In a recent decision (May 31) by the US Patent & Trademark Office (UPSPTO) Mastercard was granted a patent that allows the company to cut down on coupon fraud.
The patent outlines a way for merchants to cut down on coupon fraud and more effectively issue targeted discounts to specific customers. The filing dates back to Nov. 2016.
The application will be used in such a way that an individual will be assigned a blockchain address whose credentials will be kept in a secured physical or digital location such as a credit card or digital wallet application.
When the user attempts to redeem a coupon, the point of sale device will interface with the private blockchain network to verify that the customer is authorized to receive the discount.
Following a successful transaction, the system will automatically transfer the coupon out of the customer’s wallet and into “burn address” or an address associated with invalidated coupons, preventing the user from attempting to redeem it multiple times. Mastercard envisions that it would benefit consumers as well because it would provide businesses with the ability to issue more valuable coupons with the assurance that the discounts could not be counterfeited or redeemed by unauthorized users.
American Express is also looking into using blockchain technology to help revamp its loyalty programs, which have been struggling to maintain and tap into new customers.
Notably, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga has said that the firm will support government-created cryptocurrencies if they are developed in the future but said that “non-government mandated currency is junk.” This is not the first time Banga and other Mastercard executives have come out against Bitcoin although their actions run afoul of their words. He previously stated he was interested in Blockchain, the technology that underpins the crypto. Also, his Mastercard was signing up to help fund a Bitcoin-related startup.