Mastercard eyes health, food supply chains with blockchain and fraud products

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Mastercard has launched two separate initiatives that touch the health care market — blockchain for visibility in food systems and Mastercard Healthcare Solutions to detect fraud and bring efficiencies in health care organizations.

Mastercard is collaborating with Envisible, a company that enables supply-chain visibility in food systems, to provide clarity to supermarkets on the origin of seafood. A key element of the collaborative effort is that Mastercard’s blockchain technology, Provenance Solution, will be used to power Envisible’s Wholechain traceability system. The other offering, Mastercard Healthcare Solutions, helps health care partners detect fraud and protect patient health data.

“We are authenticating the ethical sourcing and compliance of the seafood being sourced. It’s a big problem for many including health reasons and religious reasons. We are helping merchants and consumers get visibility into the supply chain,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president, U.S. merchant and acceptance at Mastercard, which is based in Purchase, N.Y.

The Mastercard Provenance Solution was built with over 100 patents behind it and is industry agnostic. Kirkpatrick reported that its application could be used for anything that comes with a certificate of authenticity such as diamonds and luxury goods. In such cases, the proof of provenance would be able to filter out “blood diamonds” which are sourced from war-torn regions, often mined using slave labor, to fuel continued conflict. Provenance could also be used to reduce counterfeit luxury goods that cost retailers and manufacturers millions of dollars each year.

The initial retailer using the Mastercard-powered Envisible Wholechain system is Food City, which will trace the supply chain of the seafood it receives and sells to consumers. The first of several seafood species to be tracked will be shrimp. According to Seafood Nutrition, an industry nonprofit organization, shrimp is the most consumed type of seafood in the U.S., with 4.4 lbs. consumed per capita.

Mastercard Healthcare Solutions provides three elements for providers. First is the patient payment assurance with predictive analytics to enable billing strategies tailored to patient needs. The second is a focus on fraud, waste and abuse by using AI and machine learning to detect suspicious claims activity. Finally, there is biometric and behavioral analytics to protect patient health information.

“We are extending the Mastercard network beyond payments and bringing several solutions to the health care industry," said Kirkpatrick. "For example, we have the capability from NuData to authenticate users which is important for this industry since 50% of all new health care accounts created tend to be fraudulent." Mastercard purchased NuData, a Canadian biometrics firm, in 2017.

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