Payments Patent Wrap: PayPal Seeks One Honest Room

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Our weekly look at the most interesting—or perplexing—Patents or Patents Pending from the payments industry.

PayPal Asks: Hey, Shopper. Are You In A Secure Room?

PayPal on Thursday (Feb. 4) applied for a patent that would determine the security level of a set of coordinates and remember it, allowing for less stringent authentication and security when making a purchase that place.

“When a device enters an environment with lower security risk, the device may prompt a user to designate the environment to be a secured location. For example, the secured location may be frequented locations, such as home or work. If the user designates the environment as a secured location, the device may associate a security profile having reduced security requirement with the secured location,” the filing said. “For example, the reduced security requirement may require less or no passwords during access authentication for the device. The device may activate the security profile with reduced security requirement when the device is in the secured area. The security profile may require that certain features of the device be disabled when the device is in the secured location. For example, texting features of a mobile phone may be disabled when the mobile phone is in a moving vehicle. Thus, the moving vehicle may be a secured location, in which no texting messages are received or transmitted by the mobile phone.”

EBay Wants Your Smartphone And Smartcar To Buy Smart Gas

EBay on Feb. 4 (Thursday) filed for a Patent on a way for truck fleets and consumers to more intelligently purchase fuel.

Here’s how EBay painted the problem: “Many drivers use a device with Global Positioning System (GPS) and navigation capabilities, such as an onboard GPS/navigation system or a mobile device, that determines a current location of a vehicle, receives traffic information, and routes the vehicle to a destination. The GPS/navigation device may search for alternative routes to a destination and select an optimal route based on traffic information. Further, some GPS/navigation devices search for fuel stations within a given proximity of the current location of the vehicle. However, payment for fuel remains conventional and requires a driver to either provide cash or a payment card to complete the transaction. This can potentially be time consuming for the driver and requires the driver to have a payment instrument on hand. Further, the user’s experience of the route guidance by the GPS/navigation system, the process of purchasing gas, and the in-vehicle system remain separate and modular experiences.”

EBay’s proposed solution: ” a user can check in to a vehicle (such as via BLE or LTE Direct) through an onboard application with a user account. The vehicle may be a connected car that contains an in-vehicle system, such as an infotainment system. The vehicle is configured to connect to other devices within the vehicle and/or devices and servers outside the vehicle. The vehicle may also be able to communicate with other vehicles. The vehicle may be a conventionally driven car, or feature autonomous and/or automatic driving. The user account may be an account maintained by a payment service provider, such as PAYPAL.RTM., Inc. of San Jose, Calif., USA. The account maintained by the payment provider server may be a funded account that a user can use to make payments. The onboard application is on a user device, which may comprise an in-vehicle system and/or a mobile device (e.g., smart phone, PC, computing tablet, etc.). The onboard application may have access to the onboard GPS/navigation system and the onboard system diagnostics and status, which monitors vehicle information such as fuel level, fuel consumption rate, etc. The onboard application may be an application of a payment service provider, such as PAYPAL.RTM., or an application of a third-party service provider that is compatible with the services of the payment service provider. A user may check in to a vehicle using one or more methods of vehicle check-in. The user may check in to a vehicle by a connection between a mobile device and an in-vehicle system. The user may check-in by entering login information on the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of the vehicle. The login may be an account ID, email, phone number, etc. The user may check-in using biometrics, such as the user’s fingerprint or voice, through a preconfigured biometric sensor integrated with the vehicle. The user may check-in by the user’s weight measured on a weight sensor on the seat of the vehicle that is preconfigured to recognize the weight of several users, such as people in the same household who drive. Various other check-in methods may be implemented.”

MasterCard: A Way To Track One Bad Transaction Leading To Another

MasterCard on Thursday (Feb. 4) filed for a patent application that would look at non-compliant merchants and track activities to find other naughty players.

The card brand is operating on the rationale that thieves tend to hang out together—and that shoppers who buy from one illegal store will likely go to another disreputable merchant if the first one is shut down.

“Merchants that are found to be in violation of a rule or regulation, such as due to the selling of counterfeit goods, selling of pirated or stolen goods, advertising via spam e-mail, etc., can often cause other merchants, retailers, and manufacturers to lose significant amounts of revenue. As a result, these victimized merchants, as well as regulatory agencies that enforce the violated rules and regulations, such as law enforcement agencies, industry groups, and other governmental and non-governmental entities, often go to great lengths to identify and shut down or correct the behavior of merchants in violation. (But) when a merchant selling counterfeit goods, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals sold at a fraction of the price of their genuine counterparts, is shut down, their regular consumers may have to seek another merchant from which they can purchase their products. However, rather than buy the genuine product from the victimized merchant after their counterfeit provider is shut down, many consumers may instead seek out another counterfeiter. The victimized merchant and regulatory agencies must then repeat their entire investigative process to identify the new counterfeiting merchant and have them shut down as well. Thus, there is a need for a technical system to more quickly and efficiently assess a merchant’s likelihood of being noncompliant with a rule or regulation based on shared consumers and transaction data with another merchant previously found to be noncompliant with the rule or regulation.”

MC proposes “a method for assessing merchant likelihood of noncompliance includes: storing, in a transaction database, a plurality of transaction data entries, wherein each transaction data entry includes data related to a payment transaction including at least transaction data, an account identifier associated with a transaction account involved in the payment transaction, and a merchant identifier associated with a merchant involved in the payment transaction; identifying, in the transaction database, a first set of transaction data entries, wherein each transaction data entry in the first set includes a specific merchant identifier associated with a merchant identified as being noncompliant with a rule or regulation; identifying, by a processing device, a set of account identifiers, wherein each account identifier in the set is included in a transaction data entry included in the identified first set of transaction data entries; identifying, in the transaction database, a second set of transaction data entries, wherein each transaction data entry in the second set includes an account identifier included in the identified set of account identifiers and a merchant identifier other than the specific merchant identifier; identifying, by the processing device, a set of merchant identifiers, wherein each merchant identifier in the set is included in a transaction data entry included in the second set of transaction data entries; and calculating, for each merchant identifier in the identified set of merchant identifiers, a score indicative of a likelihood that a merchant associated with the respective merchant identifier is noncompliant with the rule or regulation based on at least the transaction data included in each transaction data entry in the identified second set of transaction data entries that includes the respective merchant identifier.”

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