American Express has proceeded with the latest in a series of blockchain patents that it is seeking to position the group as the leader in new blockchain enabled transaction technology.
The company filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in early July for a blockchain-based proof of payment technology. The patent allows AmEx to utilise blockchain to execute payments and receive a merchant identifier using the same secure, encrypted technology that would store the information on the same device.
Among incumbent market leaders many of the most innovative companies are leveraging their large customer sets to incorporate this technology into their product and service offerings, allowing customers to engage in transactions that would otherwise be unattainable for both financial institutions and customers.
Traditional banks and other financial institutions are allocating significant resources to compete in an environment where they are faced with enormous scrutiny from government regulators looking to mitigate risk.
At the same time they are facing new competition from nimble FinTech entrants. Following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis regulators have endorsed a wide range of reforms. New technologies have exposed underbanked customers to faster and more responsive entities, in particular time poor small businesses who can better engage and react to financial requirements with technologies that use Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to carry out payments, transaction tracking, processing and other types of financial transactions with speed and simplicity.