The application for the "method and system for authentication of coupons via blockchain" was published on May 31 by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The technology will be used "to store and track coupon data, such that the issuing entity is not required to store or manage any data, thereby freeing up resources and processing power for the entity."
The idea is that a blockchain can help reduce the risk of data manipulation that accompanies the use of certain types of systems to store coupon data.
The use of coupons often leads to loss for the enterprise, which Mastercard hopes to mitigate by increasing the volume of business. However, massive coupon repayment can sometimes lead to significant - and sometimes catastrophic - losses.
To avoid such situations, some organizations have begun issuing coupons that can only be redeemed once or a predetermined number of times. Systems link the coupon to the transaction account, tying the validity of the coupon to the account in question.
As Mastercard goes on to write, “this requires the entity to store data regarding coupons that are associated with transaction accounts, which can be resource-intensive and subject to data manipulation. In addition, the entity must offer a suitable interface for the consumers to access the data storage to identify what coupons have been associated with their transaction account.”
“Thus, there is a need for a technological solution whereby coupons can be issued to an individual for redemption only by the individual, and where the system relies on a publicly accessible data source to enable implementation without the use of additional resources for the issuing entity.”
The application’s key points are as follows:
- The blockchain will be used to store and track the coupon data, freeing up resources and processing power for the company in question.
- The blockchain ensures that the coupon data is publicly available, unchanged and not susceptible to forgery or fraud.
- The system aims to allow companies to issue more attractive coupons.
By Ekaterina Ulyanova