Patent number 8752759 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The growth and wide acceptance of credit cards have led to greater acceptance at the point of sale, increased availability of affinity and loyalty programs as well as greater convenience and security in making large payments. A credit card transaction typically involves a financial institution issuing a credit card to a consumer where the financial institution lends an amount of funds to the consumer and reduces the consumer's pre-set credit limit by the amount.
"Cardholders generally refer to consumers and businesses that have accounts with issuers. Issuers solicit credit card accounts, extend credit, stimulate activity and usage, perform customer service, collect payments, and manage cardholder risk. Merchants may be any business, not-for-profit or government organization engaged in exchanging value via credit cards. Credit sales are settled to a merchant's demand deposit account (DDA) that the merchant has with a commercial bank, also referred to as a merchant bank.
"A basic credit card transaction starts with the purchase of a good or service from a merchant with a credit card, which is swiped at a point of sale terminal or otherwise accepted and a transaction value is entered. The transaction is processed through a card association or a private label to the bank that issued the card. Assuming there are funds available under the consumer's credit limit, an authorization is routed back to the merchant through the same network. The approval is routed back to the merchant and the consumer signs the receipt or otherwise accepts the transaction.
"Another type of credit card is a retail store credit card, which are credit cards generally issued by retail stores. These cards carry the name or logo of the issuing retail store and typically can only be used at the store that issued the card, including affiliated stores or other providers. Private label programs offer store cards by a third-party entity on behalf of the retailer. Typically, private label cardholders spend 2-21/2 times the average amount spent by a customer. Much of the cost of the program comes from the merchant discount (2-3% of the sales), while other fees are derived from the processing of statements and cardholder accounts.
"Most customers have multiple credit cards, which are separate and independent from each other. For example, a customer may have a co-branded credit card, several private label cards, debit cards as well as stored value cards for specific purchases. Traditional cards have static benefits and programs that generally cannot be modified. Therefore, as customers needs and goals change, additional card products may be required.
"In view of the foregoing, it would be desirable to provide a method and system for a card product with multiple customized accounts which overcomes the above-described inadequacies and shortcomings."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to an embodiment of the present invention, a method and a system provides a single card product (or identifier) that may be linked to multiple customized accounts, as defined by a set of rules. The accounts may represent one or more relationships between the customer and the card issuer, bank and/or other entity. Through an embodiment of the present invention, a line of credit may be provided to a customer where the line of credit may be shared by multiple accounts where each account may be customized. Other funding sources (e.g., funding account, etc.) may be shared by the multiple accounts. The multiple accounts may be of various types, including by way of example a stored value account, a debit account, a private label account, a co-brand account and/or other type of account. Other types of accounts and additional accounts may also be associated with the customer. Rules may be defined for applying one or more accounts to various purchases. For example, the rules may define when to use a particular account, how to make one or more payments, how to fund one or more accounts and/or other conditions. In addition, the line of credit may be available to a single customer and/or multiple customers who may be affiliated (e.g., family, business, partnership, etc.)
"According to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a computer implemented method for implementing a mechanism with multiple customized relationships comprises the steps of identifying one or more customized rules for an access mechanism associated with a customer; establishing a plurality of accounts for the customer wherein the plurality of accounts comprise different accounts with different account characteristics; and invoking one of the plurality of accounts for a transaction through the access mechanism, based at least in part on the one or more customized rules; wherein the plurality of accounts share at least one funding account.
"In accordance with other aspects of this exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the method may include the steps of monitoring customer behavior and adjusting the at least one of the plurality of accounts in view of the monitored customer behavior; wherein the customer behavior comprises one or more of spending habits, payment habits, assets, liabilities and investments; wherein the access mechanism comprises a single card product identified by an identifier; wherein the at least one funding account comprises a single line of credit; wherein the one or more priority rules are defined by the customer through an online interface; wherein the one or more customized rules comprise priority rules that define conditions for invoking a particular account of the plurality of accounts based on one or more transaction factors; wherein the transaction factors comprise one or more of transaction type, merchant identity, merchant type, transaction amount and time period of transaction; wherein the one or more customized rules comprise payment rules that define how payments are made for at least one of the plurality of accounts; wherein the one or more customized rules comprise funding rules that define one or more funding sources from which funds are drawn for the at least one funding account; wherein the step of invoking occurs at a point of sale for the transaction; wherein the plurality of accounts comprise a combination of stored value account, debit account, credit card account, loyalty account and co-brand account; wherein the customer comprises multiple customers wherein each customer has access to the plurality of accounts; wherein at least two or more of the plurality of accounts share benefits with each other.
"According to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a computer implemented system for implementing a mechanism with multiple customized relationships comprises a rules module for identifying one or more customized rules for an access mechanism associated with a customer; and an accounts module for establishing a plurality of accounts for the customer wherein the plurality of accounts comprise different accounts with different account characteristics; and invoking one of the plurality of accounts for a transaction through the access mechanism, based at least in part on the one or more customized rules; wherein the plurality of accounts share at least one funding account."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Pletz, Tracy M.; Seidel,
Keywords for this news article include: Investment and Finance,
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