American Express Could Use Blockchain to Protect Clients’ Identities and Combat Fraud

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US-based financial corporation American Express is researching how blockchain technology can provide solutions to issues such as fraud and identity protection.

More and more financial services companies are exploring how blockchain technology can make a difference, not only in their existing processes but also in providing improved user experiences for their clientele.

Mastercard is turning to the crypto-supporting technology as is American Express. According to TechRadar, the latter will make a concerted effort to research how blockchain may not only protect their customers against fraud but also how it can keep their identities safe too.

While at the Oktane18 conference in Las Vegas, the company's VP of technology, Tereasa Kastel, chatted about the future blockchain plans of American Express:

American Express is a very innovative company. They were working on blockchain specifically for financial transactions, but we were starting to explore what would an identity wallet look like, and could blockchain be used to help serve as, both internal, but also external card members and merchants.

In another customer-centric show, the company announced that they would be using Hyperledger blockchain technology to assist their merchants in customizing Membership Rewards programs for customers.

However, the technology will be used for more than just giving back to clients. It will give cardholders a viable solution to safeguarding their identities. Kastel explained:

Being in the financial industry, we have to be somewhat conservative on what legal and regulatory requirements there are. Out on the other hand, what I would say is that what it empowers an individual user to do in terms of controlling their identity, and have that identity be immutable, is something you can't pass by – despite what the regulatory controls might be at this time.

These benefits of blockchain can also be used in the fight against fraud. Because records cannot be changed in the ledger, it allows for tamper-proof transactions. In addition, there is a high level of transparency, essentially leaving fraudsters no place to hide as every record's life cycle can be traced.

This, in addition to identity protection, should be a major drawcard to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Kastel concluded:

When identity is done well, with the latest technologies, it removes the impediments for transacting. If you're in this industry, you have to have a voracious appetite for all things identity. To be able to work in a world where there is constant change, you have to always ensure you can stay ahead of the curve.

This is definitely sound advice for companies and not just those in the financial industry. Blockchain technology could be exactly what a business needs to run more efficiently and securely. In using blockchain, these companies could have the edge over their competitors while giving their clients technologically advanced solutions.