No assignee for this patent application has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "One of the most significant issues facing schools today is a lack of adequate funding. As state and local budgets are squeezed, the amount of money that is available for schools is being reduced. As a result, teachers are being laid off, increasing class sizes; programs are being cut; instructional materials are becoming less available; and facilities are not being as well maintained.
"Increasing taxes and/or issuing school bonds are a couple of the traditional approaches taken by state governments to address shortfalls in the educational budget. However, those types of measures usually require voter approval, and many voters are reluctant to approve raising taxes or selling bonds. In some states, such as
"Consequently, a novel approach for raising money for schools would be of great benefit."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the present disclosure provide a novel approach for raising money, for schools in particular and for other types of organizations in general. In one embodiment, a user is issued a special credit card by a credit card company or the like. In many respects, the special credit card is like any other credit card except it also has the advantages about to be described. Participating merchants offer discounts on transactions completed using the special credit card; those discounts are not available for transactions involving other credit cards. The transaction history for the special credit card is monitored and, once a condition is satisfied, a rebate is provided by the credit card company. For example, if the dollar amount of all purchases exceeds a certain amount, and/or if the total number of purchases exceeds a certain number, and/or if the dollar amount of purchases made on a periodic basis (e.g., each month) exceeds a certain amount, then the rebate is issued.
"Significantly, the rebate is not provided to the credit card user, as is conventionally the case. Instead, the rebate is provided to a non-profit service organization that, in turn, administers distribution of the rebate to a non-profit or charitable organization specified by the credit card user. Alternatively, the rebate can be distributed directly to a non-profit or charitable organization specified by the credit card user. For example, in either case, a user can designate a specific school (e.g., the local elementary school) or related organization (e.g., the school's parent-teacher association) to receive the rebate.
"Embodiments according to the present invention offer a number of advantages to each of the parties involved. The issuing credit card company will likely see significant use of the special credit card, which benefits that company because, according to conventional practice, they receive a fee or the like for each purchase. Participating merchants, although offering a discount, will likely experience increased business from customers eager to contribute to the school or organization of their choice. Participating merchants can be identified in some public way, for example, by displaying a sign or something similar in their store and on their Web site. Such a display promotes customer goodwill, serves as additional advertising, and provides an advantage over competitors who are not participants in the program.
"The credit card users, although not receiving the rebate themselves, will likely earn more than the value of the rebate in the exclusive discounts available only to them. To cover costs of administering distribution of the rebates, the intermediate non-profit service organization can charge or receive a fee for each special credit card that is issued, and/or can receive a fee from each participating merchant, and/or can accept a commensurate portion of the rebates. Last but not least, schools receive the additional funding they need, without the need for increasing taxes and/or issuing bonds.
"These and other objects and advantages of the various embodiments of the present disclosure will be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art after reading the following detailed description of the embodiments that are illustrated in the various drawing figures.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of this specification and in which like numerals depict like elements, illustrate embodiments of the present disclosure and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example of a computing system capable of implementing embodiments according to the present disclosure.
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing elements in a system for performing a credit card and service organization cooperative program in embodiments according to the present disclosure.
"FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing the flow of funds between elements in a system for performing a credit card and service organization cooperative program in embodiments according to the present disclosure.
"FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 illustrate flowcharts of computer-implemented methods for performing a credit card and service organization cooperative program in embodiments according to the present disclosure.
"FIG. 7 illustrates an example of a logo that can be used to represent a credit card and service organization cooperative program in embodiments according to the present disclosure."
For more information, see this patent application: Denevi, Pietro G. Credit Card and Service Organization Cooperative Program. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents.
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