AMEX now on blockchain: A tamper-proof method to verify payments

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO], American Express filed a patent related to blockchain technology on 12th January 2017. The giant financial corporation’s patent refers to a proof-of-payment system based on the blockchain.

The patent’s applicant is listed under AMEX’s travel wing. American Express Travel Related Services Co.’s proposed system will automate proof-of-payments by encrypting payment payload information.

Patent filed by American Express | Source: USPTO

Patent filed by American Express | Source: USPTO

This will be carried through a public key on an initial node of the blockchain. The patent details a system which uses connected smart devices to perform actions for transactions.

The blockchain-powered platform of AMEX will approve and decline payment requests. The exchange of data will be built on the blockchain while the payment transfers would be done between the senders’ and receivers’ digital wallets.

The patent consists of different use cases for such an anchored and secured system. The greater part of the proposed use cases would conceivably encourage clients for effortless payment schemes. Various gadgets of AMEX can retrieve and decrypt proof-of-payments stored on the blockchain.

For verifying a payment using a blockchain-based system, the system may receive a payment confirmation including a transaction amount and a merchant identifier. A record of this can be selected from a registration repository by matching the merchant identifier to the record. The registered record will have a public key associated with the same via a registration process.

Any device that has been connected to the technology will be capable of decrypting the payment payload, match the identifier from the payment payload to a second identifier present on the same network.

The node can trigger an action in response to the identifier from the payment payload matching the second identifier present on the network. The connected device may also reduce the payment amount of the payment payload in response to triggering the action.

With the help of blockchain technology, the patent propagates the proof of payment concept to various devices in accordance with different embodiments.

In this way, the blockchain-secured system could enable smart devices to detect proof-of-payments and initiate actions to service paying customers. As mentioned in the patent:

“A payment processing entity (e.g., a credit card network, bank, debit, bitcoin, rewards points, or ACH) provides evidence of a payment in a tamper-proof manner by writing the proof of payment to a blockchain. A smart device connected to the blockchain may detect the proof of payment, and can extract relevant information. The information may be encrypted on the blockchain such that access is restricted to entities having the correct cryptographic keys.”

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