US20130080236A1 - Systems and Methods for Enrolling Consumers in Loyalty Programs - Google Patents

Systems and Methods for Enrolling Consumers in Loyalty Programs Download PDF

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US20130080236A1
US20130080236A1 US13/627,678 US201213627678A US2013080236A1 US 20130080236 A1 US20130080236 A1 US 20130080236A1 US 201213627678 A US201213627678 A US 201213627678A US 2013080236 A1 US2013080236 A1 US 2013080236A1
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Prior art keywords
loyalty
consumer
information
device
computer
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US13/627,678
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Vijay Kumar Royyuru
Todd Nuzum
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First Data Corp
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First Data Corp
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Priority to US13/627,678 priority patent/US20130080236A1/en
Assigned to CREDIT SUISSE AG, CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH reassignment CREDIT SUISSE AG, CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: CLOVER NETWORKS, INC., FIRST DATA CORPORATION, MONEY NETWORK FINANCIAL, LLC
Publication of US20130080236A1 publication Critical patent/US20130080236A1/en
Assigned to WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS COLLATERAL AGENT SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FIRST DATA CORPORATION
Assigned to MONEY NETWORK FINANCIAL, LLC, FIRST DATA CORPORATION, Clover Network, Inc. reassignment MONEY NETWORK FINANCIAL, LLC RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CREDIT SUISSE AG, CAYMAN ISLANDS BRANCH
Assigned to FIRST DATA CORPORATION reassignment FIRST DATA CORPORATION TERMINATION AND RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENT RIGHTS Assignors: WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
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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
    • G06Q20/30Payment architectures, schemes or protocols characterised by the use of specific devices
    • G06Q20/32Payment architectures, schemes or protocols characterised by the use of specific devices using wireless devices
    • G06Q20/327Short range or proximity payments by means of M-devices
    • G06Q20/3278RFID or NFC payments by means of M-devices
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/38Payment protocols; Details thereof
    • G06Q20/40Authorisation, e.g. identification of payer or payee, verification of customer or shop credentials; Review and approval of payers, e.g. check credit lines or negative lists
    • G06Q20/405Establishing or using transaction specific rules
    • 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
    • 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

Abstract

Embodiments of the disclosure can relate to systems and methods for enrolling consumers in loyalty programs. Certain embodiments of the disclosure can relate to automatic enrollment of consumers in loyalty programs. In one embodiment, a computer-implemented method for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program can be provided. The method can include establishing, by a merchant device, communication with a consumer device; determining, by the merchant device, that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and providing, by the merchant device to the consumer device, loyalty information.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Ser. No. 61/539,206, titled “Systems and Methods for Processing Payment Transactions,” filed on Sep. 26, 2011, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • Embodiments of the disclosure relate generally to consumer loyalty programs, and more specifically to the automatic enrollment of consumers in loyalty programs.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • A wide variety of merchants offer loyalty and incentive programs to consumers, such as loyalty rewards programs. Typically, consumers that have enrolled for a loyalty program are required to carry and present a bar-coded loyalty card at a merchant location. Even consumers that have adopted electronic and contactless payment devices, such as smart cards, contactless cards, and mobile payment devices (e.g., transaction-enabled mobile phones, etc.), are typically required to carry bar-coded loyalty card. Additionally, the process for enrolling a new customer in a loyalty program is often time consuming and cumbersome. The time that it takes for a consumer to manually complete a form and provide the form to a merchant may be a deterrent to enrollment. Accordingly, there is an opportunity for improved system and methods for enrolling consumers in loyalty programs.
  • SUMMARY
  • Embodiments of the disclosure can relate to systems and methods for enrolling consumers in loyalty programs. Certain embodiments of the disclosure can relate to automatic enrollment of consumers in loyalty programs. In one embodiment, a computer-implemented method for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program can be provided. The method can include establishing, by a merchant device, communication with a consumer device; determining, by the merchant device, that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and providing, by the merchant device to the consumer device, loyalty information.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-implemented method wherein establishing communication with a consumer device can include establishing communication during a point of sale payment transaction.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-implemented method can further include directing, by the merchant device, generation of a new loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device, wherein providing loyalty information to the consumer device comprises providing loyalty information associated with the new loyalty account.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-implemented method can further include identifying, by the merchant device, an existing loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device, wherein providing loyalty information to the consumer device comprises providing loyalty information associated with the existing loyalty account.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-implemented method wherein providing loyalty information can include providing at least one of (i) a loyalty account number or (ii) a loyalty application.
  • In another embodiment, a system for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program can be provided. The system can include at least one memory configured to store computer-executable instructions; and at least one processor configured to access the at least one memory and execute the computer-executable instructions. The computer-executable instructions can be operable to establish communication with a consumer device; determine that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and provide loyalty information.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-executable instructions to establish communication with a consumer device can include computer-executable instructions to establish communication during a point of sale payment transaction.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-executable instructions can be further operable to direct generation of a new loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device, wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the new loyalty account.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-executable instructions can be further operable to identify an existing loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device, wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the existing loyalty account.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the computer-executable instructions to provide loyalty information can be further operable to computer-executable instructions to provide at least one of (i) a loyalty account number or (ii) a loyalty application.
  • In yet another embodiment, a method for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program can be provided. The method can include establishing communication with a consumer device; determining that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and providing loyalty information.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, establishing communication with a consumer device can include establishing communication during a point of sale payment transaction.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the method can further include directing generation of a new loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device, wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the new loyalty account.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, the method can further include identifying an existing loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device, wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the existing loyalty account.
  • In one aspect of an embodiment, providing loyalty information can include providing at least one of (i) a loyalty account number or (ii) a loyalty application.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an example system that may be utilized in accordance with various embodiments of the disclosure.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a flow diagram of an example process for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, according to an example embodiment of the disclosure.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a flow diagram of another example process for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, according to an example embodiment of the disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • Various embodiments of the disclosure are directed to the enrollment of consumers for loyalty programs and/or other offers of a merchant. In certain embodiments, a consumer may utilize a consumer device (e.g., a mobile device, a smart card, a contactless device, etc.) to communicate with a merchant device, such as a point of sale (“POS”) terminal or register. During the communication, the merchant device may automatically enroll the consumer for a loyalty program of the merchant. For example, the merchant device may generate or request the generation of a new loyalty account for the consumer. Loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, a loyalty application, etc.) may then be stored on the consumer device for subsequent access. As desired, loyalty information may additionally be communicated to one or more service provider systems, such as a network or cloud-based service provider that provides value added services in association with payment transactions.
  • Additionally, in certain embodiments, traditionally loyalty devices (e.g., loyalty cards, etc.) may be utilized by a consumer to provide loyalty information to the merchant device. The merchant device may utilize at least a portion of the received loyalty information to provide loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, a loyalty application, etc.) to a suitable consumer device, such as a mobile device. As desired, the merchant may also collect the traditional loyalty device as it is no longer needed for future transactions.
  • Embodiments of the disclosure now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which embodiments of the disclosure are shown. This disclosure may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the disclosure to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.
  • System Overview
  • FIG. 1 represents a block diagram of an example system 100 for enrolling a consumer for a loyalty program, according to one embodiment of the disclosure. In certain embodiments, the system 100 may facilitate the provisioning of loyalty information, such as loyalty account information and/or a loyalty application, to a consumer device. As shown in FIG. 1, the system 100 may include one or more merchant devices 110 (e.g., merchant POS terminals, merchant registers, merchant computers, etc.), and/or one or more consumer devices 110. As desired, the system 100 may include a wide variety of other entities associated with payment transactions, such as one or more service provider computers 112 and/or one or more payment account issuer computers (not shown). Any number of suitable networks, such as the illustrated networks 115, 117 may facilitate communication between various components of the system 100.
  • Additionally, in certain embodiments, a consumer 125 may be associated with a consumer device 110, and a merchant employee 120 may be associated with a merchant device 105. For example, a consumer 125 may utilize a consumer device 110 to facilitate a payment transaction at a merchant location. The merchant device 105 may interact with the consumer device 110 in order to receive transaction-related information, such as consumer payment account information. Additionally, in accordance with various embodiments of the disclosure, a wide variety of loyalty services may be provided by the merchant device 110 during the interaction with a consumer device 110. For example, the consumer 125 may be automatically enrolled for a loyalty program. In certain embodiments, the consumer 125 may additionally have a loyalty device 130, such as a bar-code loyalty card, that is provided to the merchant employee 120 and potentially read by the merchant device 105. Thus, in the event that the consumer 125 has previously enrolled in the loyalty program, loyalty information may be transferred from the loyalty device 130 to the consumer device 110 by the merchant device. Each of the components of FIG. 1 will now be discussed in further detail.
  • With reference to FIG. 1, any number of merchant devices 105 may be provided. In certain embodiments, these merchant devices 105 may include suitable point-of-sale (“POS”) devices (e.g., a POS terminal) and/or merchant reader devices that are located at a physical merchant location. As desired, each merchant device 105 may include any number of processor-driven devices, including but not limited to, a server computer, a mainframe computer, one or more networked computers, a desktop computer, a personal computer, a laptop computer, a mobile computer, or any other processor-based device. A merchant device 105 may utilize one or more processors 140 to execute computer-readable instructions that facilitate reading and/or communication with consumer devices 110, 130, the processing of received transaction-related and/or loyalty information, the enrollment of a consumer 125 in a loyalty program, the transfer of existing loyalty information to a consumer device 110, and/or the generation and/or output of transaction-related requests (e.g., transaction authorization requests, value added service (“VAS”) requests that are sent to service provider computers 112, etc.). As a result of executing these computer-readable instructions, a special purpose computer or particular machine may be formed that facilitates the provision of loyalty related services.
  • In addition to having one or more processors 140, the merchant device 105 may further include and/or be associated with one or more memory devices 141, consumer device readers (not shown), input/output (“I/O”) interface(s) 142, and/or network interface(s) 143. The memory 141 may be any computer-readable medium, coupled to the processor(s) 140, such as random access memory (“RAM”), read-only memory (“ROM”), and/or removable storage devices. The memory 141 may store a wide variety of data files 144 and/or various program modules, such as an operating system (“OS”) 145, one or more transaction processing applications or modules 146, and/or a loyalty application or module 147. The data files 144 may include any suitable data that facilitates the operation of the merchant device 105 and/or interaction of the merchant device 105 with one or more other components (e.g., a consumer device 110, a service provider computer 112, etc.) of the system 100. For example, the data files 144 may include loyalty account generation information, information associated with consumer device readers, acquiring platform information, service provider information, and/or routing information for proposed transactions. The OS 145 may be suitable module that facilitates the general operation of the merchant device 105, as well as the execution of other program modules. For example, the OS 145 may be, but is not limited to, Microsoft Windows®, Apple OSX™, Unix, a mainframe computer operating system (e.g., IBM z/OS, MVS, OS/390, etc.), or a specially designed operating system. As desired, the merchant device 105 may additionally include one or more host modules that facilitate interaction with remote consumer devices 110. For example, a suitable Web server and/or Web server module may facilitate online shopping by consumers and/or the receipt of transaction requests. In certain embodiments of the disclosure, loyalty services may be provided in association with online shopping transactions.
  • The transaction processing applications or modules 146 may include any number of suitable software modules and/or applications that facilitate the receipt of transaction information (e.g., purchase transaction information, a purchase amount, information associated with purchased products, etc.), the receipt of payment account information from a consumer device, the generation of a proposed transaction, and/or the output of the proposed transaction. In one example embodiment, a transaction processing application 146 may identify transaction information utilize at least a portion of the transaction information to provide any number of transaction-related services. For example, the transaction processing application 146 may identify information associated with product and/or services to be purchased, as well as payment account information and/or other transaction-related information (e.g., coupon information, etc.) from a consumer device (e.g., a transaction-enabled mobile device, a smart card, a contactless device, etc.). As desired, the transaction processing application 146 may invoke and/or request (e.g., request a service provider computer 112, etc.) the invocation of a wide variety of VAS associated with a transaction, such as the application of coupons, etc. The transaction processing application 146 may then generate a proposed transaction request that is output for routing and/or delivery to a suitable transaction processor, such as a payment account issuer. In the event that the transaction is authorized, the transaction processing application 146 may invoke and/or request the invocation of a wide variety of VAS following the transaction, such as receipt delivery services, product registration services, etc.
  • The loyalty application 147 or loyalty module may include any number of suitable software modules and/or applications that facilitate the enrollment of consumers in loyalty programs and/or the processing of loyalty information. In certain embodiments, the loyalty application 147 may identify consumers that have not been enrolled in a loyalty program of the merchant, and the loyalty application 147 may determine whether the consumers may be enrolled for the loyalty program (and/or whether the consumer qualifies for any other special offers). In the event that a consumer may be enrolled in a loyalty program, the loyalty application 147 may generate or request the generation (e.g., request from a service provider computer 112) of a loyalty account for the consumer. The loyalty application 147 may then communicate and/or direct communication (e.g., communication from a service provider computer 112) of loyalty information to a consumer device 110. For example, the loyalty application 147 may communicate a loyalty account number and/or a loyalty application to a consumer device 110 for storage on the consumer device 110 (e.g., storage on general memory, storage in a secure element, etc.).
  • Additionally, in certain embodiments, the loyalty application 147 may identify situations in which consumers have previously been enrolled in a loyalty program; however, loyalty information is not stored on certain consumer devices 110, such as a mobile device. For example, the loyalty application 147 may determine whether loyalty information is available from one or more other sources, such as a consumer loyalty device 130 (e.g., a bar-coded loyalty card, etc.) or an external database. In the event that loyalty information is available from another source, the loyalty application 147 may communicate or direct communication of identified loyalty information to a consumer device 110. For example, loyalty information read from a loyalty card may be transferred to another consumer device 110, such as a mobile device. Additionally, as desired, the loyalty application 147 may direct the merchant employee 120 to collect the loyalty card from the consumer 125 as the loyalty card is no longer necessary for future transactions.
  • One example of the operations that may be performed by the loyalty application 147 is described in greater detail below with reference to FIG. 2.
  • With continued reference to the merchant device 105, one or more consumer device readers (not shown) may be provided in certain embodiments. A consumer device reader may facilitate communication with a consumer device 110, 130 at a point of sale. For example, a consumer device reader may facilitate the reading of payment account information and/or other information (e.g., loyalty account information, coupon information, etc.) from a consumer device 110, 130. A wide variety of different types of consumer device readers may be utilized as desired in various embodiments of the disclosure, including but not limited to, magnetic stripe readers, radio frequency readers, near field communication readers, etc. In certain embodiments, a reader may be incorporated into the merchant device 105. In other embodiments, a reader may be in communication with the merchant device 105.
  • The one or more I/O interfaces 142 may facilitate communication between the merchant device 105 and one or more input/output devices; for example, one or more user interface devices, such as a display, a keypad, a mouse, a pointing device, a control panel, a touch screen display, a remote control, a microphone, a speaker, a consumer device reader, etc., that facilitate user interaction with the merchant device 105. The one or more network and/or communication interfaces 143 may facilitate connection of the merchant device 105 to one or more suitable networks, for example, the network(s) 115, 117 illustrated in FIG. 1. In this regard, the merchant device 105 may receive and/or communicate information to other components of the system 100.
  • Additionally, with continued reference to FIG. 1, any number of consumer devices 110 may be provided. Examples of suitable consumer devices 110 include, but are not limited to, contactless transaction devices (e.g., transaction devices including a contactless chip, etc.), smart cards, mobile devices (e.g., mobile phones, smart phones, etc.), etc. According to an aspect of the disclosure, a consumer device 110 may be a suitable device that is capable of bidirectional interaction with a merchant device 105 in association with a payment or purchase transaction. During a purchase request, various payment account information and/or other information (e.g., loyalty information if available, etc.) may be provided to a merchant device 105 by the consumer device 110. As desired, a consumer 125 may also have other devices that may be presented to a merchant employee 120, such as a separate loyalty device 130. Examples of separate loyalty devices 130 include, but are not limited to, bar-coded loyalty cards and/or bar-coded loyalty tabs.
  • As desired, a consumer device 110 may include any number of processor-driven devices, including but not limited to, a mobile computer, an application-specific circuit, a minicomputer, a microcontroller, and/or any other processor-based device. A consumer device 110 may utilize one or more processors 150 to execute computer-readable instructions that facilitate the general operation of the consumer device 110 (e.g., call functionality, etc.) and/or communication with a merchant device 105 for payment transaction purposes. As a result of executing these computer-readable instructions, a special purpose computer or particular machine may be formed that facilitates the provision of transaction-related services on behalf of a consumer.
  • In addition to having one or more processors 150, the consumer device 110 may further include and/or be associated with one or more memory devices 151, input/output (“I/O”) interface(s) 152, and/or network interface(s) 153. The memory 151 may be any computer-readable medium, coupled to the processor(s) 150, such as random access memory (“RAM”), read-only memory (“ROM”), and/or removable storage devices. The memory 151 may store a wide variety of data files 154 and/or various program modules, such as an operating system (“OS”) 156 and/or one or more transaction applications or modules 157. In certain embodiments, a consumer device 110 may include one or more secure elements 155 configured to securely store and/or access information, such as payment account information and/or other transaction-related information. The secure elements 155 may be stored in the memory 151 and/or included as a separate component of the consumer device 110. For example, a secure element 155 may be a separate chip that is configured to communicate with primary computing functionality for the consumer device 110. As desired, one or more of the transaction applications 157 may be stored on a secure element 155. Additionally, in certain embodiments, a wide variety of suitable loyalty information 158, such as loyalty account information and/or loyalty applications, may be stored in the memory 151 and/or on one or more secure elements 155.
  • The data files 154 may include any suitable data that facilitates the operation of the consumer device 110 and/or interaction of the consumer device 110 with one or more other components (e.g., a merchant device 105, a service provider computer 112, etc.) of the system 100. For example, the data files 154 may include information associated with accessing the secure elements 155, information associated with invoking transaction applications 157, and/or information that facilitates interaction with merchant devices 105. The OS 155 may be suitable module that facilitates the general operation of the consumer device 110, as well as the execution of other program modules. For example, the OS 155 may be, but is not limited to, a suitable mobile OS or a specially designed operating system. As desired, the consumer device 110 may additionally include one or more communication modules that facilitate interaction with merchant devices 105. For example, a suitable near field communication module, radio frequency module, Bluetooth module, or other suitable communication module may be utilized.
  • The transaction applications 157 may include one or more suitable software modules and/or applications configured to interact with a merchant device 105 in conjunction with a payment transaction. In one example operation, a transaction application 157 may establish communication with a merchant device 105. As desired a consumer PIN or other consumer authentication mechanism may be initiated in order to verify the identity of the consumer. Additionally, the transaction application 157 may provide a wide variety of transaction related information to the merchant device 105, such as payment account information, payment device identification information (e.g., a mobile telephone number, etc.), consumer identification information, coupons and/or offers to be redeemed, loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, if available), and/or loyalty enrollment preferences. A proposed transaction may be generated and/or processed by the merchant device 105 and, in certain embodiments, a wide variety of information (e.g., electronic receipts, warranty information, product registration information, etc.) may be returned to the transaction application 157 for storage and/or presentation to the consumer 125. In certain embodiments, the merchant device 105 may communicate with a service provider computer 112, an acquiring platform, an issuer system, and/or other devices in order to facilitate the back-end processing of a transaction (e.g., authorization, settlement, value added services, etc.). In other embodiments, the consumer device 110 and/or the transaction application 157 may communicate with one or more of these entities in conjunction with transaction processing. For example, the transaction application 157 may provide payment account information to a service provider computer 112 rather than to the merchant device 105. Indeed, a wide variety of different transaction processing flows and/or methods may be utilized as desired in various embodiments.
  • As desired, a wide variety of suitable loyalty information 158 may be stored on the consumer device 110. In certain embodiments, loyalty information 158 may be stored prior to the initiation of a payment transaction, and the loyalty information 158 may be utilized in association with a payment transaction. In other embodiments, loyalty information 158 may be provided to the consumer device 110 by a merchant device 105, and at least a portion of the loyalty information 158 may be stored by the consumer device 110. For example, a merchant device 105 may facilitate the automatic enrollment of the consumer 125 for a loyalty program, and generated loyalty information 158 may be provided to the consumer device 110 for storage. A wide variety of different loyalty information 158 may be stored on a consumer device 110 as desired in various embodiments of the disclosure, including but not limited to, loyalty account information for consumer loyalty accounts with various merchants, loyalty applications or modules (e.g., specific loyalty applications that are invoked to provide loyalty information to a merchant device 105, etc.), and/or consumer preferences for enrolling the consumer in loyalty programs (e.g., a blanket instruction to automatically enroll the consumer in available programs, pre-approved merchants for automatic enrollment, and/or instructions to prompt the consumer for approval prior to enrolling the consumer in a loyalty program.
  • The one or more I/O interfaces 152 may facilitate communication between the consumer device 110 and one or more input/output devices; for example, one or more user interface devices, such as a display, a keypad, a touch screen display, a microphone, a speaker, etc., that facilitate user interaction with the consumer device 110. The one or more network and/or communication interfaces 153 may facilitate connection of the consumer device 110 to one or more suitable networks, for example, the network(s) 115, 117 illustrated in FIG. 1. In this regard, the consumer device 110 may receive and/or communicate information to other components of the system 100.
  • As desired, any number of service provider computers 112 may be utilized as desired in various embodiments of the disclosure. A service provider computer 112 may provide a wide variety of transaction-related and/or loyalty-related services, including but not limited to, the provision of VAS, the generation of loyalty account information, and/or the routing of a proposed transaction to an issuer for approval and/or settlement purposes. In certain embodiments, a service provider computer 112 may include similar components as those discussed above for the merchant device 105. For example, a service provider computer 112 may include any number of processors, memories, I/O interfaces, and/or network/communication interfaces.
  • Although not illustrated in FIG. 1, as desired in various embodiments, any number of issuer and/or financial institution systems may be provided. An issuer system may facilitate the backend processing of a proposed transaction. For example, an issuer system may facilitate the approval and/or settlement of a proposed transaction. In certain embodiments, a proposed transaction may be routed to an issuer system via a suitable transaction network (e.g., a debit network, a credit network, etc.), and the issuer system may evaluate the proposed transaction. An approval or rejection of the proposed transaction may then be output for communication to a merchant device 105. The issuer system may then facilitate the settlement of the proposed transaction.
  • A wide variety of suitable networks and/or communication channels 115, 117 may be utilized in association with embodiments of the disclosure. Certain networks and/or channels 115 may facilitate communication between consumer devices 110 and merchant devices 105. These networks 115 may include wireless networks, RF networks, Bluetooth-enabled networks, NFC connections, etc. Other networks 117 may facilitate communication between remote devices. For example, one or more telecommunication networks, cellular networks, wide area networks (e.g., the Internet) and/or transaction networks (e.g., branded networks (e.g., a VISA network, etc.), debit and/or PIN networks, and/or a wide variety of other suitable transaction networks) may facilitate communication between various components of the system 100. Due to network connectivity, various methodologies as described herein may be practiced in the context of distributed computing environments. It will also be appreciated that the various networks may include a plurality of networks, each with devices such as gateways and routers for providing connectivity between or among networks. Additionally, instead of, or in addition to, a network, dedicated communication links may be used to connect various devices in accordance with an example embodiment.
  • The system 100 shown in and described with respect to FIG. 1 is provided by way of example only. Numerous other operating environments, system architectures, and device configurations are possible. Other system embodiments can include fewer or greater numbers of components and may incorporate some or all of the functionality described with respect to the system components shown in FIG. 1. Accordingly, embodiments of the disclosure should not be construed as being limited to any particular operating environment, system architecture, or device configuration.
  • Operational Overview
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a flow diagram of an example method 200 for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, according to an example embodiment of the disclosure. In certain embodiments, the operations of the method 200 may be performed by a suitable merchant device and/or merchant employee, such as the merchant device 105 and/or merchant employee 120 illustrated in FIG. 1. The method 200 may begin at block 205.
  • At block 205, communication between the merchant device 105 and a consumer device, such as the consumer device 110 illustrated in FIG. 1, may be established. For example, communication between the merchant device 105 and the consumer device 110 in conjunction with a payment transaction (e.g., a checkout payment transaction at a point of sale, etc.) may be established. A wide variety of suitable communication techniques may be utilized as desired to establish communication, including but not limited to, radio frequency (“RF”) communications, near field communication (“NFC”), Bluetooth communication, Wi-Fi communication, etc.
  • At block 210, the merchant device 105 may communicate merchant identification information (e.g., a merchant name, a merchant identifier, etc.) to the consumer device 110. Additionally, the merchant device 105 may communicate a request for stored loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, etc.) to the consumer device 110. In this regard, the consumer device 110 may identify stored information associated with the merchant, such as a merchant-specific payment account, merchant payment preferences (e.g., coupon redemption preferences, payment account selection preferences, etc.), and/or stored loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty application, a loyalty account number, etc.). The consumer device 110 may then communicate a wide variety of transaction-related information to the merchant device 105, such as payment account information, coupon information, and/or loyalty information (if available).
  • At block 215, the merchant device 105 may determine whether loyalty information has been received from the consumer device 110. For example, the merchant device 105 may determine whether a loyalty account number has been received from the consumer device 110 or whether communication has been established with a loyalty application executed by the consumer device 110. If it is determined at block 215 that loyalty information has been received from the consumer device 110 at block 215, then operations may continue at block 220, and at least a portion of the received loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, etc.) may be utilized in association with a transaction. For example, rewards points may be issued to the consumer 125 by a merchant system or by a service provider computer, such as the service provider computer 112 illustrated in FIG. 1. As another example, available reward redemptions may be identified and applied to a transaction. As desired, loyalty information (e.g., awarded points, etc.) may then be returned to the consumer device 110, and the method 200 may end following block 220.
  • If, however, it is determined at block 215 that loyalty information has not been received from the consumer device 110, then operations may continue at block 225. At block 225, a determination may be made as to whether loyalty information is available from another source 225. For example, a determination may be made as to whether loyalty information is available from or has been received from another consumer device, such as a bar-code loyalty card presented by the consumer 125. As another example, a determination may be made as to whether loyalty information may be accessed from memory (e.g., local memory, an external data source, etc.) based upon consumer information (e.g., a phone number, an address, a consumer name, etc.). If it is determined at block 225 that loyalty information is available from another source, then operations may continue at block 230.
  • At block 230, loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, existing loyalty points, loyalty rewards, etc.) may be identified for use in association with the transaction. As desired, rewards points may be issued to the consumer 125, available reward redemptions may be identified and applied to a transaction, and/or other loyalty processing may be provided. Additionally, loyalty information may be identified for provisioning to the consumer device 110 in the event that provisioning is permitted by the consumer 125. At block 235, the merchant employee 120 may ask the consumer 125 to turn over any existing loyalty devices (e.g., loyalty cards, etc.) and the merchant employee 120 may offer to provision loyalty information to the consumer device 110. In the event that the consumer 125 turns over an existing loyalty device, the loyalty device may be collected and optionally destroyed or disposed of by the merchant employee 120. Operations may then continue at block 255 described in greater detail below.
  • If, however, it is determined at block 225 that loyalty information is not available from another source, then operations may continue at block 240. At block 240, one or more enrollment parameters for the consumer device 110 may be identified, and at least a portion of the enrollment parameters may be evaluated in order to determine, at block 245, whether enrollment of the consumer in a loyalty program for the merchant has been enabled. For example, enrollment parameters associated with the automatic enrollment of the consumer in a loyalty program may be evaluated in order to determine whether automatic enrollment has been enabled and/or authorized. As another example, enrollment parameters may be evaluated in order to determine whether consumer permission is required for enrollment, and the consumer may be prompted (e.g., prompted by the consumer device, prompted by the merchant employee 120, etc.) for authorization to enroll the consumer in a loyalty program. A determination may then be made as to whether enrollment has been authorized and/or enabled.
  • If it is determined at block 245 that enrollment has not been enabled, then operations of the method 200 may end. If, however, it is determined at block 245 that enrollment has been enabled, then operations may continue at block 250. At block 250, loyalty information may be generated for the consumer 125. For example, a new loyalty account may be opened on behalf of the consumer 125, and a loyalty account number associated with the account may be identified. As another example, a loyalty application that may be executed by the consumer device 110 may be identified. In certain embodiments, the identification and/or generation of loyalty information may be carried out by the merchant device 105. In other embodiments, the merchant device 105 may communicate with a third-party, such as a suitable service provider computer 112, to facilitate the generation and/or identification of loyalty information. For example, a request to generate a new loyalty account may be communicated to a service provider computer 112, and new account information may be returned by the service provider computer 112 to the merchant device 105.
  • At block 255, which may be reached from block 235 or block 255, loyalty information (e.g., a loyalty account number, a loyalty application, etc.) may be provided by the merchant device 105 to the consumer device 110 via a suitable communication session. For example, loyalty information may be provisioned to the consumer device 110. In this regard, the consumer device 110 may store the loyalty information for subsequent use. For example, a loyalty application may be stored on device memory. As another example, loyalty account information may be stored on a secure element 155 of the consumer device 110. Additionally, in certain embodiments, merchant identification information may also be provided to the consumer device 110. As desired, the consumer device 110 may utilize the merchant identification information during a subsequent access of the loyalty information. For example, a merchant identifier received in conjunction with a future transaction may be compared to the previously received merchant identification information, and the loyalty information may be identified based at least in part upon a determined correspondence.
  • The method 200 may end following either block 220, block 245, or block 255.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a flow diagram of another example method 300 for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, according to an example embodiment of the disclosure. In certain embodiments, the operations of the method 300 may be performed by a suitable consumer device and/or associated consumer, such as the consumer device 110 and/or consumer 125 illustrated in FIG. 1. The method 300 may begin at block 305.
  • At block 305, communication between the consumer device 110 and a merchant device, such as the merchant device 105 illustrated in FIG. 1, may be established. For example, communication between the consumer device 110 and the merchant device 105 in conjunction with a payment transaction (e.g., a checkout payment transaction at a point of sale, etc.) may be established. A wide variety of suitable communication techniques may be utilized as desired to establish communication, including but not limited to, radio frequency (“RF”) communications, near field communication (“NFC”), Bluetooth communication, Wi-Fi communication, etc.
  • At block 310, a request for loyalty information (e.g., a stored loyalty account number, the invocation of a loyalty application, etc.) may be received from the merchant device 105. In certain embodiments, a merchant identifier and/or other merchant identification information (e.g., a merchant name, etc.) may also be received. At block 315, a determination may be made as to whether loyalty information is stored on the consumer device 110 and available for communication to the merchant device 105. If it is determined at block 315 that loyalty information is available, then operations may continue at block 320, and at least a portion of the loyalty information may be returned or communicated to the merchant device 105. For example, a loyalty account number may be returned to the merchant device 105. As another example, a loyalty application may be invoked, and the loyalty application may facilitate the communication of a loyalty account number and/or loyalty reward information to the merchant device 105. Operations of the method 300 may then end following block 320.
  • If, however, it is determined at block 315 that loyalty information is not available, then operations may continue at block 320. At block 320, an indication that loyalty information is not available may be returned or communicated to the merchant device 105. Operations may then continue at block 330, and a determination may be made by the merchant and/or merchant device 105 as to whether loyalty information is available from another source, such as a loyalty card or from an external database. If it is determined at block 330 that loyalty information is available from another source, then operations may continue at block 355 described in greater detail below. If, however, it is determined at block 330 that loyalty information is not available from another source, then operations may continue at block 335. The operations of block 330 are not necessarily performed by the consumer device 110.
  • At block 335, a request to enroll the consumer in a loyalty program of the merchant may be received by the consumer device 110. At block 340, the consumer may be prompted for authorization to enroll in a loyalty program of the merchant, and a consumer response to the prompt (e.g., an authorization, a denial) may be received. As an alternative to requesting authorization for enrollment, in certain embodiments, the consumer may establish preferences for automatic enrollment in loyalty programs. In the event that automatic enrollment is authorized, it is not necessary to receive consumer approval at the time of enrollment.
  • At block 345, a determination may be made as to whether enrollment in the loyalty program has been authorized or approved. For example, a determination may be made as to whether a consumer has authorized enrollment in response to a prompt. As another example, a determination may be made as to whether automatic enrollment has been authorized. As another example, a determination may be made as to whether one or more automatic enrollment parameters (e.g., merchant type parameters, merchant parameters, etc.) have been satisfied. If it is determined at block 345 that enrollment has not been authorized, then operations may end. If, however, it is determined at block 345 that enrollment has been authorized, then operations may continue at block 350.
  • At block 350, an enrollment approval indication or an enrollment approval message may be communicated to the merchant device 105. For example, an authorization to enroll the consumer in a loyalty program may be communicated to the merchant device 105 via a suitable communication session. As desired, a wide variety of consumer information may also be communicated to the merchant device 105 by the consumer device 110. For example, a consumer name, consumer address, consumer device identification information (e.g., a telephone number, etc.), a consumer email address, and/or other information may be communicated to the merchant device 105. At least a portion of this information may be utilized in the generation of a loyalty account for the consumer. For example, an automated process may be utilized by the merchant device 105 and/or by a service provider computer, such as the service provider computer 112 illustrated in FIG. 1, to generate a loyalty account for the consumer.
  • At block 355, which may be reached from either block 330 or block 350, loyalty information may be received by the consumer device 110 from the merchant device 105. For example, a loyalty account number and/or a loyalty application may be received from the merchant device 105. At least a portion of the received information may be stored by the consumer device 110 for subsequent access and/or use in future transactions. For example, loyalty account information may be stored in a secure element 155 and/or in general memory of the consumer device 110. As another example, a loyalty application may be stored for subsequent execution.
  • The method 300 may end following either block 320, block 345, or block 355.
  • The operations described and shown in the methods 200, 300, of FIGS. 2-3 may be carried out or performed in any suitable order as desired in various embodiments of the disclosure. Additionally, in certain embodiments, at least a portion of the operations may be carried out in parallel. Furthermore, in certain embodiments, less than or more than the operations described in FIGS. 2-3 may be performed.
  • The disclosure is described above with reference to block and flow diagrams of systems, methods, apparatuses, and/or computer program products according to example embodiments of the disclosure. It will be understood that one or more blocks of the block diagrams and flow diagrams, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and the flow diagrams, respectively, can be implemented by computer-executable program instructions. Likewise, some blocks of the block diagrams and flow diagrams may not necessarily need to be performed in the order presented, or may not necessarily need to be performed at all, according to some embodiments of the disclosure.
  • Various block and/or flow diagrams of systems, methods, apparatus, and/or computer program products according to example embodiments of the disclosure are described above. It will be understood that one or more blocks of the block diagrams and flow diagrams, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and flow diagrams, respectively, can be implemented by computer-executable program instructions. Likewise, some blocks of the block diagrams and flow diagrams may not necessarily need to be performed in the order presented, or may not necessarily need to be performed at all, according to some embodiments of the disclosure.
  • These computer-executable program instructions may be loaded onto a special purpose computer or other particular machine, a processor, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a particular machine, such that the instructions that execute on the computer, processor, or other programmable data processing apparatus create means for implementing one or more functions specified in the flow diagram block or blocks. These computer program instructions may also be stored in a computer-readable memory that can 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 that implement one or more functions specified in the flow diagram block or blocks. As an example, embodiments of the disclosure may provide for a computer program product, comprising a computer-usable medium having a computer-readable program code or program instructions embodied therein, said computer-readable program code adapted to be executed to implement one or more functions specified in the flow diagram 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 elements or steps to be performed on the computer or other programmable apparatus to produce a computer-implemented process such that the instructions that execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide elements or steps for implementing the functions specified in the flow diagram block or blocks.
  • Accordingly, blocks of the block diagrams and flow diagrams support combinations of means for performing the specified functions, combinations of elements or steps for performing the specified functions and program instruction means for performing the specified functions. It will also be understood that each block of the block diagrams and flow diagrams, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and flow diagrams, can be implemented by special purpose, hardware-based computer systems that perform the specified functions, elements or steps, or combinations of special purpose hardware and computer instructions.
  • Many modifications and other embodiments of the disclosure set forth herein will be apparent having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.

Claims (15)

The claimed disclosure is:
1. A computer-implemented method for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, the method comprising:
establishing, by a merchant device, communication with a consumer device;
determining, by the merchant device, that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and
providing, by the merchant device to the consumer device, loyalty information.
2. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein establishing communication with a consumer device comprises establishing communication during a point of sale payment transaction.
3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising:
directing, by the merchant device, generation of a new loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device,
wherein providing loyalty information to the consumer device comprises providing loyalty information associated with the new loyalty account.
4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising:
identifying, by the merchant device, an existing loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device,
wherein providing loyalty information to the consumer device comprises providing loyalty information associated with the existing loyalty account.
5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing at least one of (i) a loyalty account number or (ii) a loyalty application.
6. A system for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, the system comprising:
at least one memory configured to store computer-executable instructions; and
at least one processor configured to access the at least one memory and execute the computer-executable instructions to:
establish communication with a consumer device;
determine that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and
provide loyalty information.
7. The system of claim 6, wherein computer-executable instructions to establish communication with a consumer device comprises computer-executable instructions to establish communication during a point of sale payment transaction.
8. The system of claim 6, further comprising computer-executable instructions to:
direct generation of a new loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device,
wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the new loyalty account.
9. The system of claim 6, further comprising computer-executable instructions to:
identify an existing loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device,
wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the existing loyalty account.
10. The system of claim 6, wherein computer-executable instructions to provide loyalty information comprises computer-executable instructions to provide at least one of (i) a loyalty account number or (ii) a loyalty application.
11. A method for enrolling a consumer in a loyalty program, the method comprising:
establishing communication with a consumer device;
determining that loyalty information is not stored on the consumer device; and
providing loyalty information.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein establishing communication with a consumer device comprises establishing communication during a point of sale payment transaction.
13. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
directing generation of a new loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device,
wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the new loyalty account.
14. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
identifying an existing loyalty account for a consumer associated with the consumer device,
wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing loyalty information associated with the existing loyalty account.
15. The method of claim 11, wherein providing loyalty information comprises providing at least one of (i) a loyalty account number or (ii) a loyalty application.
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US13/627,683 Pending US20130080219A1 (en) 2011-09-26 2012-09-26 Systems and Methods for Providing Value Added Services in Association with Payment Transactions
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US20130080219A1 (en) 2013-03-28
US20140351142A1 (en) 2014-11-27
US20130080328A1 (en) 2013-03-28
US8924300B2 (en) 2014-12-30
US10089617B2 (en) 2018-10-02
US20130080273A1 (en) 2013-03-28
US8688604B2 (en) 2014-04-01

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