Mastercard is reportedly looking into using public blockchains to verify payment cards at the point of sale.
A patent application that was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had revealed that the payment giant had created a system that enables user payment credentials to be verified over a blockchain.
According to the document, an image of the payment card is encoded and stored on the public blockchain. The information is encrypted with both a public and a private key. When a payment is being made, the system will just simply use the keys, decrypt the image, and verify the card.
Introducing this system with point-of-sale (POS) devices would mean more secure transactions. Payment cards need not be presented at point of sale and this reduces the risk of card skimming via POS device.
Mastercard further explains:
“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.”