Bank of America’s New Blockchain Patent Talks about ATM-as-a-Service

The second largest banking corporation in the US, the Bank of America (BoA) is a giant in the banking sector. However, the bank has shown a keen interest in blockchain technology, filing multiple patents over the years. The latest patent filed by Bank of America talks about integrating blockchain technology in their cash handling services – basically integrating blockchain in ATMs. The patent, filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is titled ‘Banking Systems Controlled By Data Bearing Records’.

As per this patent document, which mentions the word ‘blockchain’ 58 times, the blockchain tech can be made use to “accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions.” Moreover, blockchain technology will be made use by these cash-handling machines to “handle a relatively larger amount of transaction volume while reducing its physical cash transportation needs.”

A blockchain distributed database is also expected to be created, which will help the bank keep a track of cash transactions between two financial entities. Blockchain systems will also be made use of for the purpose of getting other cash handling machines to approve withdrawals.

The patent reads:

In some embodiments, sending the first transaction information encoded for the blockchain distributed database to the cash handling device support server may cause the cash handling device support server to generate and send one or more alerts based on identifying the one or more cash transportation needs of the cash handling device.

The major focus of this patent is to make use of the blockchain technology to improve the way ATMs work. The patent document talks about ‘ATM-as-a-Service’ model which will allow operators to provide users with more valuable, capable, versatile and cost-effective solutions using the blockchain technology.

The bank writes in the patent document:

An ATM operator may be responsible for restocking the automated teller machine rather than a particular financial institution…Blockchain technology may be used by automated teller machine to accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions.

The Bank of America is among the top names of the world when it comes to filing the most number of blockchain-related patents. The bank has filed 53 blockchain-related patents so far, ranking it close to the industry leaders IBM and Alibaba which have 89 and 90 blockchain related patents respectively.

In the past, the Bank of America has filed numerous patents relating to cryptocurrency storage and making use of banking technologies to store cryptocurrencies in bank accounts. The company has also filed a patent that talks about how enterprise institutions can store cryptocurrencies – and one which talks about digital storage of private keys. While the bank doesn’t seem to have much of a favorable view on cryptocurrencies, it is certainly bullish on the blockchain technology.

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