US20070073588A1 - System and method for administering spend driven rebates - Google Patents

System and method for administering spend driven rebates Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070073588A1
US20070073588A1 US11/551,778 US55177806A US2007073588A1 US 20070073588 A1 US20070073588 A1 US 20070073588A1 US 55177806 A US55177806 A US 55177806A US 2007073588 A1 US2007073588 A1 US 2007073588A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
rebate
data
merchant
method
corporate
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Abandoned
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US11/551,778
Inventor
Jerry Baker
Jason Ewell
Diane Gilman
Judy Jensen
John Li
Andy Nicholls
Marie Steels
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Liberty Peak Ventures LLC
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American Express Travel Related Services Co Inc
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Priority to US46849503P priority Critical
Priority to US10/608,764 priority patent/US7647257B2/en
Application filed by American Express Travel Related Services Co Inc filed Critical American Express Travel Related Services Co Inc
Priority to US11/551,778 priority patent/US20070073588A1/en
Assigned to AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL RELATED SERVICES COMPANY, INC. reassignment AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL RELATED SERVICES COMPANY, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JENSEN, JUDY, EWELL, JASON, BAKER, JERRY, GILMAN, DIANE, LI, JOHN HSIAO-WEN, NICHOLLS, ANDY, STEELS, MARIE
Publication of US20070073588A1 publication Critical patent/US20070073588A1/en
Assigned to III HOLDINGS 1, LLC reassignment III HOLDINGS 1, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL RELATED SERVICES COMPANY, INC.
Assigned to LIBERTY PEAK VENTURES, LLC reassignment LIBERTY PEAK VENTURES, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: III HOLDINGS 1, LLC
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • 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
    • G06Q40/00Finance; Insurance; Tax strategies; Processing of corporate or income taxes
    • G06Q40/02Banking, e.g. interest calculation, credit approval, mortgages, home banking or on-line banking
    • 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
    • G06Q20/10Payment architectures specially adapted for electronic funds transfer [EFT] systems; specially adapted for home banking 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
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0207Discounts or incentives, e.g. coupons, rebates, offers or upsales
    • G06Q30/0235Including timing, i.e. limited awarding or usage time constraint
    • 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
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0207Discounts or incentives, e.g. coupons, rebates, offers or upsales
    • G06Q30/0238Discounts or incentives, e.g. coupons, rebates, offers or upsales at point-of-sale [POS]
    • 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
    • G06Q40/00Finance; Insurance; Tax strategies; Processing of corporate or income taxes
    • 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
    • G06Q40/00Finance; Insurance; Tax strategies; Processing of corporate or income taxes
    • G06Q40/12Accounting

Abstract

The system enables participating service establishments to select and configure rebate programs and define which corporate clients to include in the offer. Corporate clients may interface with the system in order to view corporate card spend data, including a summary of savings obtained through purchases made with participating service establishments. The system further uses this information to generate rebate checks for the corporate client and invoices for the service establishments. The annual cash rebates may be based on the volume of cardmember spend at participating service establishment partners. The system provides benefits to a corporate client rather than to individual cardmembers, thereby revealing the value of participation in any number of savings programs directly to the decision maker of the corporation.

Description

    REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Ser. No. 10/608,764 filed Jun. 27, 2003 and entitled “System and Method for Web Access to Financial Data”, which itself claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/468,495 filed on May 6, 2003, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF INVENTION
  • The present invention generally relates to rebates, and more particularly, to a system and method for managing corporate client rebates based on spend at participating service establishments, along with related reporting functions.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • In recent years, the financial services industry has experienced an increase in the level of competition as the financial services market has expanded globally. This has meant that financial services providers must strive to attract and retain new clients and attract service partners through building a strong value proposition. For a financial services company offering consumer and/or business Lines of Credit (LOC) account, the company must seek new methods and opportunities to provide incentives in order to persuade a potential client to select their LOC account over that offered by another account issuer. Such incentives may include, for example, bonus rewards, discounts, rebates, and the like.
  • Corporate card consumers are a valued customer base because they historically produce a higher average Record of Charges (ROC), and are thus a highly sought after market segment. Traditional rewards programs are directed to the individual cardmember regardless of whether the card is associated with a LOC account of an individual or a corporation. For example, it a common policy for corporations to allow their employees to accumulate and retain rewards such as frequent flier miles, even when the charge card used to pay for the flight was a corporate charge card. Thus, traditional rewards programs may be effective in persuading individual cardmembers to obtain and utilize a specific charge card; however, such programs are less likely to influence corporate cardmembers who simply utilize the charge card issued by their employer. Therefore, a strong need exists for a system and method that enables service establishments to enter into a partnership with a LOC account provider to offer negotiated savings to corporations, and in return, benefit from incremental revenue and valuable corporate card spend.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention includes a system and method which enables mid-market corporate clients (clients) to receive annual cash rebates based on the volume of cardmember spend at participating Service Establishment (SE) partners. The system also provides clients with an aggregate summary of Point of Sale (POS) savings, as well as any rewards accumulated at the corporate level. By automating the cash rebate and reporting functionality, the system enables the client to earn corporate benefits without additional effort and expenditure resulting from, for example, redemption of coupons or redemption codes.
  • The system also provides the aforementioned benefits to a corporate client rather than to individual cardmembers, thereby revealing the value of participation in any number of savings programs directly to the decision maker of the corporation. More specifically, the system provides the client with monetary savings on everyday business items and/or services, while reporting the savings directly to the client. The system encourages brand loyalty to card products, while driving spend at participating SEs. The system processes and reports on all client savings in order to accomplish these goals.
  • The system further facilitates the provisioning of any variety of offers representing a negotiated savings among any number of SEs. The system processes transactions to calculate savings based on spend and provides rebates to clients in order to enhance the value proposition. The offer types made available through the system may include, for example, POS saving, point accumulation, cash rebates based on all cardmember spend, cash rebates on incremental year-to-year spend, and cash rebates based on a baseline with criteria predefined by the participating SE.
  • The SE is provided with a report of activity from clients including transaction level detail, if requested, in order to better maintain the relationship with the SE.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals represent like elements, are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification and, together with the description, explain the advantages and principles of the invention. In the drawings,
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary system for providing on-line account data;
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of exemplary components of computers and servers used in the system;
  • FIG. 3 is a flow chart of an exemplary method to provide on-line account data;
  • FIG. 4 is a diagram of an exemplary web page for submitting an on-line request for account data;
  • FIG. 5 is a diagram of an exemplary web page for providing on-line account data;
  • FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating an example of a web page for a user to log into the system;
  • FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating an example of a detailed web page for submitting an on-line request for account data; and
  • FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating an example of a web page for providing on-line account data.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The detailed description of exemplary embodiments herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings, which show the exemplary embodiment by way of illustration and its best mode. While these exemplary embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be understood that other embodiments may be realized and that logical and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the detailed description herein is presented for purposes of illustration only and not of limitation. For example, the steps recited in any of the method or process descriptions may be executed in any order and are not limited to the order presented. Moreover, any of the functions or steps may be outsourced to or performed by one or more third parties. Furthermore, any reference to singular includes plural embodiments, and any reference to more than one component may include a singular embodiment.
  • For the sake of brevity, conventional data networking, application development and other functional aspects of the systems (and components of the individual operating components of the systems) may not be described in detail herein. Furthermore, the connecting lines shown in the various figures contained herein are intended to represent exemplary functional relationships and/or physical couplings between the various elements. It should be noted that many alternative or additional functional relationships or physical connections may be present in a practical system.
  • In general, the invention includes a system and method which enables corporate clients (clients) having employees and others that utilize corporate charge cards (cardmembers), to receive rebates or other rewards related to cardmember spend at participating Service Establishment (SE) partners. The system provides such rewards to the corporate client rather than to individual cardmembers, thereby revealing the value of participation directly to the decision maker of the corporation. By automating the cash rebate and reporting functionality, the system enables the client to earn corporate benefits without additional effort and expenditure resulting from, for example, redemption of coupons or redemption codes. The invention also allows the SE to customize and/or select certain reward programs for particular clients.
  • Exemplary embodiments include a web application that enables access to a client's specific account transaction detail for the purposes of, for example, vendor negotiation and card program management. The charge transaction detail includes, for example, travel transaction detail, corporate card detail, loyalty information detail and corporate purchasing card detail. In one embodiment, the transaction detail is global in nature (e.g., data captured from all regional systems) and can include third party data regarding both card and travel, as well as reference data which can be purchased from multiple industry vendor sources. The term “charge card” is intended to include credit cards, debit cards, stored value cards, financial cards, non-card based accounts and any other transaction instruments.
  • As used herein, and with reference to FIG. 1, the term “client” may include any individual, business, entity, government organization, software and/or hardware, which interacts with system 10 via user computer 12 to receive rewards and/or view reports. The client may be, for example, an electronics corporation that authorizes its employees to receive and use a corporate charge card to pay expenses related to the corporation. The corporation may interact with system 10 to view, for example, information relating to employee spends, earned rebates, pre-negotiated discounts, and the like. The client may interface with server computer 16 via any communications protocol, device or method discussed herein or known in the art. In one embodiment, the client may interact with server computer 16 via an Internet browser at user computer 12.
  • As used herein, the term “rewards” may include monetary rebates, points, coupons, tokens, goods, services, downloads, uploads, information, access, digital rights, codes, donations and/or the like.
  • As used herein, a SE may comprise any merchant, retailer, individual, software, hardware, business, manufacturer, charity, supplier, government entity, third-party provider and/or any other entity that may accept a transaction instrument for payment in accordance with exemplary embodiments of this invention. An SE may represent a single business, or a group of affiliated businesses or chains with common ownership. The SE participates with the system by entering into a partnership agreement with an account issuer to provide clients with negotiated savings on charge card spend at the participating SE.
  • A web client provides web application and web page access to the account issuer, clients, and SEs in order to configure the system, maintain offers, access data and create various report views of information related to spend, offers, rebates, and the like. The web application may be implemented with, for example, a third party software package from a company called MicroStrategy. The product enables clients to manage their corporate program with a host as the card provider, along with their own travel management performance and policies. In addition, the product enables the clients to negotiate purchase opportunities with key vendors (e.g., airlines, hotels etc).
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the web application eliminates or reduces the need for any ‘helper’ applications on the web browser, provides a more scalable application and allows clients to access certain data and create report views of the information. Removal of the ‘helper apps’ (e.g., Active-X or Java Applets), in one embodiment, allows greater market penetration since these applications have been shown in some instances to be security risks. The invention also eliminates the need for a separate security log-in function and allows implementation of a single sign-on capability. As such, clients log into a single portal through a web client and are automatically logged into applications within the portal without having to re-authenticate
  • A web client may comprise any hardware and/or software suitably configured to facilitate input, receipt and/or review of any information related to the server computer 16 or any information discussed herein. The web client may include any device (e.g., personal computer), which communicates (in any manner discussed herein) with the invention via any network discussed herein. Such browser applications comprise Internet browsing software installed within a computing unit or system to conduct online transactions and communications.
  • These computing units or systems may take the form of a computer or set of computers, although other types of computing units or systems may be used, including laptops, notebooks, hand held computers, set-top boxes, workstations, computer-servers, main frame computers, mini-computers, PC servers, pervasive computers, network sets of computers, and/or the like. Practitioners will appreciate that the web client may or may not be in direct contact with the server computer 16. For example, a web client may access the services of server computer 16 through another server, which may have a direct or indirect connection to server computer 16.
  • The system may also include a “create a report capability” which allows users to add filters and data elements to an existing report format and create a report specific to their needs and data. The system includes access for the clients to individual market level detail, along with LAC, EMEA, and JAPA (Latin America/Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Japan, Asia, Pacific, Australia) transaction detail. The system also allows report generation wherein the reports include LID (line item detail) data from the clients′ Corporate Purchase Card (CPC) purchases and savings resulting in rebates, thereby allowing the user to view specific detailed transactions from their selected vendors. This feature includes full hierarchy information and enhanced reporting capabilities. The system also includes CPC data in its warehouse, which allows clients to view their total program with the host. It also allows clients to combine the data sets and have a single report generated on both CPC and card spend. The functionality and access allows faster delivery of information and rebate checks to clients which results in, for example, increased client loyalty.
  • A product implementing an exemplary embodiment is a combination of function, features, data and support service. More particularly, in one embodiment, the product is accessed via a web site which is specifically focused on corporate accounts, the program administrator, and the corporate card member. The database is a combination of charge card information (transactions) from every region and country that the host operates as a wholly owned organization or as a franchise or partnership. The collection, consolidation, data management and conditioning of that data are unique in several areas. The database adds and conditions data with proprietary information relating to the host supplier network. This allows the clients using the product to view and report on their corporate spend in key categories (e.g., industries). The data conditioning process for the database captures and consolidates multiple data sources from industry providers. There are also multiple airline data feeds and computerized reservation system (CRS) data feeds providing additional enriched data such as air sectors (travel itinerary) fare basis codes, etc. Many of these data feeds can be purchased by the host on behalf of the client and the data is integrated with their account data.
  • The client can report on this data in multiple views, either an individual country, a region, or on a global basis. The reporting functionality is also a combination of unique products and services. The tool provides a single sign on capability which allows the program administrator, client, and SE to sign on once at the central web site and then access multiple services and functions including, for example, client enrolment and maintenance, SE configuration, offer configuration, enhanced reporting capability, and the like. The client has the ability to view their spend and rebate information via a web browser while no software is required to be loaded on the client PC. The clients have access to a set of standard reports or have the ability to develop a view of the data (report) that they request and create on-line. The reports can be viewed on-line, printed or exported into other software formats such as Excel at the client site. The charge card information is provided in, for example, two forms such as billed and unbilled; and the client can view either through the reporting tool. Additionally, the client can view their corporate purchase card data and their corporate card charges as separate sets of data or on a combined report.
  • Practitioners will appreciate that the invention may include a report engine to retrieve, process, and format data into a report. In one embodiment, a report engine includes any hardware and/or software suitably configured to produce reports from information stored in one or more databases. Report engines are commercially available and known in the art. A report engine may provide printed reports, web access to reports, graphs, real-time information, raw data, batch information and/or the like. A report engine may be implemented through commercially available hardware and/or software, through custom hardware and/or software components, or through a combination thereof. Further, a report engine may reside as a standalone system within system 10 or as a component of SAW server computer 16.
  • Examples of problems solved with this invention:
      • A person who is responsible for supplier management and vendor negotiations can ask, ‘What was the total number of transactions and spend my company put on American Express Corporate Cards on all flights between Rome and Sydney? I want to compare 1Q 2003 to 1Q 2002 for Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.’
      • A person managing a cost center can ask, ‘Where have my employees used their American Express Cards over the past month?’
      • A corporate card administrator can ask, ‘How much is my company really saving as a result of our decision to exclude vendors who do not offer rebates on spend put on our American Express Corporate Cards?’
        Portfolio Web Network
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a system 10 for providing on-line account data. In system 10, a user at a user computer 12 can submit an on-line request to a server computer 16, via a network 14, for charge card transaction details. Server computer 16, via a network 18, can access multiple data sources 20, 22, and 24 to obtain the charge card transaction detail for the user. Once it obtains the data, server computer 16 can condition the data, as it often will be retrieved from multiple disparate sources (including any combination of internal or external data sources), and format the data into a report. Server computer 16 can then send the report to user computer 12 via network 14 in, for example, a web page or other format. Networks 14 and 18 can include any wireline or wireless network for data communication. The communication across the network may be achieved using web services technology, including but not limited to Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language (WSDL), or Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI). Three data sources are shown for illustrative purposes only; embodiments can include more or fewer data sources depending upon a particular implementation. The data sources 20, 22, and 24 represent any source of data such as, a local or remote memory or database, possibly in conjunction with an associated computer.
  • It will be appreciated, that many applications of the present invention could be formulated. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the network may include any system for exchanging data or transacting business, such as the Internet, an intranet, an extranet, WAN, LAN, satellite communications, and/or the like. It is noted that the network may be implemented as other types of networks, such as an interactive television (ITV) network. The users may interact with the system via any input device such as a keyboard, mouse, kiosk, personal digital assistant, handheld computer (e.g., Palm Pilot®), cellular phone and/or the like. Similarly, the invention could be used in conjunction with any type of personal computer, network computer, workstation, minicomputer, mainframe, or the like running any operating system such as any version of Windows, Windows NT, Windows2000, Windows 98, Windows 95, MacOS, OS/2, BeOS, Linux, UNIX, Solaris or the like. Moreover, although the invention is frequently described herein as being implemented with TCP/IP communications protocols, it will be readily understood that the invention could also be implemented using IPX, Appletalk, IP-6, NetBIOS, OSI or any number of existing or future protocols. Moreover, the system contemplates the use, sale or distribution of any goods, services or information over any network having similar functionality described herein.
  • The computing units may be connected with each other via a data communication network. The network may be a public network and assumed to be insecure and open to eavesdroppers. In the illustrated implementation, the network may be embodied as the internet. In this context, the computers may or may not be connected to the internet at all times. For instance, the customer computer may employ a modem to occasionally connect to the internet, whereas the bank computing center might maintain a permanent connection to the internet. Specific information related to the protocols, standards, and application software utilized in connection with the Internet may not be discussed herein. For further information regarding such details, see, for example, DILIP NAIK, INTERNET STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS (1998); JAVA 2 COMPLETE, various authors, (Sybex 1999); DEBORAH RAY AND ERIC RAY, MASTERING HTML 4.0 (1997). LOSHIN, TCP/IP CLEARLY EXPLAINED (1997). All of these texts are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • The systems may be suitably coupled to network via data links. A variety of conventional communications media and protocols may be used for data links. Such as, for example, a connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) over the local loop as is typically used in connection with standard modem communication, cable modem, Dish networks, ISDN, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), or various wireless communication methods. Merchant system might also reside within a local area network (LAN) which interfaces to network via a leased line (T1, D3, etc.). Such communication methods are well known in the art, and are covered in a variety of standard texts. See, e.g., GILBERT HELD, UNDERSTANDING DATA COMMUNICATIONS (1996), hereby incorporated by reference.
  • The invention may include any number of interfaces, whereby the account issuer, client, SE, or any other authorized third-party may interact with system 10 to view, add, modify, and delete data. Practitioners will appreciate that these interfaces may be provided via any number of devices and protocols to provide the functionality disclosed herein. In one embodiment, the interface is provided via an Internet browser application loaded on user computer 12.
  • Account Issuer Interfaces
  • System 10 provides an account issuer interface to manage client and SE information. Data sources 20, 22, and 24 maintain information that is used to accumulate client spend, calculate rebates, and store spend information that has been retrieved from the account issuer and any number of SE's. Data sources 20, 22, and 24 are further configured to process data after receipt of spend files from the SE or prior to transmitting spend files to the SE.
  • System 10 may be configured to automatically enroll clients into the savings program at the time that an issuer establishes a LOC for the client. Enrollment of clients may also be conditional according to any number of predefined rules such as, for example, the size of the corporation, the number of financial products issued, the types of financial products issued, the location of the corporation, the industry that the corporation falls into, the corporation's estimated annual spends, and the like. Enrollment may be based on the client's segment rather than on a specific financial product. In other words, enrollment may be made available to all clients, regardless of the type of financial product(s) that they have been issued, or whether the financial product comprises a single card account or a multi-card account.
  • An account issuer administrator may manually enroll and configure the client. This may be part of the process when, for example, an existing client was not previously qualified to participate with the system, but then later became qualified. Under this scenario, SAW server computer 16 retrieves data from a database that maintains up-to-date client segmentation information. On determining that the client is qualified to participate, the administrator may access an offer and SE set-up screen, which provides the administrator a real-time interface with system 10. Several screens may be created to set-up offers/Partners in addition to searching Clients/Partners in the program and for identifying eligibility.
  • A rebate management interface enables the account issuer to track and monitor rebate payables and receivables and to control the cash management of the account issuer financial ledgers. In one embodiment, the system 10 interfaces with accounting systems to manage client rebate check disbursement and to collect SE payments. The rebate management interface may be used to manually facilitate the creation and distribution of rebate checks as well as issue an invoice to the SE. In one embodiment, the processes of calculating a rebate amount due to a client and invoicing SEs for payment are performed automatically on an annual basis. However, practitioners will appreciate that any automatic dispersing and invoicing interval may be defined such as, for example, semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and the like.
  • An internal reporting interface enables the account issuer to more effectively market a savings program to attract new SEs by demonstrating the value proposition of the savings program through market share shifting. The internal reporting interface allows entry of the SE's competitive set, which is used by system 10 to provide a variety of reports regarding the performance of the savings program. A SE competitive set is compiled by system 10 and comprises a grouping of other SEs who may or may not be participants of the savings program, but who share the SE's industry classification. This enables the generation of reports demonstrating the shifting of market share from the compiled SE group to the SE in order to identify SE opportunities in light of its key competitors. Other reporting functionality available through the internal reporting interface includes identifying any incentives due to an SE, the performance metrics of a savings program, and client rebate reporting.
  • SE Interfaces
  • System 10 provides an interface to enable the SE to define rules governing their participation in an incentive program. Specifically, the SE interface allows the SE to elect participation in any number of offer programs, while at the same time providing controls to enable the SE to, for example, cap a rebate payable, define which clients to make eligible for an offer, identify SE locations to include in the program, define a date range for which charges or ROCs are included in the calculation, determine whether the offer is based on a pure spend dollar or increase in percentage over the previous year, define the source of spend data (i.e., account issuer or SE) and/or define which party is responsible for the rebate calculation.
  • To configure ROC thresholds for elected offer programs, system 10 provides an interface, wherein the SE may define a minimum and maximum ROC threshold dollar amount or a range between minimum ROC and maximum ROC per offer program. The ROC threshold determines which ROC spend will be included in the calculation of the client rebate. For example, a defined ROC threshold enables a resort SE to exclude meeting and conference charges from rebate eligibility. Furthermore, defining a minimum ROC threshold may help to drive incremental spend at the SE location. This may be desirable to a restaurant SE, for example, to encourage large group spending.
  • The system 10 may provide any number of offers and offer configurations from which the SE may choose to participate. In one embodiment, system 10 allows the SE to select from three offer types; Account Issuer, Hybrid, and SE Offer. Practitioners will appreciate that any number of offer types and offer configurations may be implemented, and the offer types discussed herein are not exhaustive.
  • The Account Issuer offer utilizes ROC information retrieved from a database of the account issuer to determine the rebate. This offer type is desirable because it does not require the client to enroll in order to benefit from earning rebates on spends at partner SEs. In one embodiment, client spend information is retrieved from the SE and is used to calculate rebates at regular intervals (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). Moreover, the SE may configure the offer to indicate which merchant locations to include in the offer, as well as define which clients are eligible or not eligible for rebates. For example, an SE with merchant locations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Francisco may interface with system 10 to include the Phoenix and Las Vegas merchant locations in the offer program, while excluding San Francisco. In this way, clients who qualify for rebates according to the SE, may begin accumulating rebates on spend at the Phoenix and Las Vegas merchant locations. However, spend by the same client at the San Francisco merchant location would not qualify the client for the rebate. These functions provide the SE with a greater level of control in configuring and administering their offer.
  • The Hybrid offer utilizes SE supplied ROC and/or summary level detail. A key feature of the Hybrid offer is determining who is responsible for the rebate calculation. The system allows SEs in a Hybrid offer to choose whether they want to provide ROC data or summarized data. The system also includes the SE providing pre-calculated rebate data for reporting purposes only and/or providing the date and the account issuer uses the data to calculate the rebate.
  • The SE Offer utilizes SE POS data to report on discounts received at the time of sale. According to this embodiment, a qualified client may receive an instant rebate at the POS, which is noted on the sales receipt where the client may immediately appreciate the benefits of purchasing goods and services from the participating SE. As previously noted, the SE may interact with system 10 to select an offer type, determine which merchant locations to include in the offer, and define which clients are eligible or not eligible for rebates. When purchases are made at the SE by a qualifying client, the rebate amount may be discounted from the total charge and noted on the sales receipt. In another embodiment, the rebate may be paid in cash to the client at the time of the sale. In either case, details of all POS rebates are reported to the account issuer at a regular basis (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly). The client may then interact with system 20 to view details of all rebates earned over the period via a statement or report.
  • An entity management interface enables the SE to define specific rules regarding which SE locations to include or exclude in a selected offer program. An SE may further elect to participate in an offer program as long as it falls within their merchant hierarchy. The system 10 enables an SE to select SE locations both within and outside of its own account issuer hierarchy structure. SE hierarchies may be configured according to the structure of the SE's organization and are based on the SE's payment and reporting needs. However, this may prove to be limiting to an SE's rebate program because the SE may own various businesses that are self-contained and have their own account issuer hierarchies, yet the SE may wish for the offer to be applicable across all their businesses. As such, the system 10 allows the SE to choose which SE locations to include or exclude from the rebate program spanning the various hierarchies.
  • Client Interfaces
  • System 10 provides an SE locator interface to enable corporate cardmembers and program administrators to view SE offers based on their eligibility to participate in a savings program. As previously described, an SE may define the nature of the corporations to make eligible for the SE's rebate program. Thus, when a corporate cardmember or program administrator logs into the system, a corresponding customer identifier is retrieved from a user database and a query is executed to retrieve only those SE rebate programs that the corporation is eligible to benefit from. System 10 then provides the interface with a list of the eligible rebate programs to enable the client to adjust their internal purchasing policy to include SEs that are listed.
  • The SE locator interface further includes search fields that enable the client to enter search criteria to locate specific SEs. For example, a corporate cardmember planning a business trip to New York City may select a city and state as an indicator of the SE location. The cardmember may then select a classification for the desired SE from a list. In this example, the cardmember would like to know which restaurants in New York City are participants in a savings program. System 10 then runs a query to compile a list in compliance with the search criteria from which the corporation is eligible to receive rebates. Other information such as, for example, restaurant locations, directions, alternative venues, complementary goods and services, saving program specifics, and any other data may also be provided for cardmember review.
  • A rebate center interface provides financial information specific to cardmember spends, savings, and terms and conditions for available SE rebate programs. Once logged into the rebate center interface, the program administrator may select top view statements online. Statements may be configured to list each SE savings program that have received spend from the corporation, along with the earned savings from each program. While statements may be viewed online, practitioners will appreciate that statements may be provided by various means including, for example, email, facsimile, instant messenger, postal service, and the like. The rebate center interface may also be utilized by customer support personnel of the account issuer in order to service clients when inquiries are received relating to SE offer program rebates.
  • When a client is due to receive a rebate check, the system 10 sums all rebates earned over the defined time period, and generates a check in the amount of the summed rebates. Any desired deductions or additions may also be applied to the total. Other methods of delivering a rebate to a client are contemplated such as, for example, an electronic funds transfer to a bank account or crediting the client's corporate LOC account or any other account.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary computer 30 illustrating typical components of the computers and server shown in FIG. 1 for the system. Computer 30 may include a connection with a network 46 such as the Internet or communications networks through any suitable network connection using, for example, TCP/IP for data transmission. Computer 30 typically includes a memory 32, a secondary storage device 40, a processor 42, an input device 36 for entering information into computer 30, a display device 38 for providing a visual display of information, and an output device 44 for outputting information such as in hard copy or audio form.
  • Memory 32 may include random access memory (RAM) or similar types of memory, and it may store one or more applications 34 for execution by processor 42. Applications 34 may include programming to perform the methods discussed herein.
  • Secondary storage device 40 may include any hardware and/or software for storing data such as, for example, a hard disk drive, floppy disk drive, CD-ROM drive, or other types of non-volatile data storage. Processor 42 may execute applications or programs stored in memory 32 or secondary storage 40, or received from the Internet or other network 46. Although computer 30 is depicted with various components, one skilled in the art will appreciate that the computer may contain different components.
  • Computer 30 may include local or remote databases for storing and retrieving information for processing transactions. Any databases discussed herein may be any type of database, such as relational, graphical, hierarchical, object-oriented, and/or the like. Common database products that may be used to implement the databases include UDB by IBM (White Plains, N.Y.), any of the database products available from Oracle Corporation (Redwood Shores, Calif.), Microsoft Access or MSSQL by Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, Wash.), or any other database product. The database may be organized in any suitable manner, including as data tables or lookup tables. Association of certain data may be accomplished through any data association technique known and practiced in the art. For example, the association may be accomplished either manually or automatically. Automatic association techniques may include, for example, a database search, a database merge, GREP, AGREP, SQL, and/or the like. The association step may be accomplished by a database merge function, for example, using a “key field” in each of the manufacturer and retailer data tables. A “key field” partitions the database according to the high-level class of objects defined by the key field. For example, a certain class may be designated as a key field in both the first data table and the second data table, and the two data tables may then be merged on the basis of the class data in the key field. In this embodiment, the data corresponding to the key field in each of the merged data tables is preferably the same. However, data tables having similar, though not identical, data in the key fields may also be merged by using AGREP, for example.
  • For the sake of brevity, conventional data networking, application development and other functional aspects of the systems (and components of the individual operating components of the systems) may not be described in detail herein. Furthermore, the connecting lines shown in the various figures contained herein are intended to represent exemplary functional relationships and/or physical couplings between the various elements. It should be noted that many alternative or additional functional relationships or physical connections may be present in a practical electronic transaction system.
  • The system, as shown in FIG. 1, may include a host server or other computing systems including a processor for processing digital data, a memory coupled to said processor for storing digital data, an input digitizer coupled to the processor for inputting digital data, an application program stored in said memory and accessible by said processor for directing processing of digital data by said processor, a display coupled to the processor and memory for displaying information derived from digital data processed by said processor and a plurality of databases, said databases including client data, merchant data, financial institution data and/or like data that may be used in association with the present invention. As those skilled in the art may appreciate, user computer may typically include an operating system (e.g., Windows NT, 95/98/2000, Linux, Solaris, etc.) as well as various conventional support software and drivers typically associated with computers. User computer may be in a home or business environment with access to a network. In an exemplary embodiment, access is through the Internet through a commercially-available web-browser software package.
  • Communication between the parties to the transaction and the system of the present invention may be accomplished through any suitable communication means, such as, for example, a telephone network, Intranet, Internet, point of interaction device (point of sale device, personal digital assistant, cellular phone, kiosk, etc.), online communications, off-line communications, wireless communications, transponder communications and/or the like. One skilled in the art may also appreciate that, for security reasons, any databases, systems, or components of the present invention may include any combination of databases or components at a single location or at multiple locations, wherein each database or system includes any of various suitable security features, such as firewalls, access codes, encryption, decryption, and/or the like.
  • The computers discussed herein may provide a suitable website or other Internet-based graphical user interface which is accessible by users. In one embodiment, the Internet Information Server, Microsoft Transaction Server, and Microsoft SQL Server, are used in conjunction with the Microsoft operating system, Microsoft NT web server software, a Microsoft SQL database system, and a Microsoft Commerce Server. Additionally, components such as Access or SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, Informix MySQL, Interbase, etc., may be used to provide an ADO-compliant database management system.
  • Portfolio Web Methods
  • FIG. 3 is a flow chart of an exemplary method 50 to provide on-line account data, which may include card data. Method 50 may be implemented in, for example, software modules for execution by user computer 12 and server computer 16. Although the steps of method 50 are shown in a particular order, they may alternatively be executed in other orders and more steps may be added or steps removed, if necessary or desired.
  • The present invention may be described herein in terms of functional block components, screen shots, optional selections and various processing steps. It should be appreciated that such functional blocks may be realized by any number of hardware and/or software components configured to perform the specified functions. For example, the present invention may employ various integrated circuit components, e.g., memory elements, processing elements, logic elements, look-up tables, and the like, which may carry out a variety of functions under the control of one or more microprocessors or other control devices. Similarly, the software elements of the present invention may be implemented with any programming or scripting language such as C, C++, Java, COBOL, assembler, PERL, Visual Basic, SQL Stored Procedures, extensible markup language (XML), with the various algorithms being implemented with any combination of data structures, objects, processes, routines or other programming elements. Further, it should be noted that the present invention may employ any number of conventional techniques for data transmission, signaling, data processing, network control, and the like. Still further, the invention may be used to detect or prevent security issues with a client-side scripting language, such as JavaScript, VBScript or the like. For a basic introduction of cryptography and network security, the following may be helpful references: (1) “Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, And Source Code In C,” by Bruce Schneier, published by John Wiley & Sons (second edition, 1996); (2) “Java Cryptography” by Jonathan Knudson, published by O'Reilly & Associates (1998); (3) “Cryptography & Network Security: Principles & Practice” by William Stalling, published by Prentice Hall; all of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • As may be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art, the present invention may be embodied as a method, a data processing system, a device for data processing, and/or a computer program product. Accordingly, the present invention may take the form of an entirely software embodiment, an entirely hardware embodiment, or an embodiment combining aspects of both software and hardware. Furthermore, the present invention may take the form of a computer program product on a computer-readable storage medium having computer-readable program code means embodied in the storage medium. Any suitable computer-readable storage medium may be utilized, including hard disks, CD-ROM, optical storage devices, magnetic storage devices, and/or the like.
  • The present invention is described herein with reference to screen shots, block diagrams and flow chart illustrations of methods, apparatus (e.g., systems), and computer program products according to various aspects of the invention. It may be understood that each functional block of the block diagrams and the flow chart illustrations, and combinations of functional blocks in the block diagrams and flow chart illustrations, respectively, may be implemented by computer program instructions. These computer program instructions may be loaded onto a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a machine, such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable data processing apparatus create means for implementing the functions specified in the flow chart block or blocks.
  • These computer program instructions may also be stored in a computer-readable memory that may direct a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer-readable memory produce an article of manufacture including instruction means which implement the function specified in the flow chart block or blocks. The computer program instructions may also be loaded onto a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to cause a series of operational steps to be performed on the computer or other programmable apparatus to produce a computer-implemented process such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide steps for implementing the functions specified in the flow chart block or blocks.
  • Accordingly, functional blocks of the block diagrams and flow chart illustrations support combinations of means for performing the specified functions, combinations of steps for performing the specified functions, and program instruction means for performing the specified functions. It may also be understood that each functional block of the block diagrams and flow chart illustrations, and combinations of functional blocks in the block diagrams and flow chart illustrations, may be implemented by either special purpose hardware-based computer systems which perform the specified functions or steps, or suitable combinations of special purpose hardware and computer instructions.
  • In method 50, server computer 16 receives a request from a user at user computer 12 for account data (step 52). The “account data” can include any data related to transactions. involving credit cards, charge cards, or other financial cards. User computer 12 may include, for example, a software application to help facilitate the user's communication with server computer 16. The request may be received from a user or other person, for example, at the requesting entity. As used herein, the term “end user”, “consumer”, “customer”, “supplier”, “cardmember”, “business” or “merchant” may be used interchangeably with each other, and each shall mean any person, entity, machine, hardware, software or business. The card issuing institutions may include credit card companies, card sponsoring companies, or third party issuers under contract with financial institutions. It is further noted that other participants may be involved in some phases of the transaction, such as an intermediary settlement institution, but these participants are not shown.
  • FIG. 4 is a diagram of an exemplary screen 70 for a user to enter a request for account data and submit it to server computer 16. FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate examples of more detailed screens for a user to log into the system and submit an on-line request for account data.
  • Screen 70 can be implemented in, for example, a web page for network transmission. The term “web page” as it is used herein is not meant to limit the type of documents and applications that might be used to interact with the user. For example, a typical website might include, in addition to standard HTML documents, various forms, Java applets, Javascript, active server pages (ASP), common gateway interface scripts (CGI), extensible markup language (XML), dynamic HTML, cascading style sheets (CSS), helper applications, plug-ins, and the like. A server may include a webservice which receives a request from a browser which includes a URL and an IP address (e.g., 127.0.0.1). The webservice retrieves the appropriate web pages and sends the web pages to the IP address.
  • In screen 70, a user can enter a user name or other identifier in a section 72 and a password in a section 74. A section 76 allows a user to enter a particular query, which can include a request for account data within certain parameters, examples of which are provided above. The user can select a section 78 to submit the request or select a section 80 to cancel the request.
  • The request may optionally include an account number. An “account” or “account number”, as used herein, may include any device, code, number, letter, symbol, digital certificate, smart chip, digital signal, analog signal, biometric or other identifier/indicia suitably configured to allow the consumer to access, interact with or communicate with the system (e.g., one or more of an authorization/access code, personal identification number (PIN), Internet code, other identification code, and/or the like). The account number may optionally be located on or associated with a rewards card, charge card, credit card, debit card, prepaid card, telephone card, embossed card, smart card, magnetic stripe card, bar code card, transponder, radio frequency card or an associated account. The system may include or interface with any of the foregoing cards or devices, or a fob having a transponder and RFID reader in RF communication with the fob. Although the present invention may include a fob embodiment, the invention is not to be so limited. Indeed, system may include any device having a transponder which is configured to communicate with RFID reader via RF communication. Typical devices may include, for example, a key ring, tag, card, cell phone, wristwatch or any such form capable of being presented for interrogation. Moreover, the system, computing unit or device discussed herein may include a “pervasive computing device,” which may include a traditionally non-computerized device that is embedded with a computing unit. Examples can include watches, Internet enabled kitchen appliances, restaurant tables embedded with RF readers, wallets or purses with imbedded transponders, etc.
  • The account number may be distributed and stored in any form of plastic, electronic, magnetic, radio frequency, wireless, audio and/or optical device capable of transmitting or downloading data from itself to a second device. A customer account number may be, for example, a sixteen-digit credit card number, although each credit provider has its own numbering system, such as the fifteen-digit numbering system used by American Express. Each company's credit card numbers comply with that company's standardized format such that the company using a sixteen-digit format will generally use four spaced sets of numbers, as represented by the number “0000 0000 0000 0000”. The first five to seven digits are reserved for processing purposes and identify the issuing bank, card type, etc. In this example, the last (sixteenth) digit is used as a sum check for the sixteen-digit number. The intermediary eight-to-ten digits are used to uniquely identify the customer. A merchant account number may be, for example, any number or alpha-numeric characters that identify a particular merchant for purposes of card acceptance, account reconciliation, reporting, or the like.
  • After receiving the request, server computer 16 polls or otherwise contacts data sources 20, 22, and 24 to obtain the account data for the user's request (step 54). Server computer 16 conditions the data and can store it (step 56). Server computer 16 can use, for example, metadata in order to determine how to locate and retrieve the account data. In particular, a relationship can be defined between the query (request) attributes and metrics, and target data sources to assure the integrity of the account data report returned to the user.
  • Server computer 16 also determines if the user's request includes a query, as represented in section 76 of screen 70 (step 58). If the request does not include a query, server computer 16 can format the conditioned data into a standard or default report (step 60).
  • If the request included a query (step 58), server computer 16 processes the query to extract the relevant data satisfying the query parameters (step 62). A query, as submitted by a user, can include a request for account data satisfying certain parameters. Processing the query can include parsing the natural language submitted query to generate search parameters. Those parameters can be used to obtain the relevant data using, for example, the metadata. Server computer 16 can format the extracted data into a custom report (step 64). Once the report is compiled and formatted, server computer 16 can send the standard or custom report to user computer 12 via network 14 (step 66).
  • FIG. 5 is a diagram of an exemplary screen 82 for providing on-line account data. FIG. 8 illustrates an example of a more detailed screen for providing on-line account data. Screen 82 can be implemented, for example, in a web page for network transmission. Screen 82 can include a section 84 for providing the report details and can optionally include a section 86 to repeat the user's query, if one was submitted.
  • Benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described herein with regard to specific embodiments. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all the claims or the invention. As used herein, the terms “comprises”, “comprising”, or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus. Further, no element described herein is required for the practice of the invention unless expressly described as “essential” or “critical”.
  • The detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings and pictures, which show the exemplary embodiment by way of illustration and its best mode. While these exemplary embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be understood that other embodiments may be realized and that logical and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the detailed description herein is presented for purposes of illustration only and not of limitation. For example, the steps recited in any of the method or process descriptions may be executed in any order and are not limited to the order presented.

Claims (20)

1. A computer implemented method for administering a merchant savings program comprising the steps of:
receiving a purchase request from a merchant, wherein said purchase request includes an account identifier and corporate transaction account information;
determining if said account identifier is associated with a corporate client who is eligible for a rebate based on merchant defined terms of said savings program; and,
providing said rebate to said corporate client when said corporate client is eligible for said rebate, wherein said rebate is funded by said merchant.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining eligibility for said rebate according to at least one of corporation size, number of financial products issued to a corporation, type of financial product issued to a corporation, location of said a corporation, industry of corporation, and annual spends of a corporation.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of providing said rebate comprises determining said rebate based on at least one of record of charges data from a credit provider, record of charges data from said merchant, and point of sale data from said merchant.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein said step of providing said rebate comprises providing said rebate to said corporate client at predefined intervals.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprises providing a rebate statement to said corporate client at predefined intervals.
6. The method of claim 1, further comprising providing said merchant an invoice for all earned rebates over a predefined period of time.
7. The method of claim 1, further comprising allowing said corporate client to view rebate information online.
8. The method of claim 1, further comprising allowing said corporate client to view spend transactions online.
9. The method of claim 1, further comprising reporting at least one of incentives based upon purchases at said merchant, performance metrics of said merchant savings program, and corporate client rebate information to an account issuer.
10. The method of claim 1, further comprising reporting rebate information to an account issuer, wherein said rebate information is used to at least one of track rebate payables, track rebate receivables, and manage financial ledgers.
11. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining said merchant defined terms by receiving a request from said merchant to participate in said merchant savings program, wherein said request includes said merchant defined terms of said merchant savings program; and, authorizing said request, wherein said authorization constitutes an agreement between a line of credit provider and said merchant.
12. The method of claim 1, wherein said merchant defined terms include at least one of a rebate payable cap, eligible locations of said merchant, a date range for which charges are to be included in a rebate calculation, whether said saving program is based on pure spend, whether said savings program is based on a percentage spend increase over a previous year, source of spend data, and a party responsible for rebate calculations.
13. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining a value proposition of said merchant savings program through market share shifting.
14. The method of claim 1, further comprising transmitting a competitive set to said merchant, wherein said competitive set comprises a grouping of similarly classified merchants.
15. The method of claim 1, further comprising transmitting a competitive set to said merchant, wherein said competitive set determines performance levels of said merchant savings program.
16. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
retrieving data corresponding to said account identifier from multiple sources to obtain said rebate data, wherein said rebate data includes spend data and a rebate summary;
conditioning said rebate data for transmission to said corporate client; and transmitting said rebate data to said corporate client.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein said retrieving data step comprises retrieving said rebate data from said multiple sources in disparate formats and converting said rebate data from said disparate formats into a single format.
18. The method of claim 16, further comprises formatting said rebate data into a report.
19. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
receiving from said corporate client a query associated with said rebate data request;
processing said retrieved data to extract said rebate data satisfying parameters of said query; and
transmitting said extracted rebate data to said participant.
20. A machine-readable medium having stored thereon a plurality of instructions, the plurality of instructions when executed by a processor, cause said processor to perform a method comprising the steps of:
receiving a purchase request from a merchant, wherein said purchase request includes an account identifier and corporate transaction account information;
determining if said account identifier is associated with a corporate client who is eligible for a rebate based on merchant defined terms of said savings program; and,
providing said rebate to said corporate client when said corporate client is eligible for said rebate, wherein said rebate is funded by said merchant.
US11/551,778 2003-05-06 2006-10-23 System and method for administering spend driven rebates Abandoned US20070073588A1 (en)

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US7647257B2 (en) 2010-01-12
WO2004102358A2 (en) 2004-11-25
US20070192222A1 (en) 2007-08-16
WO2004102358A3 (en) 2005-06-02
US20040225603A1 (en) 2004-11-11

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