Recently, an increasing number of financial companies started exploring possible applications of blockchain technology to not only enhance their operations but user experience as well. One of the largest payments processors globally American Express (AmEx) is set to be the latest to join the list, as senior company executive has revealed that the company is looking into new ways of implementing distributed ledger technology into its services.
Speaking at the Oktane 18 conference in Las Vegas, Tereasa Kastel, American Express VP of Technology, revealed some details of her recent visit to the company’s R&D facilities. She claimed that “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.“
Ms. Kastel also went on to add that blockchain will likely play a major role in the future of American Express, particularly in the field of identification security, saying that, “Being in the financial industry, we have to be somewhat conservative on what legal and regulatory requirements there are. On the other hand, what 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.“
AmEx has already made huge strides into incorporating blockchain within its systems, as Ms. Kastel‘s speech came on the same day that the company announced it will be integrating blockchain into its Membership Rewards program.
In this case, the financial giant will team up with online merchant Boxed to implement blockchain technology, developed by Hyperledger. It will allow retailers to create customized offers for the holders of AmEx credit cards, which will hopefully result in increased customer engagement. The initial trial will allow members to earn five times more points than usual on certain products.
Another significant advantage is that with the company believes the new system can be installed for new members in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months it takes to fully integrate a new partner right now.
AmEx is a premiere Hyperledger member alongside such names as Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, IBM, Intel, Baidu, and Accenture. The company vows to continue exploring the blockchain technology.
Information chief and vice president Marc Gordon revealed that “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“ as early as January 2017.
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