WO1998047112A1 - Method for electronically vending, distributing, and recharging of pre-paid value, a vending machine and an electronic system for use therein - Google Patents

Method for electronically vending, distributing, and recharging of pre-paid value, a vending machine and an electronic system for use therein

Info

Publication number
WO1998047112A1
WO1998047112A1 PCT/GB1998/001096 GB9801096W WO1998047112A1 WO 1998047112 A1 WO1998047112 A1 WO 1998047112A1 GB 9801096 W GB9801096 W GB 9801096W WO 1998047112 A1 WO1998047112 A1 WO 1998047112A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
pre
network
paid
electronic
value
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB1998/001096
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ian Hugh Rex Miller
George Deon Rudman
Donald Alistair Mackenzi
Original Assignee
Stratex/Paradigm (Uk) Limited
Non Can Jam Trading (Pty) Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F7/00Mechanisms actuated by objects other than coins to free or to actuate vending, hiring, coin or paper currency dispensing or refunding apparatus
    • G07F7/08Mechanisms actuated by objects other than coins to free or to actuate vending, hiring, coin or paper currency dispensing or refunding apparatus by coded identity card or credit card or other personal identification means
    • G07F7/0866Mechanisms actuated by objects other than coins to free or to actuate vending, hiring, coin or paper currency dispensing or refunding apparatus by coded identity card or credit card or other personal identification means by active credit-cards adapted therefor
    • 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
    • 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
    • G06Q20/36Payment architectures, schemes or protocols characterised by the use of specific devices using electronic wallets or electronic money safes
    • G06Q20/363Payment architectures, schemes or protocols characterised by the use of specific devices using electronic wallets or electronic money safes with the personal data files for a user
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/0014Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for vending, access and use of specific services not covered anywhere else in G07F17/00
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/16Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for devices exhibiting advertisements, announcements, pictures or the like
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M17/00Prepayment of wireline communication systems, wireless communication systems or telephone systems
    • H04M17/20Prepayment of wireline communication systems, wireless communication systems or telephone systems with provision for recharging the prepaid account or card, or for credit establishment
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W88/00Devices specially adapted for wireless communication networks, e.g. terminals, base stations or access point devices
    • H04W88/02Terminal devices

Abstract

The invention provides for a method, a network device and a network for electronically vending pre-paid values such as cellular air time, the method including the steps of offering pre-paid values for sale to a purchaser on an electronic network, the network enabling communication electronically between the purchaser, an independent financial institution and computerised managing means for managing the sale of pre-paid values; requesting a specific pre-paid value from the managing means; making payment; transmitting payment data to the managing means so as to credit the beneficiary account; and providing the purchaser with reference detail about the pre-paid value purchased.

Description

METHOD FOR ELECTRONICALLY VENDING , D ISTRIBUTING , AND RECHARCHING OF PRE-PAID VALUE , A VENDING MACHINE AND AN ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR USE THEREIN .

Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a method for electronically vending, distributing,

recharging and/or replenishing pre-paid value, and a vending machine as

well as a network for use therein.

Background of the Invention

The development of technology and the ability of technologically

advanced equipment to operate with various types of tokens with

specific monetary or pre-paid value as well as the ability to vend such

tokens by means of vending machines to date have been hampered by

the use of physical tokens and cash payments.

The cost and/or time required to service and/or stock vending machines,

although certain vending machines have been provided with land-line

modem facilities to facilitate control, stocktaking and/or auditing, have

further hampered the development of technology and the ability of

equipment to operate with pre-paid tokens. The lack of national electronic networks suitable to provide the coverage

required to use such networks for prepaid national services, also

hampered the development of technology and the ability of equipment

to operate with pre-paid tokens.

Object of the Invention

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel method of

electronically vending, distributing, recharging and/or replenishing pre¬

paid value and a vending machine for use in such method.

Summary of the Invention

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a method

for electronically vending pre-paid value including the steps of offering

pre-paid values for sale to a purchaser on an electronic network, the

network enabling communication electronically between the purchaser,

an independent financial institution and computerised managing means

for managing the sale of pre-paid values;

requesting a specific pre-paid value from the managing means;

making payment;

transmitting payment data to the managing means so as to credit the beneficiary account; and

providing the purchaser with reference detail about the pre-paid value

purchased.

The method may include a preliminary step of providing the

computerised managing means with a stock of Personal Identity

Numbers ("PIN"s), preferably in file form via magnetic media,

alteratively, via a network link.

The step of making payment may be by way of cash payment,

alternatively, by way of bank card or pre-registered banking account

relationship.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided

a method for electronically distributing pre-paid value including the steps

of offering pre-paid values for distribution to a retailer on an electronic

network, the network enabling communication electronically between the

retailer an computerised managing means for managing the distribution

of pre-paid value;

requesting a specific pre-paid value from the managing means;

means for managing the replenishment of pre-paid values;

making payment; transmitting payment data to the managing means so as to credit the

beneficiary account; and

providing the retailer with reference detail about the prepaid value

distributed.

According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided

a method for electronically recharging pre-paid values comprising the

method for electronically selling pre-paid value substantially as

hereinbefore defined, characterized in including the steps of requesting

a recharge in accordance with a specific pre-paid value purchased; and

providing the purchaser with reference detail about the specific value

recharged.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided

a method for replenishing a chip card with a pre-paid value including the

steps of offering pre-paid values for replenishment to a purchaser on an

electronic network, the network enabling communication electronically

between the purchaser, an independent financial institution and

computerised managing means for managing the replenishment of pre¬

paid values;

requesting a specific pre-paid value from the managing means;

making payment; transmitting payment data to the managing means so as to credit the

beneficiary account;

transmitting a recharge instruction with recharged value to the

purchaser; and

providing the chip card to be replenished with such replenishment.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention there is provided

a method for electronically vending pre-paid values via the Internet, the

method comprising the method of electronically vending pre-paid values

substantially as hereinbefore defined, characterised in including the step

of pre-registering the network device, the customer and the managing

means in accordance with SET and SSL protocols.

According to a sixth aspect of the invention there is provided

a method for electronically recharging pre-paid values via the Internet,

the method comprising the method of electronically vending pre-paid

values via the Internet, substantially as hereinbefore defined,

characterised in including the steps of requesting a recharge in

accordance with a specific pre-paid value purchased; and

providing the purchaser with reference detail about the specific value

recharged. The pre-paid values sold, distributed, recharged and/or replenished may

be pre-paid cellular airtime.

According to a seventh aspect of the invention there is provided

a network device for use in a method for vending, distributing ,

recharging and/or replenishing pre-paid values electronically, the network

device comprising a vending machine having a traditional computer

driven electronic display monitor;

a traditional computer driven printer;

a keyboard, capable of capturing security codes from purchasers in

support of banking cards;

note acceptor means for optically recognizing bank notes and

determining the monetary value thereof;

processing means for electronically driving the hardware and software

incorporated in the vending machine required to facilitate the processing

of an electronic transaction; and

card reader means for reading the magnetic strip, of banking cards to be

used for providing payment, and the computer chips.

According to an eighth aspect of the invention there is provided an

electronic system for vending, distributing, recharging and/or

replenishing pre-paid value electronically, the system comprising a network device, being substantially as hereinbefore defined;

an electronic network, including at least one of the digital

communication facilities presently available such as radio, satellite and

landline telecommunication;

computerised managing means for electronically managing the network,

the PIN storage and transfer, data distribution, financial procedures and

security procedures; and

an independent financial institution for electronically distributing,

managing and collecting funds.

Description of the Diagrams

Preferred embodiments of the invention shall now be described by means

of non-limiting examples only and with reference to the accompanying

diagrams wherein :

Diagram 1 is a schematic layout of an electronic sale of pre-paid cellular

airtime;

Diagram 2 is a schematic layout of an electronic distribution of pre-paid

cellular airtime; Diagram 3 is a schematic layout of an electronic recharge of pre-paid

cellular airtime;

Diagram 4 is a schematic layout of an electronic chip card replenishment

of pre-paid value for call box users; and

Diagram 5 is a schematic layout of an electronic sale and an electronic

recharge via the Internet of pre-paid cellular airtime.

Detailed Description of the Diagrams

1 . Electronic Sale : (Diagram 1 )

The electronic re-sale has four components that are required to

effect the sale of the pre-paid value. The components are :

The Network Device : This is a device that is attached to a

network and consists of a screen, printer, secure keyboard, note

acceptor, processor and car reader capable of reading magnetic

stripe cards as well as communicating with a chip card and PC

multimedia components. The device provides the point of

interaction for the customer and uses these devices to effect the

sale : The screen is a traditional computer driven electronic

display monitor that will vary in accordance with the system

configuration put in place.

The printer is a traditional computer driven printer.

The secure keyboard provides the capability of capturing

security codes from customers in support of banking cards

and other such identification products.

The note acceptor is a device which can optically recognise

a bank note and in doing so determine the value of the

note. This facility is required for cash payments.

The processor is a computer chip with the capability of

driving all the linked devices and running the software

programme required to facilitate the processing of the

electronic sale.

The card reader is a device that reads the magnetic stripe that is

part of the plastic cards used in the banking industry. In addition

to this the card reader is also capable of reading from and writing to the computer chips that are becoming part of the banking card

market.

Network : The networking capability is a key entity in provision

of this service and consists of a number of differing technologies

representing all of the digital communications facilities available

today (radio and satellite as well as the traditional telecom

infrastructure) . This component is the carrier that links all the

other components together where required.

Computer Managing Means ("The switch") : This is a computer

that provides a number of services in the pre-paid processing

cycle. The following is a breakdown of the services available via

the switch :

Network management : the switch manages the network

where it is able to consolidate the state of health of all the

machines from which maintenance calls can be scheduled.

In addition to managing the maintenance process on the

hardware, the system also provides statistics in support of

SLA management. PIN Management : The PIN is an identification number

that is unique and is used by the client to effect the

recharge of the pre-paid value on completions of the sale.

The switch is the custodian of all the PIN's that are stored

for sale to the public. These PIN's are transported to the

switch either via magnetic media or via a network link.

Distribution : The switch is the central point from which

data and software are distributed to the devices attached to

the network for the processing of the pre-paid value.

Financial Processing : The switch provides connectivity into

the banking systems where payment for the pre-paid value

is realised. Apart from the transmission of data between

Cell f Service and the bank, the switch also has extensive

journalising and reconciliation capabilities. These added

features are a key component in the process of settlement

between the bank and the parties involved in the sale of the

pre-paid value.

Security Management : The switch provides for the secure

management of the environment by ensuring that security zones between the components of the system are

populated with encryption keys. Apart from the

distribution of the keys the system has its own

encryption capability and it is able to verify

that data sent and received at the switch is

correct .

Financial Institution ("The Bank") : The bank is a

key component in the process of selling the pre-paid

value in that this is the way in which funds can be

electronically distributed and managed. The bank

will provide for the collection of the funds from

customers (where bank cards re used) and the

distribution of funds between the companies

participating in the sale process.

In Diagram 1 :

1 & 2 show the transfer of "PIN" files between

the "PHONE COMPANY" and the "SWITCH" through either

magnetic media or file transfer.

3 represents the network connection between the

"KIOSK" and the "SWITCH" which is a basic requirement for the transaction processing.

4 is the network link with the "BANK"

5 shows the data bases used by the "SWITCH" to

store "PINS" and audit trails.

6 shows the link between the "TELEPHONE

COMPANY" and "CELLULAR PHONE" which activates the

recharge as the last step in this sales process .

The process of the electronic sale of pre-paid value

is broken up into a number of steps . The sequence

of these steps could vary and in some cases certain

steps are not required but what is detailed below

are the steps in a basic sales cycle:

Step 1: Pre-paid PINs are obtained from the

service provider on a regular basis or when

customer demands exhausts the stock on hand.

The PINs are obtained from the provider in a

file form and either transmitted to the switch across the network link or delivered on magnetic

media.

Step 2 : The customer initiates the transaction and

requests a value recharge at one of the network devices.

Selecting the correct option on the interface menu of the

network device starts the process. In this instance the

network deice can be one of a number of devices which

include the kiosks, ATMs, point of sale devices and the cell

phone itself. At this point communications between the

device and the switch will be established where they are

not already in operation.

Step 3 : The customer is requested to pay for the

transaction. The payment process can either be with cash

where the customer will be requested to feed the cash for

payment into a note acceptor on the device or via a bank

card/registered (either credit card, debit card, chip card or

a pre-registered banking account relationship). The

payment mechanism has an influence on the process

employed at the point of service and the individual

processes are : If the payment is via a bank card the customer will be

requested to key in the bank PIN associated with the

bank being used in the transaction. In some cases

the customer will also be requested to specify the

5 bank account which is to be debited with the costs of

the transaction. In some cases the customer will also

be requested to specify the bank account which is to

be debited with the costs of the transaction.

Where a chip card electronic purse is used, the chip

10 will be requested to authorise the transaction and if

the transaction is authorised the correct value will be

deducted from the chip.

In the cases of a personal device being the

transaction medium the payment process will be via

1 5 a pre-registered banking relationship unless the same

technology is present as is found in the public access

devices. In this case the customer will have pre-

registered a personal identification object coupled

with an access code (in the case of a cell phone it

20 will be the phone number of the phone transmitted from the phone as part of call liner identification and

a password).

Step 4 : The network device will transmit the transaction

date to the switch in a secure manner that makes use of

industry standard encryption and macing techniques.

Where the device is a personal one without the capability of

encryption the data will not be secure in transit but as both

the payment medium and the beneficiary are pre-registered

there is no risk.

Step 5 : There are two basic conditions that are dealt with

at the switch with respect to the banking interface. The

first is the traditional banking process where either the

banking card and its PIN are available or there is a pre-

registered relationship between the customer and his

banking details and the second is where the transaction has

already been authorised by a chip card. The details of the

two options are :

Where the banking card or a pre-registered

relationship exists, the switch will format a payment request to the bank.

Where the transaction has already been approved by

a chip card the message that is constructed for

transmission to the bank will not be an approval

request but rather information for accounting

purposes.

In both situations the switch will retain audit trails of the

process.

Step 6 : In this step the bank will process the debiting of

the customer's account. This process will, where the client

is not a customer of the acquiring bank, necessitate the use

of the Interbank real-time settlement mechanisms. Once

the bank has satisfied itself that the payment request meets

with their approval, then the customer will be debited. The

funds realised from the debiting cycle will then be credited

to the pre-determined beneficiary accounts that will include

the account of the telephone company. Once the bank has

completed the accounting process it will return either the

approval or rejection notification back to the switch. Step 7 : On receiving the response from the bank the

switch will do one of two things :

On the receipt of a transaction rejection notification

the switch will notify the network device that the

transaction has been rejected, complete with

explanation.

On the receipt of an acceptance message the switch

will retrieve a PIN from the local database and

forward this to the network device. Where the

network device is a cell phone, the message will be

forwarded using the SMS services available to the

cell phones.

In both cases the system will journalise the transactions for

both accounting and statistical purposes.

Step 8 : The network device on the receipt of the

completion message from the switch will notify the

customer of a rejection where the transaction cannot be

successfully complete. Where the transaction can be completed successfully the PIN number will either be

displayed on the screen or printed on the receipt where a

printer is present. Once the transaction is successfully

completed a completion message will be generated.

Step 9 : The customer will activate the recharge by

connecting with the telephone company and entering the

PIN number received as part of the transaction.

Electronic Distribution : (Diagram 2)

This is a process that has been crated to replace the current

system of scratch cards that are used in some of telephone

operations where pre-paid services are used. In this service the

PIN numbers from the telephone company are acquired either

through magnetic means or over a digital network connection. In

some cases the PIN numbers will be retained in a central database

either at the switch or distributed to local databases.

In Diagram 2 :

1 & 2 show the transfer of " PIN" files between

the " PHONE COMPANY" and the " SWITCH" through either

magnetic media or file transfer . 3 represents the network connection between the

"KIOSK" and the "SWITCH" which is a basic

requirement for the transaction processing. This

link can be used to distribute a file of "PINS" to a

local data base for local sale 7 and in some cases

the "SWITCH" can become redundant with the file

downloaded directly from the "TELEPHONE COMPANY" 8A,

in this instance the financial transaction will be

sent direct to the bank 8.

4 is the network link with the "BANK" .

5 & 7 are central and distributed "PIN" data

bases respectively.

6 shows the link between the "TELEPHONE

COMPANY" and "CELLULAR PHONE" which activates the

recharge as the last step in this sales process.

The sale at the retail outlet will either be via

cash or bank card (credit card, debit card or chip

card) , handled by the sales assistant utilising the

retail POS services. Once the sales assistant is satisfied that payment has been received a PIN will be

requested from the database and printed either on the printer of

the Till or the POS device. Where the Till or POS device is

attached to a network the PIN will be retrieved from the central

database on the switch or from the local database. In the case

where the sale is effected through a cash transaction the

merchant's account will be debited at the bank with the credits

being processed to the participants in the normal manner.

The process of database refreshment will in the case of the switch

be the same as utilised within the electronic sales process. In the

case of the distributed database it will employ the same process

from the telephone company as the switch or receive a secondary

distribution from the switch by either magnetic media or via a

network distribution process.

On receipt of the printed PIN the customer will follow the same

process as is currently in place for the scratch cards and the

electronic sales process and dial the telephone company followed

by en entering of the PIN to activate the recharge. 3 . Electronic Recharge : (Diagram 3 )

In Diagram 3 :

1 is the network link over which the recharge

instruction to the " PHONE COMPANY" is effected .

3 represents the network connection between the

"KIOSK/P . O . S . " and the "SWITCH" which is a basic

requirement for the transaction processing .

4 is the network link with the "BANK" .

5 represents the audit trail data bases .

6 is the f inal step in the cycle where the

"TELEPHONE COMPANY" activates the recharge .

Electronic recharge is an extension of the electronic sales process

that takes the automation of the recharge facility to a new

dimension by eradicating the need for the PIN. This process

requires additional networking capability with a connection

between the switch and the telephone company. The process

changes that occur in this function over and above the function of

the electronic sales function are : The switch on receipt of the authorization from the banking

system will connect to the telephone company's computer

system via the network and request a recharge for other

given phone number. Once the telephone company has

approved and enacted the recharge it will return a positive

acknowledgement to the switch. The switch will return a

positive completion to the network device.

The network device will request that the customer capture

the phone number that the recharge is requested for. The

capture of this date will either be via entry on the keyboard

of the device or any other input device (bar code scanner, card reader, touch screen, etc.) or where a cell phone is

used via a call line identification. The network device will

print a receipt for the transaction (where required) that will

not includes the PIN number as in the electronic process.

The PIN in this instance will be replaced by a reference code

for audit trail purposes.

The telephone company as the additional factor in the online

recharge process will accept the request for recharge from

the switch after which it will inactivate the recharge either

through an automatic process in its billing system or via a

SMS message to the cell phone. 4. Chip Card Replenishment: (Diagram 4)

In Diagram 4 :

1 is the network link with the "BANK" where the

request for payment is processed.

2 is the network link for the device processing

the value sale and subsequent chip card

replenishment . This leg may in some cases connect

direct to the "BANK" for the financial leg of the

transaction 3.

This process has much in common with the recharge

utilised for the cell phone service but is aimed at

providing similar services for traditional call box

users (public pay phones) . As technology advances

this service will be used to charge chip cards for

use in other devices which include other forms of

telephony, intelligent water meters, intelligent

electricity meters, Internet phoner, etc. The

entities utilised here include those specified in

the electronic sales processes and will include an

additional entity in the pay phone chip card. The

process changes that will be made to the electronic

sales process for this function are: The switch will process the financial as with the electronic

sale, but instead of transmitting the PIN number to the

network device it will transmit as recharge instruction

complete with the value of the recharge. The switch will

have to produce settlement/reconciliation listings for the

telephone company.

On receipt of a transaction confirmation the network device

will request that the customer insert the pay phone chip

card after which the device will add the pre-paid value to

the resident on the card. This service can be extended to

include a wide range of other pre-paid value items that

include pre-paid taxi fares, pre-paid electricity, pre-paid

water, etc. In these situations meters capable of reading

cards carrying the value replace the pay phone. The

network device will in some cases be upgraded to include

a dispense option where it will dispense disposable chip

cards of predetermined value. On the completion of the

transaction the network device will issue a

receipt where required and process a completion message back to the switch . 5. Electronic Sale Via the Internet: (Diagram 5)

In Diagram 5 :

1 is the network link between the "SWITCH" and

the "TELEPHONE COMPANY" which is used for the

distribution of "PIN" files and where an electronic

recharge occurs the network link will be used to

process the instruction on the "TELEPHONE COMPANY" .

2 is where a manual distribution of "PIN" files

on magnetic media is utilised.

3 is the network link that is required between

the "INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS" and the "SWITCH".

4 is the link between the "INTERNET DEVICES"

and the "INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS". In this

instance the device is generally owned by a customer

of the "INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER".

5 is the network link with the "BANK" to

facilitate financial settlement.

6 and 6A are the network links between both the

customer and the "SWITCH" and a recognised

certification authority. The authority is the key

component of the transaction which certifies the

authenticity of both the client and the merchant (in this case the "SWITCH").

7 is the data base where "PINS" for the

electronic sale are stored. In addition to the

"PINS", comprehensive audit trails are also stored.

8 is where either the customer (in the

electronic sales process) or the "TELEPHONE COMPANY"

activates the recharge completion.

The electronic sale via the Internet differs little

from the electronic sale already described. As this

is a customer owned network device there is more

than one option that has to be addressed. The

following are the differences to the electronic

sales process:

The network device and the customer are pre-

registered in accordance with the SET and SSL

protocols. As market trends change, other

newly developed security protocols will be

catered for.

The switch is pre-registered in accordance with

the SET and SSL protocols.

The customer has hardware security in the form

of hardware security module or a chip card reader which enables secure communications in

either a browser based TCP/IP or proprietary

Cell f Service environment .

5

6. Electronic Recharge via the Internet : (Diagram 5)

This process is a combination of the electronic sales process on

the Internet as well as the standard electronic recharge. In this

instance the switch retains that network connection to the 0 telephone company for the auto recharge while using the system

changes detailed in the electronic sale on the Internet.

The services herein described are all supported by error recovery

processes allowing for the reversal of all transaction elements where

5 there has been a systems failure which prevents the successful

completion of the transaction.

It will be appreciated that many variations in detail are possible without

departing from the scope and/or spirit of the invention as claimed in the

Q claims hereinafter.

Claims

1 . A method for electronically providing pre-paid values including the
steps of providing pre-paid values to purchasers by means of an
electronic managing means for managing the provision of pre-paid
values electronically to a network device at a point of sale on an
electronic network, the network enabling communication
electronically between the point of sale and the managing means;
requesting a specific pre-paid value from the managing means;
transmitting payment data to the managing means, enabling the
managing means to credit a beneficiary account; and providing
reference detail about the specific pre-paid value provided to the
point of sale.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the provision of pre¬
paid values is for any one of the purposes selected from the group
consisting of electronic sale, electronic distribution, electronic
recharge and chip card replenishment of such pre-paid values.
3. The method as claimed in claim 2 including the steps of requesting
a recharge electronically in accordance with the specific pre-paid
value from a service provider; and providing an acknowledgement of the specific pre-paid value recharged to the point of sale as the
reference detail.
4. The method as claimed in claim 2 including the step of inserting
a chip card at the point of sale into the network device, thus
enabling the managing means to add the specific pre-paid value by
means of the network device to a value resident on the chip card
for the replenishment thereof.
5. The method as claimed in claim 2 including the step of pre-
registering the network device, the purchaser and the managing
means in accordance with at least one of the so-called SET and
SSL protocols for electronic sale via the so-called Internet.
6. The method as claimed in claim 3 including the step of pre-
registering the network device, the purchaser and the managing
means in accordance with any one of the so-called SET and SSL
protocols for electronic recharge via the so-called Internet.
7. The method as claimed in claim 2 wherein the step of transmitting
data is supported by a step of making payment by one of the
methods of payment selected from the group consisting of cash payment, bank card payment and pre-registered banking account
relationship.
8. The method as claimed in claim 2 including a preliminary step of
providing the computerised managing means with a stock of
Personal Identity Numbers ("PIN"s) as reference detail for the pre¬
paid values.
9. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pre-paid values are
pre-paid cellular airtime.
10. A network device for use in a method for vending, distributing ,
recharging and/or replenishing pre-paid values electronically as
claimed in claim 1 , the network device comprising a vending
machine having a traditional computer driven electronic display
monitor;
a traditional computer driven printer;
a keyboard, capable of capturing security codes from purchasers
in support of banking cards;
note acceptor means for optically recognizing bank notes and
determining the monetary value thereof;
processing means for electronically driving the hardware and software incorporated in the vending machine required to facilitate
the processing of an electronic transaction; and
card reader means for reading the magnetic strip of banking cards
to be used for providing payment and computer chips.
An electronic system for use in a method for vending, distributing,
recharging and/or replenishing pre-paid value electronically as
claimed in claim 1 , the system comprising
a network device;
an electronic network, including at least one of the digital
communication facilities presently available such as radio, satellite
and landline telecommunication;
computerised managing means for electronically managing the
network, PIN storage and transfer, data distribution, financial
procedures and security procedures; and
an independent financial institution for electronically distributing,
managing and collecting funds.
PCT/GB1998/001096 1997-04-15 1998-04-15 Method for electronically vending, distributing, and recharging of pre-paid value, a vending machine and an electronic system for use therein WO1998047112A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
ZA97/3188 1997-04-15
ZA9703188 1997-04-15
ZA97/9130 1997-10-13
ZA9709130 1997-10-13

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP19980917368 EP1010148A1 (en) 1997-04-15 1998-04-15 Method for electronically vending, distributing, and recharging of pre-paid value, a vending machine and an electronic system for use therein

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1998047112A1 true true WO1998047112A1 (en) 1998-10-22

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ID=27143800

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Country Status (2)

Country Link
EP (1) EP1010148A1 (en)
WO (1) WO1998047112A1 (en)

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