Mastercard to Tackle Fashion Fakes with Blockchain Tracking Solution

Mastercard is to demo a new blockchain-based product tracking solution during an upcoming showcase of women fashion designers.

The payments giant announced on Friday that it will support “limited-edition collaborations” highlighting female designers and artists in partnership with Fred Segal Sunset and MADE.

The first collection from the initiative will feature a demonstration of Mastercard’s blockchain tracking platform called Provenance, which, it says, offers customers insight into the route taken by the products on the way to the store shelf.

Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of Digital Partnerships, said:

“Leveraging innovative technology solutions, we are able to tell the stories of the products consumers are buying.”

While that sounds nice, the product is aimed more generally to counter a darker side of the fashion industry – the prevalence of fakes.

The card company cited the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018 as estimating that the losses from the global online trade in counterfeit goods amounted to $323 billion in 2017 alone. Of that, luxury brands were calculated to have taken a financial hit of $30.3 billion.

Mastercard said it plans to use the Provenance solution with other (unnamed) partners “to provide a clear record of traceability, designed to contribute to consumer confidence and trust by creating awareness of the authenticity of the product.”

Other blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives may also be on the way too. Mastercard has been advertising for blockchain experts for a little while, and more recently has been seeking to hire several execs to guide what may be a crypto and wallet project.

Mastercard logo via Shutterstock

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