As per the filing documents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, the Englewood, CO-based firm the largest money transfer service in the world has sought to devise a method to enhance the security of electronic payments. The company first applied for the payment in December 2016.
Western Union’s suggested system utilizes a biometric verification such to assure that sender approve all transactions. This verification might comes in the form of a fingerprint scan, a user voice sample, or a retinal scan.
The patent application shows that the system has been designed as a general-purpose tool to fit most type of electronic network. Although, the document notes that “in certain embodiments” the “electronic transfer network may be a digital currency network such as Bitcoin, Peercoin, Litecoin.
“Therefore, in various embodiments, electronic transfer network may be configured to support and perform transfers of various currency types, including traditional and/or cryptocurrency, centralized and/or de-centralized currencies, digital currencies, and any other means of exchange (e.g., credit, gift cards or certificates, points in a user point system, etc.), among client devices and/or external systems in different areas, regions, or jurisdictions.”
Notably missing from the application is any mention of XRP, a digital currency that supporters say is tailor-made for money transfer businesses like Western Union and other financial firms.
That’s not to say that Western Union has not given XRP a closer look. As reported, the company confirmed prior this year that it had entered a collaboration with San Francisco-based blockchainstartup Ripple to conduct a trial integrating XRP into its payment flows. Though, CEO Mr. Hikmet Ersek stated that he had not been impressed by the trial’s early results.
Mr. Hikmet Ersek stated in June:
“We have always criticized that Western Union is not cost-efficient, blah blah blah, but we didn’t see that part of the efficiency yet during our tests. He added, without going into further details, “The practical matter is it’s still too expensive.”