American Express Files Patent on Blockchain-Based Personalized Customer Rewards System

American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc., the travel and merchant unit of financial services firm American Express (Amex), has filed a patent for a personalized customer reward system using Blockchain technology. Under the system the company will offer customer-specific types of rewards that include points, a digital currency, or specific items linked to a product.

Based on the patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in mid-October 2017, Amex will provide rewards by collecting personalized data about its customers, including their historic spending patterns. The company will use the technology as a resource for storing and updating information.

Part of the application reads:

"The Blockchain structure may include a distributed database that maintains a growing list of data records. The Blockchain may provide enhanced security because each block may hold individual transactions and the results of any Blockchain executables. Each block may contain a timestamp and a link to a previous block."

Amex’s projects on Blockchain technology

In its bid to effectively compete against its competitors, credit card provider Amex has also advanced projects to develop applications based on Blockchain just like its competitors. The company has also joined the Hyperledger Blockchain consortium in January to facilitate its works on the technology. The consortium is led by the Linux Foundation.

According to Amex chief information officer (CIO) Marc Gordon, they joined the consortium at the time to fully exploit what Blockchain has to offer for their customers and partners, as well as in transforming their own business processes and applications.

"We're excited to join Hyperledger, as we're looking to take full advantage of Blockchain to deliver new and innovative products for our customers and partners, while transforming existing business processes and applications.”

Various banks have been on a patents filing spree this year, with Bank of America filing the most number of patents so far.