New York-based multinational financial services company MasterCard has filed a patent that is expected to integrate bitcoin into its projected world online shopping cart.
The filing, called ‘Payment Interchange for Use With Global Shopping Cart’, was submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March 2013. The new patent is a part of MasterCard’s strategy of creating an online shopping cart to serve online buyers.
The world online shopping cart would involve individual cards of various stores. This will enable clients to use cards in large projects such as wedding or home improvement.
In an interview to CoinDesk, the company’s representative said:“Every day, we look for ways to bring additional convenience to consumers when they shop. This application is just one example of that – exploring how to create flexibility in how a consumer would fund a shopping cart purchase.”
However, he noted that the patent will not provide any particular support for bitcoin: “The application was filed to protect our intellectual property and does not indicate a commitment to one idea or concept.”
Issued on June 19th, the patent has not received USPTO approval yet.
The global shopping cart will incorporate various payment methods.
MasterCard will accept bitcoin as a “non-traditional modes or sources of payment”. The company stated: “The payment interchange of claim 1, wherein the one or more payment modes or sources comprise cloud payment schemes, digital wallets, point of sale (POS) and non-traditional modes or sources of payment.”
Still, in the definition of barter payments, it listed “virtual currency, bitcoin, social media credits, automated clearing house (ACH) and coupons”.
MasterCard will support a variety of payment methods using a “flexible API framework sufficient to support the payment of interchange”.
Besides wallets provided by bitcoin firms, API would also support other wallets, including Google Wallet, PayPal, MasterPass.
Bitcoin will be involved together with other offerings. The filing reads: “The API can also support an interface to accept non-traditional modes or sources of payment such as Amazon virtual currency, paying with rewards points, bitcoin, virtual card numbers and the like.”
The news adds MasterCard to the list of companies that intend to provide patent protection for virtual currencies, among others Visa, Gemalto and Western Union.
Still, there are some disagreements in the bitcoin community concerning the possible threat that the companies would face after the patent filings.