News Column

Patent Application Titled "Card Linked Offers" Published Online

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Lee, Adam (Burlingame, CA), filed on January 28, 2013, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Boku, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "1). Field of the Invention

"This invention relates generally to a transactions network and to a method and system for managing electronic transactions.

"2). Discussion of Related Art

"A customer who visits a store often uses a point-of-sale instrument such as a bank card or a credit card to pay for an item or items that are being purchased. The point-of-sale instrument communicates with a point-of-sale device such as a credit card reader. The point-of-sale device forms part of a point-of-sale network that communicates a charge request to a merchant acquirer computer system and the merchant acquirer computer system routes the charge to credit card and issuer computer systems forming part of the point-of-sale network. The credit card and issuer computer systems may for example include a credit card account to which an amount recorded on the point-of-sale device can be charged if sufficient funds or credit are available. The credit card and issuer computer systems then return a confirmation through the merchant acquirer computer system to the point-of-sale device that the transaction is good, whereafter an operator of the point-of-sale device will allow the customer to leave the store with the item or items that are being purchased.

"Electronic transactions can be conducted in a similar manner. In the case of electronic transactions, a user can enter details of a point-of-sale instrument into an interface. Once the details are received, a charge request can be transmitted to a merchant acquirer computer system, and then be processed in a similar manner.

"Consumers have traditionally used cut-out coupons that can be used to obtain discounts, or punch cards that can be used to accumulate points towards a reward. Similar programs have made their way into e-commerce and in particular into mobile phones that are carried by consumers. A consumer mobile phone may for example download a coupon and have it scanned or otherwise redeemed at the point-of-sale. The systems that are in place to allow both merchants and consumers to sign up for such programs are usually cumbersome, resulting in fewer members to such a program than what a manager of such a program would want."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The invention provides a computer-based method of managing electronic transactions, including storing, with a processor, a plurality of merchant offers in a data store, receiving, with the processor, a card number and a mobile phone number after storing the merchant offers, storing, with the processor, the card number and mobile phone number in a consumer account in the data store after receiving the card number and mobile phone number, transmitting, with the processor, at least one of the offers to a consumer mobile phone at the mobile phone number after storing the card number and mobile phone number in the account, receiving, with the processor, a charge advisory over a network interface device after transmitting the offer to the consumer mobile phone, the charge advisory having a card number and applying, with the processor, the offer against an account having a card number that matches the card number in the charge advisory.

"The method may further include storing, with the processor, a plurality of merchant accounts in the data store and storing a set of the offers in each one of the merchant accounts.

"The method may further include that the card number and mobile phone number are received from a service provider device and the consumer mobile phone is different from the service provider device.

"The method may further include that the service provider device has an account setup application for entering the card number and mobile phone number and for transmitting the card number and mobile phone number, the card number and mobile phone number being received over a network interface device connected to the processor.

"The method may further include transmitting, with the processor, a text SMS message over a network interface device to the consumer mobile phone, the text message having a link that is selectable by a consumer to open a browser application on the consumer mobile phone, the at least one offer being transmitted for viewing by the browser application.

"The method may further include identifying, with the processor, a respective one of the consumer accounts having a respective card number matching the card number in the charge advisory, the offer only being applied based on a successful identification.

"The method may further include that the offer is a voucher with a discount, the discount being transmitted to the consumer mobile phone and being applied against the account.

"The method may further include detecting storing of the card number, the transmission of the offer being in response to the detection of the storing of the card number.

"The method may further include that a plurality of existing consumer accounts are stored in the data store further including targeting the existing consumer accounts on a regular schedule by transmitting offers to consumer mobile phones corresponding to the existing consumer accounts on the regular schedule, and the transmission of the offer in response to the detection is out-of-sequence from the regular schedule whereafter the consumer account for which the detection has occurred is targeted on the regular schedule.

"The method may further include receiving, with the processor, settings from the consumer mobile phone and transmitting, with the processor, offers to the consumer mobile phone based on the settings.

"The invention further provides a computer system for managing electronic transactions, including a server computer system including a processor, a computer-readable medium connected to the processor and a set of instructions on the computer-readable medium, the set of instructions being executable by the processor. The set of instructions includes a data store, a plurality of merchant offers stored in the data store, a consumer account setup module receiving and storing a card number and an mobile phone number in a consumer account after storing the merchant offers, at least one of the offers being transmitted over the network interface device to a consumer mobile phone at the mobile phone number after storing the card number and mobile phone number in the account, a communication and routing module receiving a charge advisory over the network interface device after the offer is transmitted to the consumer mobile phone, the charge advisory having a card number and a voucher application module that applies the offer against an account having a card number that matches the card number in the charge advisory.

"The computer system may further include a merchant account management system storing a plurality of merchant accounts in the data store, and storing a set of the offers in each one of the merchant accounts.

"The computer system may further include that the card number and mobile phone number are received from a service provider device and the consumer mobile phone is different from the service provider device.

"The computer system may further include a service provider device, wherein the service provider device has an account setup application for entering the card number and mobile phone number and for transmitting the card number and mobile phone number, the card number and mobile phone number being received over a network interface device connected to the processor.

"The computer system may further include a notifications module transmitting a text SMS message over a network interface device to the consumer mobile phone, the text message having a link that is selectable by a consumer to open a browser application on the consumer mobile phone, the at least one offer being transmitted for viewing by the browser application.

"T The computer system may further include a transaction clearing system identifying, with the processor, a respective one of the consumer accounts having a respective card number matching the card number in the charge advisory, the offer only being applied based on a successful identification.

"The computer system may further include that the offer is a voucher with a discount, the discount being transmitted to the consumer mobile phone and being applied against the account.

"The computer system may further include a registration detection module detecting storing of the card number, the transmission of the offer being in response to the detection of the storing of the card number.

"The computer system may further include that a plurality of existing consumer accounts are stored in the data store further including targeting the existing consumer accounts on a regular schedule by transmitting offers to consumer mobile phones corresponding to the existing consumer accounts on the regular schedule, and the transmission of the offer in response to the detection is out-of-sequence from the regular schedule whereafter the consumer account for which the detection has occurred is targeted on the regular schedule.

"The computer system may further include preferences in the consumer account, the preferences being received as settings from the consumer mobile phone and the offers being transmitted based on the settings

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The invention is further described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a transactions network according to an embodiment of the invention;

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a PAN list update system and a PAN list maintenance system of server and merchant acquirer computer systems forming part of the transactions network;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of components of the server computer system and an offer network integration unit of the merchant acquirer computer system;

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a merchant account, a merchant account management system and a merchant computer system, forming part of the transactions network;

"FIG. 5A is a screenshot that appears within a browser of the merchant computer system for the merchant to log into the account;

"FIG. 5B is a view similar to FIG. 5A permitting the merchant to enter initial details of a voucher, including a discount amount and start and end date;

"FIG. 5C is a view similar to FIG. 5B where the merchant can upload a voucher image;

"FIG. 5D is a view similar to FIG. 5C where the merchant can select specific terminals or groups of terminals where the offer will be valid;

"FIG. 5E is a view similar to FIG. 5D where the merchant can view the offer before approving the offer;

"FIG. 5F is a view similar to FIG. 5E after the offer has been approved by the merchant;

"FIG. 5G is a view similar to FIG. 5F displaying multiple campaigns based on the merchant account;

"FIG. 5H is a view similar to FIG. 5F displaying selection of filter attributes by a merchant;

"FIG. 5I is a view similar to FIG. 5H displaying entry of a bid by the merchant;

"FIG. 5J is a view similar to FIG. 5I where the merchant selects specific targeting goals;

"FIG. 5K is a view similar to FIG. 5J displaying selection of a payment method by the merchant;

"FIG. 6 is a block diagram illustrating multiple merchant accounts and a voucher management system for purposes of managing transactions based on voucher entries;

"FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating the registration of a PAN using a service provider mobile device and a message that is transmitted to a consumer mobile phone upon registration;

"FIGS. 8A and B illustrate views of a consumer account setup module on the service provider mobile device;

"FIGS. 9A, B and C illustrate a text message and browser views that are displayed on the consumer mobile phone;

"FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a point-of-sale instrument for making a purchase at a point-of-sale device;

"FIGS. 11A and 11B illustrate computer systems of a point-of-sale network forming part of the transactions network wherein one of the network computer systems operates respectively in a standard mode and in a discount checking mode;

"FIG. 12 is a block diagram illustrating a point-of-sale instrument, a point-of-sale network, and a transaction clearing system of the transactions network;

"FIG. 13 is a block diagram illustrating the consumer account and other components of preceding drawings that are used for processing a transaction against the consumer account;

"FIG. 14 illustrates a text message that is displayed on the consumer mobile phone after a transaction has been completed;

"FIG. 15 is a block diagram illustrating an advertisement trigger system and decision module for pushing offers to the mobile device;

"FIG. 16 is a block diagram of a machine in the form of a computer system forming part of the transactions network; and

"FIG. 17 is a block diagram of the mobile device illustrating SmartPhone features thereof."

For more information, see this patent application: Lee, Adam. Card Linked Offers. Filed January 28, 2013 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1165&p=24&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Boku Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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