CA2217739A1 - Electronic payment method for purchase-related transactions over a computer network - Google Patents

Electronic payment method for purchase-related transactions over a computer network

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Publication number
CA2217739A1
CA2217739A1 CA 2217739 CA2217739A CA2217739A1 CA 2217739 A1 CA2217739 A1 CA 2217739A1 CA 2217739 CA2217739 CA 2217739 CA 2217739 A CA2217739 A CA 2217739A CA 2217739 A1 CA2217739 A1 CA 2217739A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
payment
customer
server
supplier
network
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2217739
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Paul-Andre Pays
Gerard Ben Dahan
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
G C Tech
Original Assignee
Paul-Andre Pays
G C Tech
Gerard Ben Dahan
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/04Payment circuits
    • G06Q20/045Payment circuits characterized in that the payment protocol involves at least one ticket
    • G06Q20/0453Payment circuits characterized in that the payment protocol involves at least one ticket the ticket being an electronic receipt
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/02Payment architectures, schemes or protocols involving a neutral party, e.g. certification authority, notary or trusted third party [TTP]
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/04Payment circuits
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/20Point-of-sale [POS] network systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/38Payment protocols; Details thereof
    • G06Q20/40Authorisation, e.g. identification of payer or payee, verification of customer or shop credentials; Review and approval of payers, e.g. check credit lines or negative lists

Abstract

A method using an open communication network (10) to which retailer server stations (20) and customer stations (30) are connected. According to the method, a retailer server station generates a payment slip for the planned purchase transaction between the retailer and a customer, which slip comprises data on the retailer, the customer, the purchased item or service and the price; the payment slip is transmitted over the network to a payment server station (40); the payment server automatically checks whether the payment of said price is authorised for the customer in question, by querying the client's personal account set up in the payment server for paying small amounts, or, in the case of larger amounts, by making a query over a banking network (50) separate from the computer network (10); if the payment is authorised, the payment server generates a cash voucher comprising at least some of the data on the payment slip; and the cash voucher is transmitted to the retailer to enable the purchase to go ahead.

Description

j CA 02217739 1997-10-08 ELECTRONIC PAYMENT MET~OD FOR PnR~A~F.-RFT.ATFn TRAN~ACTIONS OVER A
COMPUTER N~l~UKK

The present invention concerns an electronic payment method enabling 5 transactions to be carried out relating to the purchase of "goods" offered by suppliers by means of on-line services via a public co~ ulei telec~.l....l...ir~tinn nGlwulh to which are ~ttache(l suppliers' seners and clients' stations. Here, "public colll~lllel teleco.l....l..)ir~tion nGlwolhl' is intenflP~ to mean a network to which persons or co...p~.-ies can freely connect themselves so long as they have an lû address, for example the "Tlll~ t". "Goods" is intPn-lP(l to mean products orservices, which are delivered outside the network after the transaction has beenconcluded, as well as non-m~tçri~l goods, such as information, which can be delivered via the co~ ulGr network.
Various electronic payment methods have been proposed, and some are 15 already operational.
Several methods are based on a new form of currency. They involve an electronic reprçsçnt~ti~>n~ sometimes called a "token", which can be purely embodied in software or can be partly physical, for example a "smart card". T~hese methods neces~il;.~e circulation of the ~;UllGllCy on the colllpulGr network, which 20 plcselll~ difficult security problems regarding the creation of false CU11G11~;Y.
Other known electronic payment methods ~ece~ le a direct relation with a bank or a banking network. These are typified by methods used in the credit card ll~,Lw~Jl~; such as well-hnown methods ~ltili7.ing point-of-sale tçnnin~l~
linked to a bank card circuit as well as methods employing electronic cheques 25 using an electronic signature to ~lthpnficate the purchaser. This is a form of engagement letter issued by a purchaser, returned to the seller and accepted andrecognised by a bank.
There are certain inconveniences associated with methods which n~c~s~ilalt;, at one time or another during a transaction, a relationship with a30 traditional banking system and the effecting of a transaction in such a system.
R~nkin~ system transactions have a real cost which becomes prohibitive when the amount of the purchase is very low, for example, an amount based on a query to adata base. And computer nGLwolhs are well adapted to the sale of low-priced goods, in particular informational goods, since the delivery can be carried out 35 through the network itself. Moreover, access to a banking network or a bank card network must have high levels of security, which, in practical terms, excludes the _ ~ CA 02217739 1997-10-08 -possibility of access through a public co~ ult;r llelwolh, sueh as the ~r..~ , to which potential purchasers can connect themselves.
An object of the invention is to provide a method which avoids the problems of the known methods - in particular, a method p~....;lli..g a simple and 5 reliable way of accomplishing transactions relating to the purchase of goods on a CO~ e~ lwolh, without the need to circulate electronic cullcncy~ for goods of high price req 1irinp~ ~llt~ riC~tion from a traditional banking system, as well as for goods of low to very-low price.
The object is achieved by a method of the type defined at the begi..~ of 10 the present ~esc~iption and COlll~ lg, according to the invention, the steps of:
-creation, by the server of a supplier connected to the llt;lwulh, of a tr~n~ction authorisation request or "payment ticket", conceming a pulcllase envisaged between the supplier and a customer, and ~;o...~,. ;~;.1~ information relating to the supplier, the customer, the purchased object and the price;
-~ c~ si~n of the payment ticket via the colllpuler network to a payment server which is distinct from the customer station and the supplier server, -automatic verifir~tion by the payment server of whether the payment of the price is authorised for the customer involved, the v~rifir~tion being effected, according to the level of the price to be paid, either by interrogation of an ~Ccol~nt 20 of the customer, held by the payment server and int~.n~led for payment of smaller sums, or by interrogation on a banking network, inflepen-lent of the colllpul~
network, for payment of higher sums;
-if the verification is positive, creation by the payment server of a transaction authorisation or voucher including at least part of the payment ticket 25 inforrn~tion; and sion of the voucher to the supplier server via the colll~ult;
network, to authorise the conclusion of the purchase.
Thus, the procedure according to the invention is nott;~o,lhy in that it nrc~csil~e~ neither the creation of electronic currency nor the circ~ tion of 30 electronic currency over the colllpul~l network.
The control of the transactions is effected by a payment server which alone can access a banking network or a bank card nelwolk, and which m~n~ges non-bank c~-.ctomer accounts from which small sum transactions can be effected.
The payment server also manages non-bank supplier accounts used for 35 small sum ~ cl ;ons. In this way, when a voucher is tr~ncmittecl after verification by interrogation of a customer account held by the payment server, the amount of the purchase is debited from the customer account and credited to the account of the co~.r~ d supplier and held by the payment sener, a procedure which does not produce high procescinp~ costs.
Each customer has available his own identity to enable use of the payment 5 method. He must also have available a real bank account, plGfGl~bly one which can be operated by means of traditional bank cards. The verification by the payment server can include a preliminary phase of validating the identity of thecustomer from the CO11lG11lS of the payment ticket. The identity validation precedes access to the customer account (if the sum of the ~u~ ce is low) or access to the 10 bank network (if the amount involved in the yul~;llase is higher). The paylllclll server preferably includes means, for example a data base, for storing the relationship between the customer identities used for tr~nc~ctions on the Co~ ulGi network and the bank identities (bank account or credit card numbers) used for transactions on the bank ~lGlwu~h. In that way, the circulation of banking i~ientiti~c 15 on the Co...yulG. ~elwc ~h can be avoided.
An implementation of the invention will now be described, as a non-limitin~ example, with reference to the accompd~ying drawings, in which:
-Figure 1 is a general sc-h~m~tic view of an electronic ydylllG..l system accol~lh.g to the invention;
-Figure 2 is a lepl~s~ ion in the form of a block sr~ c ~ grAm of a payment server of the system of Figure 1;
-Figure 3 illustrates the progression of operations relating to a purchase using the system of Figure 1; and Figures 4A to 4C are flow charts showing srhem~tically the operations carried out by the payment server.
Figure 1 lGylGse~ sr-hrln~tically a co,,lyulel telec(l.-.. ication nGlwo-h 10 to which are connected supplier servers 20, customer stations 30 and at leastone payment server 40.
The COI11YUlG1 llelwolh 10 is an open or public network, for example the 30 network known as the "r..le~ t". The supplier servers 20 are units such as those currently used for on-line services connrctecl to the rnt~rnet, for example, units o,~ i.ce~l around UNIX-based multi-processor m~rhines. The customer st~ti~mc 30 are basically microcomp.lle.~ which are provided with means for connecting tothe Tnternrt network 10, for example, in the form of a "Web" interface. The 35 supplier servers 20 and the customer stations 30 may use, for example, known software protocols commonly known ~ the "World Wide Web" ("WWW") employing the HITP protocol.
The payment server 40, shown in more detail in Figure 2, comprises front and rear units l~s~e.;lively 41 and 42 both connected to the Tnt--rnet 10. The front 5 unit 41 has an ar hitcçt--re similar to that of a standard server conn~cte~l to a network such as the rntçrn~t The rear unit 42 in~ltlcles a proc~ssing unit 43 co~ .i"i"g one or more processors, a data base 44 cn,,~ information relatingto the suppliers and customers subscribing to the payment system, a tr~n~ction register 45, an intc.rf~re unit 46 for connectin~ with a banhing ll~lw~Jlh or with a 10 bank card network 50, and a communication bus 47 or similar other link enabling connection between the dirr~G~lL con~tituçnt parts of the unit. A secure connection 48 enables bi-directional communication between the front unit 41 and the plocessi~g unit 43. Colll,,,unication with the network 10 is controlled by the front unit 41 while m~n~gement of the data base 44 as well as the control of the 15 col~ tion with the banking ll~ilwulh are assured by the rear unit 42.
The data base 44 colll~i"s information relating to the customers and to the suppliers who have subscribed to the payment system. For each customer, the database 44 CO~t~illS the system identity ("CId") ~ ign~rl when the customer initially subscribes to the system, a customer account or electronic wallet ("PME") for 20 payment of small sums, a banking identity such ~ an account number of a real account or a credit card number, possibly as well as the customer's own access p~~wo,.l or "key". For each supplier, the data base 44 colll~ s the system identity of the supplier/merchant ("MId"), which is a~.~igne(1 when the supplier initially subscribes to the system, a supplier account, or electronic cash register (' l ~ ) for 25 receipt of small sums and a banking identity such as a bank account number.
Figure 3 shows schematically the dirrt;~t;lll stages of a transaction relating to the purchase of goods by a subscribing customer from a subscribing supplier. It can be a case of m~tçrizll goods, for which delivery to the customer will take place after conclusion of the tr~n~action, or non-m~tçri~l goods (such ~ information) 30 which can be provided to the customer over the co",pult;r network as soon as electronic payment has been effected.
(1) Consultation by the customer After connl-cting to the Internet 10, a customer can consult the catalogue or "window" of any supplier on-line by ~ccç~ing the supplier's server 20 and 35 viewing the supplier's wares on the screen of the customer station 30. On pl~sç.~ tion of the customer's system identity CId, the supplier's server 20 can present to the customer particular ~ l conditions (for example a discount) applicable tQ the potential tr~n~ction.

(2) Purchase demand Once the customer has chosen a commodity (object) O, his choice is 5 ~ to the supplier's server in the fomm of a message col.l;.i"il~ an identity OId of the commodity and the identity CId of the customer. When nr~s~ry, for example, for the eventual delivery of the commodity chosen, the supplier's server can request supplementary i~r(J~ lion such as an address arld ~lGr~ ;id deliverytime. This may co~ .liently be done through use of an electronic fomm sent over 10 the network to be filled in by the customer.
When the purchase envisaged represents a large sum or is subjected to legal conditions, a prelimin~ry ~l~thPntication of the customer may be desired. As will be seen in detail in the following, the ~nthrntication of a customer is effected by the payment server 40. Also, the ~uthelttication clem~n~l coming from a supplier is 15 advantageously issued in the fomm of a payment ticket of no value which is h...~ l to the payment server over the colll~ l network via the ~;u~rlolllel station and, in the case of ~osilive ~ttthl~ntication~ provokes the retum of a voucher from the payment server to the supplier server, always by way of the customer station. The procedure for the establisl.llle.l~ of a payment ticket and for the20 lr~lll ip of a voucher are described in greater detail in the following.
The pulcllase d~-nn tn~l issued by the customer can relate to a single commodity or to several goods to be provided as a group "basket purchase".

(3) Development of the payment demand In response to a pulcllase deTn tn-l, the supplier server develops a payment dcnn~ntl~ which can include the following infommation:
-Identity of the supplier ("MId");
-Description of the commodity ordered, or, in the case of grouped purchases, each of the goods in the basket;
-Type of tr~n~ction (single or basket);
-Identity of the customer ("CId");
-Identity of the commodity or collection of goods of the basket ("OId");
-Price of the commodity ("Oid");
-Value Added Tax, VAT, (if applicable), -Date and time of the issue of the payment ticket (hour and date ~lall.pillg by the supplier server);
-Period of validity of the payment ticket; and -Serial number in the sales register of the supplier (particularly in the case when the l.~ l;on has inrlllderl a preli...i~-,..y ~thl-ntication stage).
The combination of the above infonn~til-n is coded as a series of bytes which are ~~ hled in the hidden ch~nnel of a payment ticket (or URL of an order S of a commodity, URL being the initials of "Uniform Resource Locator" used in WWW software with the HITP protocol), as follows:
URL http:<SP>cdesc . ;l,lion of the ordeD, where SP is the ~..I~...~t address of the payment server. The payment ticket is addressed to the customer station. It is completed by two logical "anchors" which 10 enable the customer either to cancel or to confirm.

(4) Sending the payment order The payment order is ~ d to the payment server simply by validation by the customer of the URL of the payment order. As will be appre~ te~l, the payment ticket only passes in transit through the customer station.

(5) Issue of the voucher Upon reception of a payment order, the payment server 40 ~lec~es the payment order, ~uth~nticates the customer and invçstig;~tes whether the pdyllltllt can be ~uthori~e~l before rGllll..i..g either a voucher or a payment refusal. The c~lol~cl ~llth~ntir~ti~n and payment ~lth~ri~tion operations will be described in greater detail with reference to Figure 4.
When the verification process does not permit authorisation of payment, an explanatory refusal notification (referring, for example, to insufficient funds in the account, to the passing of a limit authorised for the customer, etc.) is sent to the customer by the payment server. When the veri~lcation does permit ~lthori~tion of payment, the information cont~inecl in the payment ticket is completed with aseAal number in the llallsa~;lion register 45, a time stamp, a validity time limit (typically some tens of seconds) and the seal of the payment server co~ l;--g certification information. The combination of this information, possibly after being digitally signed through use of a private key portion of a public key/private key encly~lion system belonging to the payment server (which ensures the validity and the integrity of the payment authorisation) is encoded in a series of bytes which cn- -~ the hidden ch~nn~l of a voucher or delivery URL:
URL http:<M><description of the voucheD, where M is the rntçrn~t address of the supplier.

(6) Delivery request The voucher is ~ cl to the supplier server via the customer station.
This can be efl~ected auloll~tir~lly by the software installed in the r~-st-)mer station using the re-routing possibility of the URL-s, well-known to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. The supplier server decodes and verifies the 5 lGc~ivt;d voucher before ~llfhori~in~ delivery of the commodity. This veriffcation includes using the private key of the payment server, v~liryhlg that the validity time limit has not passed and co~p.~ the co..~r~ of the voucher w*h the payllle.~l cleSn~n-l (7) Delivery of the commodity When the voucher has been validated by the supplier server, this server can effect delivery directly to the customer station, in the case where the commodity being purchased is inform~tion, or address to the customer station a document permitting the collection of the commodity and, notably, specifying the place ofdelivery and the name of the recipient.
It will be noted that, in the case of a grouped or basket purchase, the supplier server creates an object with allocation of a unique identity, a list of the U~Ls of each of the goods contained in the basket. It is this object which is indicated in the URL commodity order and which enables the details of the purchased goods to be recorded in the tr~n~ctinn register of the payment server.Figures 4A to 4C show the operations carried out by the payment server 40 in response to the reception of a payment order.
In the front unit 41(Figure 4A), the payment order is decoded (stage 61) and its validity is e~minrd (test 62) notably from the point of view of the validity period. If the result of the cx;....i~ ion is negative, a refusal notification is sent to 25 the customer station (stage 63). If the result of the ~i....;..~tion is positive, customer authentication follows (stage 64). The details of this operation are described further with reference to Figure 4C. If the authentication is negative (test 65), a refusal notification is sent to the customer (stage 63). If the a~lthrntication produces a positive result, the payment order (possibly limited to the ~;u~lome~30 identity CId, the supplier identity MId and the price) is tr~n~mittecl via the col"",u"ication stage 68 to the rear unit 42 of the payment server shown in Figure 2 (stage 66). The col~lec~ion 48, as mentioned above, is a secure connection p~ c;lllillg access to the rear unit by persons connected to the network 10.
The front unit 41 then waits for the rear unit to clete, . . . i . .~ whether or not to 35 authorise the payment (stage 67). If the payment is not authorised, (test 68), a refusal notification is sent to the customer station (stage 63). If the payment is authorised, a voucher is ~p~llcd (stage 69) usirlg the information recorded in stage 62. The voucher is saved in a memory of the front unit 41 (stage 70) and is sent to the supplier server via the customer station (stage 71).
~ the rear unit 42 (Figure 4B) of the payment server, a newly received and 5 ~uth~nticated payment order is ~mine~l to ~ "~ whether this order should be ~uth(>ri~ed from the customer account PME or through the banking ~lc;lwolh. In this respect, the price is colllpdlGd with a ~ ... threshold (test 72). Thisthreshold is, for example, some tens of French francs.
If the threshold is exceeded, a request for effecting the payment operation is 10 sent to the banking network (stage 73) using the banking identity co,,c;spollding to the customer identity CId as obtained from consultation of the data base 44. Thepositive or negative response from the banking network (stage 74), when received, is l.~...c...il~e-l to the front unit 41 (stage 75).
If the threshold is not exceeded, the payment can be effected from the PME
15 customer account.
In this event, the customer ~Ccount iS ~x;tlll i..ed to ~let~-- .. . i..~. whether it has sufficient funds (test 76). If it does not, a refusal of payment authorisation is sent from the rear to the front unit (stage 75). If it does, the price is debited from the PME customer account, the TCE supplier account collc;s~onding to the identity MId is credited with the same sum (stage 77), the transaction is inscribed in the transaction register 45 (stage 78), and the payment authorisation - in other words, a positive response - is lldnslllilled to the front unit 41 with the indication of the serial number of the inscription in the tr~n~ction register (stage 75).
The authentication procedure in the payment server (Figure 4C~, at the stage 64 of Figure 4A, comprises sending to the customer station, preferably in secure (encrypted) form, a ~leln~n-l for an access key, or pdS~WOld (stage 641).Upon reception, in secure form, of the access key (stage 64), a COlll~dliSOll iSeffected between corresponding information contained in the data base 44 (test 643). If the col"palison is negative, and a lll~illlUlll number of ~In~ucc~ssf~ll dlk;lll~l~ has not been reached (test 644), the process returns to stage 641. If this mi.x;.~,.. number has been reached, the failure to authorise is noted, and an alert is produced (stage 645) and a negative response is sent to the customer station (stage 646). The alert can comprise cancellation of the PME account or surveillance of this account in order to detect new usage ~ ;",~ f the test at step 643 is positive, the ~uthent;cation is recorded (stage 647) and a positive response is provided (stage 648).

Dirr~ilG~ nr~1ing tç~hni~ e.s for p~....;ll;..~ secure ~ m of numeric information in a colll~ulel network are well known, notably for the request and sçn~lin~ of access keys.
The authentication procedure disclosed herein permits a prel i . . . ; . .. . y S ~lth~ntication of a customer to be effected when necessary before the establishment of a payment deln~n~l by the supplier's server. For this ~lth--ntir~tion, it is ~nfficient to create a payment ticket in which the price indicated is zero, as indicated above.
The recording of the voucher in the front unit permits the cnctomer~ and the suppliers to carry out controls and, possibly, to obtain copies of these. The ccol~lillg of tr~n~ctions in the rear unit enables records of the transactions to be conserved for possible use when needed later, for example, in the case of a dispute arising belwt;till a customer and a supplier.
The balance in the customer accounts PME m~n~ge~d by the payment server is limited in size and, according to the pl~;rt;llt;d embodiment of the invention, these accounts do not receive interest payments (the payment system being separate from the b~nkin~ world). Replenishment by a customer of his PME
~c~ount can be effected from his bank account, by placing an order with his banking establishment.
The supplier accounts TCE m:~n~g~o~l by the payment server are ~c~oci~ted with real bank accounts of the suppliers, into which they are, for example, emptied daily.
Although there has been described above one way of putting into effect the method according to the invention in an Internet ellvho~ lent and with WWW
software using the HITP protocol, a person skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the method can be put into effect with a network other than Internet or further with supplier servers and customer station software which does not use the HITP protocol of WWW. Furthermore, secure ~thrntication methods using a~dldllls such as smart card readers or voiceprint recognition means can be foreseen in the place of access keys. These and other variations which will occur to those skilled in the art are within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Claims (10)

1. A method for effecting electronic payments for transactions relating to the purchase of goods offered by suppliers to customers via a public computer network, to which are connected supplier servers and customer stations, characterised by the steps of:
(a) development, by a supplier server connected to the network, of a transaction authorisation request, or payment ticket, concerning a purchase envisaged between the supplier and a customer, and comprising information relating to the supplier, the customer, the purchase object and the price, (b) transmission of the payment ticket via the computer network to a payment server which is distinct from the customer station and supplier server, (c) automatic verification by the payment server if the payment of the price is authorised for the customer, the verification being effected, according to the level of the price to be paid, either by interrogation of a customer account of the customer, held by the payment server and intended for payment of small sums, or by interrogation of a banking network, independent of the computer network, for payment of higher sums, (d) if the verification is positive, development by the payment server of a transaction authorisation or voucher including at least a part of the payment ticket information, and (e) transmission of the voucher to the supplier server via the computer network, so as to authorise the conclusion of the purchase.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that when a voucher is transmitted after verification by interrogation of a customer account held by the payment server, the amount of the purchase is debited from the customer account and credited to the supplier account of the concerned supplier and held by the payment server.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the verification by the payment server comprises a preliminary customer authentication phase.
4. A method as claimed in claim 3, characterised in that the authentication is achieved by recognition of an access key transmitted by the computer network from the customer station to the payment server.
5. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, characterised in that it comprises the development by the payment server of a voucher comprising at leasta part of the information of the payment ticket and certification information.
6. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, characterised in that it comprises memorisation by the payment server of the authorised transactions, by stocking at least a part of the contents of the voucher.
7. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, characterised in that thepayment ticket is transmitted from the payment server to the supplier server by the intermediary of the customer station.
8. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 characterised in that the voucher is transmitted from the payment server to the supplier server by the intermediary of the customer station.
9. Electronic payment system for effecting transactions relating to the purchase of goods offered by suppliers to customers via a public computer network, the system comprising customer stations and supplier servers, characterised in that the system further comprises at least one payment server distinct from the customer stations and the supplier servers and comprising:
-a front unit having means for connecting to the public network, -a rear unit having means for connecting to a banking network independent of the public network, -means for communicating between the front and rear units, -means for memorising customer accounts and supplier accounts, and -processing means for verifying, in response to the reception by the front unit of a transaction authorisation request or a payment ticket, concerning a purchase envisaged between the supplier and a customer, if the payment of the price is authorised for the customer by interrogating the customer account or the banking network, and, if the verification is positive, developing a transaction authorisation, or voucher in order to transmit the verification to the open network via the front unit.
10. Payment system as claimed in claim 9, characterised in that the payment server comprises means for memorising authorised transactions.
CA 2217739 1995-04-14 1996-04-03 Electronic payment method for purchase-related transactions over a computer network Abandoned CA2217739A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FR95/04533 1995-04-14
FR9504533A FR2733068B1 (en) 1995-04-14 1995-04-14 Method for electronic payment for performing transactions related to the purchase of goods on a computer network

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CA2217739A1 true true CA2217739A1 (en) 1996-10-17

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EP (1) EP0820620B1 (en)
JP (1) JPH11511876A (en)
CN (1) CN1184546A (en)
CA (1) CA2217739A1 (en)
DE (2) DE69601787T2 (en)
ES (1) ES2129962T3 (en)
FR (1) FR2733068B1 (en)
WO (1) WO1996032701A1 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
CN1184546A (en) 1998-06-10 application
JPH11511876A (en) 1999-10-12 application
WO1996032701A1 (en) 1996-10-17 application
DE69601787T2 (en) 1999-08-12 grant
FR2733068A1 (en) 1996-10-18 application
FR2733068B1 (en) 1997-07-04 grant
ES2129962T3 (en) 1999-06-16 grant
DE69601787D1 (en) 1999-04-22 grant
EP0820620B1 (en) 1999-03-17 grant
EP0820620A1 (en) 1998-01-28 application

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