant to tampering, which may further increase the reliability of such data,” the patent further noted.

MasterCard has been bulking up on blockchain patents in recent months. Most recently, the payment services giant was granted a patent for a method of speeding up cryptocurrency transactions. The company also has numerous blockchain-related patent applications pending the approval of the USPTO. The latest revealed to the public describes a method, which intends to leverage the technology for the use of digital signatures for signing blockchain transactions.