News Column

Patent Application Titled "Text-To-Bill Transaction Processing System" Published Online

September 11, 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 inventors Corner, Katherine Ann (San Francisco, CA); Sung, Chia-ling (San Francisco, CA); Ly, John (San Francisco, CA), filed on February 20, 2013, was made available online on August 28, 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 to a transaction processing system.

"2). Discussion of Related Art

"A customer who visits a store usually 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. In an in store scenario, the customer may for example purchase goods that are provided to the customer. Electronic transactions can be conducted in a similar manner. In the case of electronic transactions, the user can enter details of a point-of-sale instrument into an interface.

"It has become more common to purchase goods, services and credits using devices other than a point-of-sale instrument. Certain systems for example allow for a consumer to have a transaction charged to their phone bill.

"The challenge that exists with using systems that do not have a point-of-sale instrument is that they typically require a network connection to allow for the charge to be processed. Such a network connection may be unavailable or may be cumbersome to maintain and operate. For example, arcade games typically do not have any network connections to a merchant to process a charge. Instead, the only way to start a game on an arcade game would be to enter cash into the arcade game."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The invention provides a transaction processing system, including a text-to-bill processing system including a processor, a computer-readable medium connected to the processor and a set of instructions on the computer-readable medium and executable by the processor. The set of instructions includes an SMS gateway receiving from a mobile phone and a phone number a fulfillment request text message having a merchant keyword component and a transaction details component, a merchant server data store having a plurality of merchant servers and a plurality of merchant keywords associated with the respective merchant servers, a merchant server lookup module connected to the SMS gateway, using the merchant keyword component received in the SMS gateway to lookup a select merchant server from the merchant server data store by matching the merchant keyword component received in the SMS gateway with one of the merchant keywords in the merchant server data store, a server call module, connected to the merchant server lookup module, transmitting the transaction details component to the select merchant server, the server call module receiving a charge from the select merchant server in response to the transmission of the transaction details component, the charge including a charge amount; a billing gateway connected to the server call module, causing entry of the charge amount in an accounts database against the phone number in response to the server call module receiving the charge and a success text message transmission module, connected to the billing gateway, transmitting a success message via the SMS gateway to the mobile phone at the phone number, the success text message being transmitted including a fulfillment message.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the server call module transmits a transaction ID that is uniquely generated in response to the receiving of the fulfillment request text message by the SMS gateway to the select merchant server and wherein the charge received from the merchant server includes the transaction ID.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the server call module transmits the phone number to the select merchant server, and wherein the charge includes the phone number.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the charge includes the fulfillment message that is included in the success text message.

"The text-to-bill processing system may further include a sign displaying to a consumer in control of the mobile phone the text message and a destination to transmit the text message from the mobile phone.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the billing gateway does not cause entry of the charge amount in response to the SMS gateway receiving the fulfillment request text message and does not cause entry of the charge amount after the server call module transmits the transaction details component to the select merchant server, and only causes entry of the charge amount in response to the server call module receiving the charge amount from the select merchant server.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the success text message includes a code that is entered into a game in order for the game to start without the game being connected to the select merchant server via any communications network.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the merchant server lookup module determines whether the select merchant server is received from the merchant server data store and the server call module only communicates with a select merchant server if the merchant server lookup module receives the select merchant server from the merchant server data store, further including an error text message transmission module that transmits an error text message via the SMS gateway to the mobile phone at the MSISDN if the merchant server lookup module fails to receive the select merchant server from the merchant server data store.

"The transaction processing system may further include an error text message transmission module that, when an error is received from the select merchant server, transmits an error text message to the mobile phone at the MSISDN.

"The transaction processing system may further include that the billing gateway only instructs the success text message transmission module to transmit the success text message if the billing gateway is successful in causing entry of the charge amount in the accounts database against the phone number, further including an error text message transmission module that, if the billing gateway fails to cause entry of the charge amount in the accounts database, transmits an error text message to the mobile phone at the MSISDN, the error text message stating the reason why the billing gateway has failed to cause entry of the charge amount in the accounts database.

"The invention further provides a method of processing a transaction including receiving, with a processor of a text-to-bill processing system, a text message from a phone number, the text message having a merchant keyword component and a transaction details component, using, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, the merchant keyword to lookup a select merchant server from a merchant server data store having a plurality of merchant servers and a plurality of merchant keywords associated with the respective merchant servers in the merchant server data store, transmitting, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, the transaction details component to the select merchant server, receiving, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, a charge from the merchant server in response to the transmission of the transaction details component, the charge including an amount, causing, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, entry of the charge amount in an accounts database against a phone number in response to receiving the charge from the merchant server and transmitting, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, a text message to a mobile phone at the phone number, the text message being transmitted including a fulfillment message.

"The invention also provides a computer-readable medium having stored thereon a set of instructions which, when executed by a processor of a text-to-bill processing system, performs a method of processing a transaction including receiving, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, a text message from a phone number, the text message having a merchant keyword component and a transaction details component, using, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, the merchant keyword to lookup a select merchant server from a merchant server data store having a plurality of merchant servers and a plurality of merchant keywords associated with the respective merchant servers in the merchant server data store, transmitting, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, the transaction details component to the select merchant server; receiving, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, a charge from the merchant server in response to the transmission of the transaction details component, the charge including an amount, causing, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, entry of the charge amount in an accounts database against a phone number in response to receiving the charge from the merchant server and transmitting, with the processor of the text-to-bill processing system, a text message to a mobile phone at the phone number, the text message being transmitted including a fulfillment message.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Embodiments of the invention are described by way of examples with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a transaction processing system according to an embodiment of the invention;

"FIG. 2 is block diagram of a mobile phone, short code provider and a text-to-bill processing server of the system;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of components of the text-to-bill processing system, a select merchant server and a carrier server of the system; and

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a machine in the form of a computer system forming part of the transaction processing system."

For more information, see this patent application: Corner, Katherine Ann; Sung, Chia-ling; Ly, John. Text-To-Bill Transaction Processing System. Filed February 20, 2013 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2498&p=50&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Boku, Boku Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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