US20110288944A1 - Method for Paying Invoices - Google Patents

Method for Paying Invoices Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110288944A1
US20110288944A1 US13/152,855 US201113152855A US2011288944A1 US 20110288944 A1 US20110288944 A1 US 20110288944A1 US 201113152855 A US201113152855 A US 201113152855A US 2011288944 A1 US2011288944 A1 US 2011288944A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
code
customer
transaction
party
invoice
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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
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US13/152,855
Inventor
William J. Dupre
John G. McGill
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.)
TRILOGY PAYMENT SERVICES Inc
Original Assignee
Dupre William J
Mcgill John G
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US10/727,783 priority Critical patent/US20050125294A1/en
Priority to US12/409,290 priority patent/US7979356B2/en
Application filed by Dupre William J, Mcgill John G filed Critical Dupre William J
Priority to US13/152,855 priority patent/US20110288944A1/en
Publication of US20110288944A1 publication Critical patent/US20110288944A1/en
Assigned to TRILOGY PAYMENT SERVICES, INC. reassignment TRILOGY PAYMENT SERVICES, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MCGILL, JOHN G, DUPRE, WILLIAM
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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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
    • 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
    • G06Q20/085Payment architectures involving remote charge determination or related payment 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
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/085Payment architectures involving remote charge determination or related payment systems
    • G06Q20/0855Payment architectures involving remote charge determination or related payment systems involving a third party
    • 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
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/20Point-of-sale [POS] network systems
    • G06Q20/202Interconnection or interaction of plural electronic cash registers [ECR] or to host computer, e.g. network details, transfer of information from host to ECR or from ECR to ECR
    • 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
    • G06Q20/204Point-of-sale [POS] network systems comprising interface for record bearing medium or carrier for electronic funds transfer or payment credit
    • 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
    • G06Q20/382Payment protocols; Details thereof insuring higher security of transaction
    • 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
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/06Electricity, gas or water supply

Abstract

For an organization having a central station and a plurality of distributed outlets, each of the outlets having a cashier's terminal, each of the cashier's terminals coupled to a respective point-of-sale (POS) controller, a method permitting a billee to pay an invoice issued by a biller is disclosed.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/409,290 filed on Mar. 23, 2009 which is incorporated herein in its entirety and which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/727,783 filed Dec. 4, 2003 also incorporated herein in it entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to a system and method of permitting a customer to pay an invoice, such as a utility invoice, at a retail outlet, such as a grocery store.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Meyer et al., U.S. patent application Publication No. 2002/0128967 discloses a system where a customer pays an invoice issued by a biller, such as a utility company, at a retail location, such as a supermarket. However, this system requires that the utility's invoice includes a bar code identifying both the utility as well as the customer.
  • Additionally, this system requires extensive integration with the supermarket's cash register system.
  • Further, this system requires that the supermarket forward the payment through the Federal Reserve Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network.
  • Still further, this system makes no provision for charging the consumer for this service.
  • The present invention is provided to solve these and other problems.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Other advantages and aspects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following description of the drawings and detailed description of the invention.
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a process flow diagram of one aspect of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
  • A system 10 for permitting a customer billee, such as an individual, to pay an invoice 12 generated by a biller 14, such as from a utility company also known as a utility service provider at a retail outlet of an organization, such as a retail grocery store of a grocery store chain, is illustrated in FIG. 1.
  • The grocery store chain has a central station 15, such as its headquarters, and a plurality of distributed outlets 16. Each of the outlets 16 typically has a plurality of cashier's terminals 18. Each of the cashier's terminals 18 is coupled to a conventional point-of-sale (POS) controller 20, which is part of the store's computer system.
  • The invoice 12 is issued to the customer, either by regular mail, by e-mail or otherwise. The customer goes to the outlet 16, possibly selects various items to purchase, such as groceries, and takes the selected items, if any, and the invoice to the cashier's terminal 18.
  • An invoice transaction is conducted by a cashier entering data identifying the biller and the billee into the cashier's terminal 18. Specifically, the biller may be identified by entering a Product Look-Up Code (PLC) for the biller. Althernatively, the biller may be identified by scanning a bar-code identification of the biller, which bar-code could be printed on the invoice. The customer is identified by entering a customer code identifier, such as the customer's account number. This may be done either by manually entering the account number via a key pad, or by scanning a bar code on the invoice.
  • The cashier also enters data indicating an amount of money to be paid by the billee towards the invoice into the cashier's terminal. The billee may choose to pay some or all of the invoiced amount. This may be repeated for other invoices as well.
  • If the billee also desires to purchase one or more other items from the outlet 16, an other transaction is conducted by the cashier entering data identifying the one or more other items to be purchased into the cashier's terminal 18.
  • The POS controller 20 determines a total amount of money due as a result of the invoice transaction and the other transaction, and the billee tenders payment for the amount due. The POS controller 20 creates an electronic transaction log including an invoice transaction record of the invoice transaction and, if one or more other times were purchased, an other transaction record of the one or more other items purchased. The POS controller 20 flags the invoice transaction record, and transmits the transaction log from the POS controller 20 to a processing server 26.
  • The processing server 26 strips the invoice transaction record from the transmitted transaction log, and transmits the stripped invoice transaction record from the processing server 26 to a central server 30. The central server 30 performs both a communication function as well as a payment processing function. The central server may includes a single server 36 to perform these functions, or it may include one or more dedicated communication server(s) and one or more dedicated payment processing server(s). The payment processing function gathers multiple stripped invoice transaction records, relating to multiple invoice payments, to multiple billers, over a period of time. Periodically, the central server 30 determines from the transmitted, stripped invoice transaction records, the amount of payment due to each of the particular billers, and the central server 30 electronically instructs the central station 15 to forward payment to the appropriate biller. Payment by the central station 15 to the particular billers can be done, as desired, such as by check, by wire, or otherwise.
  • The central server 30 also generates an electronic notification 40 to each of the billers, indicating the amount paid by the respective billees towards their respective invoices.
  • The transaction log may include a plurality of transaction records, with each of the transaction records having respective invoice transaction record and other transaction record.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the processing server 26 and the central server 30 are operated by a third-party. Accordingly, a service fee is added to the amount the customer wants to pay to the biller, and thus this amount is added to the total amount of money the customer tenders to the cashier. This service fee is split between the grocery chain and the third-party. To transfer the third-party's share from the grocery, which received the service fee from the customer, to the third-party, the central server 30 electronically instructs the central station 15 to pay the third-party its share. This payment can be done by check, by wire, or otherwise.
  • The transaction log is transmitted to the processing server on a daily basis, such as following the normal end-of-day (EOD) run.
  • The stripped invoice transaction record is transmitted to the central server 30 when the invoice transaction record has been stripped from the transaction log.
  • The stripped invoice transaction record is transmitted from the processing server 26 to the central server 30 by a direct modem connection. Alternatively, the stripped invoice transaction record is transmitted from the processing server 26 to the central server 30 by an internet connection.
  • In the preferred embodiment, each of the outlets 16 has a plurality of cashier's terminals 18 coupled to a respective POS controller 20.
  • Following the transaction, the cashier's terminal generates a receipt for the customer, identifying both payment of the utility invoice, as well as payment for the other items, if any, purchased.
  • The present invention can be accomplished with no intrusion into the outlet's existing computer system, other than a minor modification of the software in the POS controller 20. These modifications will now be described with reference to FIG. 2.
  • A first modification is identified as User Exit Program 1. According to this modification, the POS controller software is modified to receive the PLU code of the biller issuing the invoice to be paid, and to determine the identity of the biller. If the POS controller does not recognize the PLU code, an error message is generated. Otherwise, the POS controller receives the data identifying the customer. The POS controller then receives data identifying the amount to be paid towards the invoice, and then adds the service fee.
  • A second modification is identified as User Exit Program 2. According to this modification, information, once the utility transaction item has been added, the POS controller flags the utility transaction in the transaction log.
  • A third modification is identified as User Exit Program 3. According to this modification, information regarding the utility payment is added to the otherwise conventional receipt.
  • A fourth modification is identified as User Exit Program 4. According to this modification, the POS controller transmits the transaction log to the processing server when the conventional EOD routine is run.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the POS controller 20 can be modified to transmit to the processing server 26 only those transaction logs including an invoice transaction record.
  • In a further alternative embodiment, the POS controller 20 can be modified to transmit to the processing server 26 only the invoice transaction record.
  • In a still further alternative embodiment, the processing server 26 and the central server 30 can be eliminated, and the POS controller 20 is modified to directly instruct the central station 15 to pay the biller.
  • While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without markedly departing from the spirit of the invention. The scope of protection is only intended to be limited by the scope of the accompanying claims.

Claims (22)

1. A method performed by a point of sale (POS) system at a retail store to provide a financial service transaction to a customer, the POS system comprising a POS controller coupled to a cashier terminal and to a communication device, the method comprising:
receiving at the POS controller a code supplied by the cashier terminal;
recognizing the code as being associated with the financial service transaction;
accepting at the POS controller a customer code identifier supplied by the cashier terminal in response to recognizing the code as being associated with the financial service transaction;
accepting at the POS controller a transaction payment amount supplied by the cashier terminal;
determining information about the financial service transaction using the code; and,
using the communication device to supply the customer code identifier, the information about the financial service transaction, and the transaction payment amount to a central station coupled to the POS system for causing the financial service transaction to be executed.
2. The method of claim 2, wherein the financial service transaction is payment of an invoice issued by a third party to a customer, and wherein the information about the financial service transaction is an identity of the third party and wherein the transaction payment amount is a payment amount owed on the invoice.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the third party is a utility company and the invoice is a utility invoice identifying the cost of a utility service provided to the customer.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein the code is a PLU code.
5. The method of claim 2, wherein the code is a PLU code.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein the third party is a utility company and the invoice is a utility invoice identifying the cost of a utility service provided to the customer.
7. The method of 2, wherein the customer code identifier comprises a customer account number.
8. The method of claim 7, further comprising:
using the POS controller to cause a receipt to be printed by the cashier terminal that identifies the payment amount, the identity of the third party and the customer account number.
9. A point of sale (POS) system at a retail store that provides a financial service transaction to a customer, the POS system comprising:
a processor programmed to recognize a code supplied to the processor as being associated with the financial service transaction, to accept a customer code identifier in response to recognizing the code as being associated with the financial service transaction, to determine information about the financial service transaction associated with the code and to accept a transaction payment amount;
an output coupled to a central station by which the customer code identifier and the transaction payment amount are supplied to the central station to cause the financial service transaction to be executed.
10. The system of claim 9, wherein the financial service transaction comprises payment of an invoice issued by a third party to a customer and wherein the information about the financial service transaction comprises the identity of the third party and further wherein the transaction payment amount comprises the amount due on the invoice.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the code is a PLU code.
12. The method of claim 9, wherein the code is a PLU code.
13. The method of claim 10, wherein the third party is a utility company and the invoice is a utility invoice identifying the cost of a utility service provided to the customer.
14. The system of claim 9, further comprising a printing device controlled by the processor to print a receipt identifying the transaction payment amount, the information about the financial transaction and the customer code identifier.
15. The system of claim 9, wherein the output is implemented as a communication device and wherein the communication device is controlled by the processor.
16. The system of claim 8, further comprising an input implemented as a scanning device.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the customer code identifier is formatted as a barcode.
18. A point of sale (POS) controller disposed at a retail store and coupled to a cashier terminal and a communication device, the POS controller comprising:
an input to receive from the cashier terminal, a code, a customer code identifier and a payment amount, at least a portion of the payment amount being at least a portion of the cost of a service provided by a third party to a customer;
a processor programmed to recognize the code as being associated with the third party, to accept the customer code identifier in response to recognizing that the code is associated with the third party, to determine an identity of the associated third party using the code, to accept the payment amount and to cause the communication device to supply the customer code identifier, the identity of the third party and the payment amount to a payment system to cause a quantity of money to be sent to the third party on behalf of the customer.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the third party is a utility company and the payment amount is equal to the cost of a utility service provided to the customer.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein the code is a PLU code.
21. The method of claim 18, wherein the code is a PLU code.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein the third party is a utility company and the payment amount is equal to the cost of a utility service provided to the customer.
US13/152,855 2003-12-04 2011-06-03 Method for Paying Invoices Abandoned US20110288944A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/727,783 US20050125294A1 (en) 2003-12-04 2003-12-04 Method for paying invoices
US12/409,290 US7979356B2 (en) 2003-12-04 2009-03-23 Method for paying invoices
US13/152,855 US20110288944A1 (en) 2003-12-04 2011-06-03 Method for Paying Invoices

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13/152,855 US20110288944A1 (en) 2003-12-04 2011-06-03 Method for Paying Invoices

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/409,290 Continuation US7979356B2 (en) 2003-12-04 2009-03-23 Method for paying invoices

Publications (1)

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US20110288944A1 true US20110288944A1 (en) 2011-11-24

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Family Applications (3)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/727,783 Abandoned US20050125294A1 (en) 2003-12-04 2003-12-04 Method for paying invoices
US12/409,290 Expired - Fee Related US7979356B2 (en) 2003-12-04 2009-03-23 Method for paying invoices
US13/152,855 Abandoned US20110288944A1 (en) 2003-12-04 2011-06-03 Method for Paying Invoices

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/727,783 Abandoned US20050125294A1 (en) 2003-12-04 2003-12-04 Method for paying invoices
US12/409,290 Expired - Fee Related US7979356B2 (en) 2003-12-04 2009-03-23 Method for paying invoices

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Families Citing this family (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050125294A1 (en) * 2003-12-04 2005-06-09 Trilogy Payment Services, Inc. Method for paying invoices
WO2011094424A1 (en) * 2010-01-28 2011-08-04 Aero-Vision Technologies, Inc. Secure payment terminal
CN104700294A (en) * 2013-12-04 2015-06-10 航天信息股份有限公司 Distributed invoice management system for large enterprises

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH05233963A (en) * 1992-02-21 1993-09-10 Hitachi Ltd Commodity sales system
US20020128967A1 (en) * 2000-12-14 2002-09-12 John Meyer Bar coded bill payment system and method
US7979356B2 (en) * 2003-12-04 2011-07-12 Dupre William J Method for paying invoices

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH05233963A (en) * 1992-02-21 1993-09-10 Hitachi Ltd Commodity sales system
US20020128967A1 (en) * 2000-12-14 2002-09-12 John Meyer Bar coded bill payment system and method
US7979356B2 (en) * 2003-12-04 2011-07-12 Dupre William J Method for paying invoices

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US20050125294A1 (en) 2005-06-09
US7979356B2 (en) 2011-07-12
US20090198583A1 (en) 2009-08-06

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AS Assignment

Owner name: TRILOGY PAYMENT SERVICES, INC., NEVADA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DUPRE, WILLIAM;MCGILL, JOHN G;SIGNING DATES FROM 20120427 TO 20120507;REEL/FRAME:028292/0537

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO PAY ISSUE FEE