Patent Wrap: MasterCard’s Plan To Turn An ATM Into A POS

In this week’s look at interesting payments patents issued and/or applied for, PayPal and MasterCard inventors are our payments patent people with a trio of invention applications all filed on Feb. 18.

MasterCard’s Plan To Turn An ATM Into A POS

MasterCard’s filing envisions using all of those strategically-located ATMs for a lot more than cash-dispensing. This makes even more sense given that cash-dispensing will become increasingly unnecessary as in-person purchases go digital.

How the card brand sees the problem: “In an effort to help aid bank customers at hours when banks were not open and in locations where banks were inconvenient or otherwise unavailable, ATMs were created and spread throughout the world, enabling customers to access account information, deposit checks or cash, withdrawal cash, and perform other aspects of account management. In many instances, ATMs read account details from a payment card, such as via a swipe of the payment card or insertion of the payment card into the ATM, and then enable the consumer to perform a variety of functions for the corresponding payment account,” is how MasterCard tells it. “However, ATMs often lack the ability to assist consumers with other functions outside of account management. For instance, ATMs are often placed in locations with high consumer traffic and in areas where consumers regularly conduct payment transactions for goods or services, such as in shopping malls, airports, department stores, etc. ATMs have several input devices useful for input and authentication, and are able to access account details, accept cash, dispense cash, print receipts, image users, and other useful functions, but are not currently used as a point of sale for the purchase of products. Furthermore, many ATMs are associated with or in communication with a financial institution, such as one associated with a payment card provided by a consumer. However, in many instances ATMs are configured only to perform account management functions for account(s) directly corresponding to read payment card or cards, even in situations where the consumer may have additional payment accounts, beyond checking and savings, with the same financial institution.”

And the cardbrand’s proposed way around it: “An automated teller machine (ATM) for processing payment transactions includes a receiving device, an account database, a reading device, a processing device, and a display device. The account database is configured to store a plurality of account profiles, wherein each account profile includes data related to a payment account associated with a consumer including at least a payment account number associated with the related payment account and one or more alternative account numbers, each associated with a different payment account associated with the consumer. The reading device is configured to read payment details encoded on a payment card inserted in the receiving device, wherein the payment details include at least a specific payment account number. The processing device is configured to identify, in the account database, a specific account profile where the included payment account number corresponds to the specific payment account number. The display device is configured to display a plurality of account selection items, wherein each account selection item corresponds to a payment account associated with one of: the payment account number and one of the one or more alternative account numbers included in the identified specific account profile,” MasterCard’s filing said. “An automated teller machine (ATM) for presenting products for purchase includes a product database, an imaging device, a processing device, and a display device. The product database is configured to store a plurality of product data entries, wherein each product data entry includes data related to a product available for purchase including at least a product identifier, product data, and one or more product characteristics. The imaging device is configured to capture an image of a user of the ATM. The processing device is configured to: analyze the captured image of the user of the ATM to identify a plurality of characteristics associated with the user of the ATM; and identify, in the product database, one or more product data entries based on a correspondence between the included one or more product characteristics and the identified plurality of characteristics. The display device is configured to display the product data included in each of the identified one or more product data entries to the user of the ATM for selection and purchase of the related product. In a different context, there is a present need to have secure point of sale terminals but demand for the sales may not justify the expense of having an additional point of sale, for instance, for dispensing tickets to an event.”

Welcome To Mr. MasterCard’s Neighborhood. Howdy, Neighbor. May I Charge You Interchange Today?

The card brand’s filing discusses a way to use payment data to identify physically-proximate consumers with similar buying patterns.

MasterCard filed for “a method for generating a micro-neighborhood of consumers includes: storing a plurality of account profiles, each profile including data related to a consumer including account data, a micro-neighborhood location identifier, and a plurality of transaction data entries, each entry being related to a payment transaction involving the related consumer and including transaction data; scoring each account profile stored in the account database by application of a scoring model to the transaction data included in one or more transaction data entries included in the respective account profile; and identifying a plurality of account profile groupings, each grouping including a subset of the plurality of account profiles identified based on the score for and micro-neighborhood location identifier included in each account profile included in the subset, wherein the subset of the plurality of account profiles included in each account profile grouping includes at least a predetermined number of account profiles.”

PayPal Wants To Aggregate Purchases From Multiple Merchants In One Quasi-Session

PayPal’s filing speaks of “a method for providing on-line payment services is provided where a payment service provider pays for a plurality of purchases that are made by a user during a plurality of on-line shopping sessions. An authorization is received for the payment service provider to collect a reimbursement amount from a financial institution of the user. The reimbursement amount is at least equal to a cumulative amount of the payments for the plurality of purchases made by the user during the plurality of on-line shopping sessions. The payment service provider collects the reimbursement amount in a single transaction from the financial institution of the user and pays a fee to the financial institution of the user. The fee is based on the single transaction carried out to collect the reimbursement amount rather than being applied to each of the plurality of purchases or assessed as a percentage of the reimbursement amount, which allows the payment service provider to reduce the costs associated with providing payment services.”

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