WO1999056254A1 - Prepaid access for information network - Google Patents

Prepaid access for information network Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1999056254A1
WO1999056254A1 PCT/ZA1999/000023 ZA9900023W WO9956254A1 WO 1999056254 A1 WO1999056254 A1 WO 1999056254A1 ZA 9900023 W ZA9900023 W ZA 9900023W WO 9956254 A1 WO9956254 A1 WO 9956254A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
system
user
credit
service provider
information
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/ZA1999/000023
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Jason Peter Berry
Original Assignee
Claridge Trading One (Proprietary) 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
Priority to ZA98/3469 priority Critical
Priority to ZA9803469 priority
Application filed by Claridge Trading One (Proprietary) Limited filed Critical Claridge Trading One (Proprietary) Limited
Publication of WO1999056254A1 publication Critical patent/WO1999056254A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/22Payment schemes or models
    • G06Q20/28Pre-payment schemes, e.g. "pay before"
    • 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
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/04Payment circuits
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/22Payment schemes or models
    • G06Q20/26Debit schemes, e.g. "pay now"
    • 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

Abstract

This invention relates to a method and a system for enabling access to an information network and the monitoring of information products or services available thereon. The invention includes a method and a system for enabling users to access information networks using a prepaid system. The invention relates to the interfacing of user actions with an electronic purse (58), used to pay for information products (59) and services (60). Furthermore, the invention allows for access to an information network such as the Internet using a pay-as-you-go type accounting system. Users deplete their available credit as they use or access services or products and can replenish them in real time or when access is again needed. The credit balance is stored at the user base or on one or more databases (52, 53) of at least one or more of the following: the Internet service provider, the financial institution or the administrator. The credits could be used to purchase other products available from sites that are accessible on the information network.

Description

1 PREPAID ACCESS FOR INFORMATION NETWORK

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a method and a system for enabling users to request a

certain bandwidth for accessing information products and services on an

information network, as well as a pre-payment interface for such access.

Access to a traditional information network, such as the Internet, is provided by

an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with a regional Point of Presence (POP),

enabling subscribers to dial into an ISP in order to access information networks,

such as the World Wide Web (WWW), or related products such as E-mail or

news groups. Subscribers typically pay a fixed annual or monthly fee to an ISP

for the privilege of accessing the Internet.

Internet subscribers and ISP' s are often victim to one or more of the following

disadvantages. The cost of general Internet access is a fixed annual or monthly

subscription fee, regardless of the duration of time spent accessing the

information network, the rate of downloading of information or the time of day

at which the accessing of information takes place. With this costing method,

the users who occasionally spend small amounts of time accessing specialised

services, such as E-mail, are prejudiced as opposed to users who exploit their

Internet subscriptions by downloading large quantities of information.

Furthermore, all users share the available bandwidth with the result that large 2 information downloads slow the rate of data transfer for all users. Users who

make large information downloads during peak hours overload the network,

forcing the ISP to provide a wider bandwidth, at high cost, to accommodate all

subscribers. Although this costly provision is necessary to cater for subscribers

during peak hours, the wider bandwidth is not required and therefore is mostly

unnecessary for the greater part of the day, during the off-peak hours.

BACKGROUND ART

Prior art discloses standard networks and procedures involving the access of

information services by means of logging into an ISP and providing an access

password, which is subsequently verified against information contained in a

database. Payment is contractually based on a fixed amount, usually effected by

means of a debit order executing payment from subscriber account to ISP.

Network access and data transfer is dependent on the number of subscribers on¬

line at any specific time and the general usage of communications such as the

sharing of bandwidth. Alternatively, subscribers may request a bandwidth from

an ISP and may be charged at a proportional rate.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide subscribers with access

to information services at a rate that is dependent on the duration and conditions

of use as well as the speed of information transfer. An object of the invention 3 is also to enable users to specify and select services associated with a specific

bandwidth or data throughput. It is a further object of the invention to enable

users to purchase access credit from the ISP before using the service and to

subsequently deplete their credit, as the services are used, at a rate proportional

to the features of the selected service, i.e. bandwidth, time of access, etc.

The objectives further include the accessing of an information network through

an ISP without the pre-registration of an account with users simply dialing into

an ISP, entering credit card details for on-line payment, selecting the length of

time and/or bandwidth needed and receiving credit that could be depleted as

services are used. Furthermore, should a user require a specific data throughput,

resources may be allocated specifically by the ISP, guaranteeing the requested

transfer rate. When credit is completely exhausted, a screen input could prompt

the user to purchase further credit without having to interrupt the connection.

A further objective of the invention is for ISP' s to expand their business to a

market segment that prefers to pay according to information network usage,

rather than a fixed monthly payment with standard connection and data

throughput. ISP's could thus be enabled to manage their resources more

effectively by redistributing the bandwidth requirement and adapting their

service to specific user requirements. Furthermore, income could be guaranteed

and costly financial management could be minimised. The obj ect of the 4 invention is to limit the monthly payment and account management, adding

value to the administration infrastructures of ISP' s.

A general obj ect of the invention is that, if large information downloads were

transferred during off-peak hours, the bandwidth requirement could be reduced.

In this manner, an ISP could economise on the improved workload distribution

by expanding its business to cater for more subscribers, without incurring the

additional cost of increasing the available bandwidth. In addition, recreational

subscribers would have improved data transfer speeds while large information

downloads would be faster and more cost effective, in terms of telephone usage,

to the user.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a system enabling

user-specific access to an information network on a pre-paid basis, the system

including at least one user communication means at user base for

communicating with at least one service provider, with communication means

to at least one information network; means for facilitating communication

between the user and the service provider; at least one mechanism for allocating

credit to a user identification; and a management system that manages the

distribution of bandwidth resources according to user requests and reflects the

use of these services, at a specified charge, by depleting the credit in an 5 electronic purse of the user. The service provider is preferably an ISP. A user

base may be at home or in an office and the communication means may include

a personal computer with a device such as a modem, linked to the service

provider.

The communication means may include a dial-up facility into an information

network with communication links such as dedicated lines to another service

provider, or directly to the Internet.

The information network may include at least one computer network or system,

with access to at least one database, and preferably may include complex and

multiple systems and networks interconnected locally or remotely to each other.

The mechanism for allocating credit may include a financial transaction system

for the inputting of account details of a funds transfer mechanism or the

identification details of a pre-paid ISP voucher, enabling the allocation of credit

upon payment.

The system may further include means of making payment by transfer of

financial resources from a user to a service provider in real time or at some

future date. The financial resources may include moneys in an account,

electronic cash (E-Cash) or credit based accounts, with payments authorised 6 through a financial institution, such as a bank. The means of making payment

may include a system where users purchase ISP tokens from retail outlets.

Upon input of a token identification number, a token may be verified by the ISP

against a database of token identification numbers and the associated status and

value of the tokens can be credited to a user's account, providing them with pre¬

paid information services. Alternatively, the means for making payment may

include a system whereby ISP vouchers are purchased over an information

network.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method for

providing access to services of an information network, the method including

the steps of providing for the purchasing of credit from an ISP according to a

specific means of payment substantially as herein before defined; providing for

the entering of a unique user identification; providing for the requesting

specific services; verifying the user identification against information contained

on a database, thereby ensuring that the user is associated with sufficient credit

to proceed; and providing the requested services. The method may include the

step of prompting the user and facilitating the purchasing of further credit, once

user credit is exhausted.

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

controlling and managing ISP resources including the step of reflecting the use 7 of ISP services on a subscriber's credit balance in relation to a selected rate,

calculated in accordance with certain information products or services.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a system for user

identification using a unique user identification code (User ID) that includes at

least one of a group consisting of a user name, ID number, account and credit

card number. The user ID may also be associated with hardware or software ID

such as a hard drive serial number, CPU ID or software ID such as a 'cookie' ,

encrypted data string, identification software or the like.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention there is provided a system for

controlling and managing information and database access including means for

notifying and interrupting one or more information services to indicate

insufficient credit availability and to enable the user to purchase further credit.

According to a sixth aspect of the invention there is provided a system for the

recording and logging of subscriber credit comprising at least one of the group

consisting of a user base accounting system; an ISP system, incorporating the

necessary application software; a financial facility such as a bank network in

communication with an Internet access monitoring system at the ISP; and a

system administrator connected to an Internet access monitoring system at the

ISP. 8

According to a seventh aspect of the invention there is provided a method and

system for verifying the integrity of ISP vouchers, the vouchers including a

unique identification number which is associated with a certain status and value,

the method including the step of verifying the voucher by comparing it with

information contained in a database held at the ISP.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of a

non-limiting example only and with reference to the accompanying diagrams

wherein:

Figure 1 is a block diagram of a first embodiment of a system in accordance

with the invention;

Figure 2 is a block diagram of a credit allocation and monitoring process in

accordance with the invention;

Figure 3 is an illustration of the system used to register vouchers against a

user identification;

Figure 4 is block diagram of a bank network used to sell and distribute

prepaid vouchers;

Figure 5 is a schematic illustrating the method in accordance with the

invention to replenish user credit by means of prepaid vouchers; 9 Figure 6 is a schematic illustrating the requesting and allocating of

bandwidth by the user;

Figure 7 shows a system for implementing Internet pay-as-you-go with a

voucher system according to the invention;

Figure 8 is a schematic of the method used to register credit against a user

identification;

Figure 9 illustrates an accounting system used to implement prepaid

information services;

Figure 10 is a simplified block diagram of a method of facilitating prepaid

services on a communications network.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

For the purpose of this specification, the term "network" or "communications

network" shall be taken to include any one or more of the networks associated

with the Internet, Intranet, Extranet as well as a Wide Area Network (WAN),

Local Area Network (LAN), Virtual Private Network (VPN) or an Managed

Private Network (MPN), using any connection techniques such as Diginet

services, Leased Line services, on demand connections, X25 networks, satellite

services, ATMo (asynchronuous transfer mode), frame relay or other.

The term SP or service provider shall include any party, business or entity

providing communication services over digital networks. More specifically, the 10 term ISP or Internet Service Provider shall be taken to include Service providers

offering connection or communication to the Internet with associated services,

i.e. news and E-mail. IAP or Internet Access Provider refers to an entity, not

necessarily associated with communication services but with providing users

with access means to a network or the Internet. The term POP or Point of

Presence, refers to a location to which users may direct their communication

request for access to a network . The term VPN or Virtual Private Network

may include any network connecting one or more entities, providing information

services to a select group, which is specifically designed and implemented for

them.

MPN or Managed Private Network includes any network between one or more

entities, providing communication and information services to a select group.

Portals include any information center or information centers providing

communication and information services to a select group.

Bank service terminals shall be taken to include POS devices (Point of Sale),

ATM' s (Automatic Teller Machines), SST' s (Self Service Tellers/Terminals),

electronic commerce portals and CAT' s (Client Activated Terminals), as well

as other devices such as an electronic kiosk.

The user ID may be associated with any one or more of: a user name, user 11 identification code, login name, user database identity, user security code, user

identity number, user account, credit or bank account number.

Tokens/credits shall be purchased or received as bonuses, through loyalty

programs, or any other incentive based technique whereby such tokens/credit

may be accrued.

Detailed in Figure 1 , there is shown a system for accessing an information

network including a user A, at a user base such as a set-top box 1 , linked to a

television and a communication device such as a modem 3 ; and a user B, with

a personal computer 2 and a modem 3 linked to an. information network service

provider such as an ISP 4 through a POP. Credit balances are held in a database

I

5 at one or more of the following: the ISP 4, the financial institution 6 and the

administrator 7. All of the above are linked to each other via the WWW, the

Internet 10 or other means. Network connections, 8 and 9 respectively, extend

between the Administrator 7 and ISP 4 and the ISP 4 and financial institution

6, as indicated. Furthermore, the users credit balance could be held at the user

bases 1 and 2 through appropriate means, i.e. on memory means, smart disk or

the like ( not shown ), or on a database held on an information network.

Figure 2 is a block diagram of a credit allocation and monitoring process, with

a user dialing into a service provider and logging into the information network 12 12. The user is presented with the ISP interface 13 , such as a home page.

Whether or not access to information services and products could be awarded

is determined by verifying that the user ID is associated with sufficient credit

to pay for said products or services. If the user has sufficient credit, the value

is determined 16 and access is granted to a selected service or product 17. If

the user has no credit, credit could be acquired by means of a credit transaction

14 and/or funds transfer or electronic payment transaction 15 at a certain rate.

Access 17 to user selected products or services 18, 19, 20 is continuously

monitored 21 . The monitor could evaluate time 23 , i.e. the duration for which

access is granted; non-gratuitous Internet sites, downloads or services accessed

or used; or the data throughput rate 24. Should the user' s credit become

completely exhausted, process 14 or 15 is initiated. When the connection is

broken or the user exits the information network 25, the monitor is updated and

the database is accessed to update the user credit balance.

Figure 3 shows a simplified embodiment of the invention illustrating the use of

voucher registration and/or reference codes for the purpose of registering credit

to a user ID; including a slip or voucher 26 with codes or numbers thereon with

a second slip 27, if a speedpoint or other POS (Point Of Sale) device is used.

The voucher for registering or replenishing credit could be purchased from a

bank network 28 comprising bank terminals 29 connected to a Bank mainframe 13 30, which in turn, is connected to a service provider database 31 that contains

voucher identity numbers. A second database 33 contains account details of

users 34 and could include data on the slip or voucher 35 , i.e. the voucher ID

and a transaction number 36 and/or reference number 37. The voucher

identification code is used to register value to a users ID at the service provider,

and is used to replenish the user's electronic purse so that they can subsequently

purchase products and services over the information network.

Figure 4 is a basic block diagram illustrating a bank type network 38 used to

sell and distribute prepaid vouchers, comprised of an electronic network 39

connected to one or more banks 40, which can recharge user accounts from one

or more databases 41 directly via a link with the database or via the ISP 43.

Furthermore, the Banks 40 can be connected to a switch 42, such as SASWITCH

or Multinet. The vouchers or tokens can be sold and distributed via any bank

service terminals, such a ATM' s 44, SST' s 45, CAT' s 46 or others 48, or via

point of sale devices 48, i.e. speedpoints, cardpos, etc.

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating the method 49 for using vouchers

to replenish or register value at an ISP 50. The ISP is connected to a first

database 52 containing voucher identity codes 54 which are checked / verified

before a value is associated with a user identity 55, contained in a second

database 53. This allows user access to information networks or purchase of 14 information products for a predetermined period, i.e. for 15 days or a limited

duration, i.e. 2 hours of Internet access. A voucher can be used to replenish or

register value 57 on the account or electronic purse 58 of another user for use

in purchasing products and/or services 59 from the information network.

Figure 6 shows a system of the invention, where users request and pay for a

specified bandwidth 61. A first user 62 can select a service 63 , that is

associated with a certain minimum bandwidth requirement, for example video

conferencing. The system automatically allocates bandwidth 64 to a user,

enabling them to access the information they desire. User credit, registered

either at the ISP or at a financial institution, is depleted as the bandwidth is

used. A second user 63 selects a required bandwidth 64, i.e. a 32K line 65 and

is provided with this service. In yet another example two users 66, 67, use the

same line 68 but share it according to a certain ratio. Furthermore, a user 69

may have a predetermined bandwidth requirement for a specified period of time

70 which will then be charged accordingly.

Figure 7 shows an embodiment of prepaid Internet or Internet pay-as-you-go 71 ;

including an ISP (Internet service provider) 72 with a plurality of modems 73

or communication interfaces at a POP (Point of presence) 74. Vouchers are

registered against a user ID 75 and monitored in relation to usage 76.

Subsequently, the resultant user credit 77 is calculated in relation to time used 15 or information accessed or at a standard fixed rate 80.

Figure 8 shows the method 81 used to register credit against a user ID. A user

at user base 82 dials into an ISP 83 where they are requested to input their user

ID 84 (if not automatically determined). The input is verified against a

database of available users with another procedure 88. If the user ID is invalid

91 , it is be re-registered 93 or a user exits 94. After verification or registration

of the user ID, the user inputs a voucher identification number 85, subsequently

verified 86 against a database of available vouchers 87. If invalid 92, it can be

re-entered 93, and if valid the associated credit is registered 96 against the user

ID, and access is enabled 96. As the user accesses the network 98, user credit

is updated 99 until the user logs off the network 100.

Figure 9 shows accounting system 101 used in the invention. A plurality of

modems 102 or communication interfaces via a POP 103 allows users to dial-up

or connect to an ISP 109 for access to the Internet. Alternatively, the users is

associated with fixed network connections 104. User ID's are registered 105 in

relation to available credit at the user database 108. Products and services are

monitored 106 and updated 107 as access to the Information network is granted.

In one embodiment the credit registration and/or allocation process is

associated with an account transfer at a financial institution 1 13. Funds are

transferred from a first account 1 1 1 of a user to that of a service provider 1 12, 16 in real time, after which credit is allocated.

Figure 10 is a simplified illustration of a method 1 15 of facilitating prepaid

services on a communications network, comprising at least one user 1 16 with

communication means 120 to at least one service provider 1 17 which is

connected to at least one information network 1 19. Furthermore the invention

includes a mechanism 1 18 that facilitates the allocation of credits to user ID.

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 claims

hereinafter.

Claims

17CLAIMS
1. A system for enabling user-specific access to information networks on a pre¬
paid basis, the system including at least one user communication means at
user base for communicating with at least one service provider, with
communication means to at least one information network; means for
facilitating communication between the user and the service provider; at
least one mechanism for allocating credit to a user identification upon
notification of payment; and a management system that manages the
distribution of resources according to user requests and reflects the use of
services on the credit of the user.
2. A system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the service provider is an ISP.
3. A system as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the user base is at home.
4. A system as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the user base is in an office.
5. A system as claimed in claim 1 , 2 or 3 wherein the communication means
includes a personal computer with a modem, linked to a service provider.
6. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the
communication means includes a dial-up facility into an information network
with communication links to another service provider.
7. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the
information network comprises at least one computer system, with access to
at least one database. 18
8. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the
information network comprises complex and multiple systems and networks
interconnected locally or remotely to each other.
9. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the
mechanism for allocating credit includes means for the inputting of account
details of a funds transfer, enabling the allocation of credit upon
notification.
10. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the
mechanism for allocating credit includes software for the inputting of the
identification details of a pre-paid voucher associated with a certain service
provider, enabling the allocation of credit upon verification.
1 1. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims that includes means
for making payment by transfer of financial resources from a user to a
service provider in real time.
12. A system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein financial
resources includes moneys in an account, electronic cash and credit based
accounts, with payments being authorised through a financial institution.
13. A system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12 wherein means for making
payment incorporates a system where users purchase service provider credit
in the form of tokens from retail outlets.
14. A system as claimed in claim 13 wherein upon input of a token identification
number, a token is verified by the service provider against a database of 19 token identification numbers and the associated status and value of the
tokens is credited to a user's account entitling them to pre-paid information
services.
15. A system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12 wherein service provider
vouchers are purchased over an information network.
16. A system for accessing an information network substantially as herein
described with reference to the accompanying diagrams.
17. A method for providing access to the services of an information network,
including the steps of: providing for the purchasing of credit from a service
provider, according to a specific payment mechanism; providing for the
entering of a unique user identification; providing for the request of specific
services; verifying the user identification against information contained on
a database, thereby ensuring that the user is associated with sufficient credit
to proceed; and providing the requested services.
18. A network as claimed in claim 17 including the step wherein the service
provider prompts the user and facilitates the purchasing of further credit,
once user credit is completely exhausted.
19. A method of controlling and managing the bandwidth of a service provider
including the step of providing an interface functioning to reflect the use of
services on a user's credit balance in relation to a selected rate, calculated
in accordance with certain information products or services.
20. A system for user identification using a unique user ID including at least one 20 of the group consisting of a user name, ID number, account and credit card
number.
21 . A system as claimed in claim 20 wherein the user ID is associated with
hardware or software ID as selected from the group consisting of a hard
drive serial number, CPU ID or software ID, encrypted data string and
identification software.
22. A system for controlling and managing information and database access
including means for notifying and interrupting one or more information
services to indicate insufficient credit available and to enable the user to
purchase further credit.
23. A system for the recording and logging of subscriber credit comprising at
least one of the group consisting of a user base accounting system; a service
provider system, incorporating the necessary application software; a
financial facility such as a bank network in communication with an Internet
access monitoring system at the service provider; and a system administrator
connected to an Internet access monitoring system at the service provider.
24. A method for verifying the integrity of service vouchers, the vouchers
including a unique identification number which is associated with a certain
status and value, the method including the step of verifying the voucher by
comparing it with information contained in a database held at the service
provider.
25. A method for providing access to the services of an information network 21 substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying
drawings.
PCT/ZA1999/000023 1998-04-24 1999-04-23 Prepaid access for information network WO1999056254A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
ZA98/3469 1998-04-24
ZA9803469 1998-04-24

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU36745/99A AU3674599A (en) 1998-04-24 1999-04-23 Prepaid access for information network

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1999056254A1 true WO1999056254A1 (en) 1999-11-04

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WO (1) WO1999056254A1 (en)

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WO2000077747A1 (en) * 1999-06-10 2000-12-21 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Prepaid fixed quantity access to web services
EP1156620A1 (en) * 2000-05-16 2001-11-21 Kosmos Perfected installation for data exchange in a network , and associated payment card and method
EP1158471A1 (en) * 2000-05-26 2001-11-28 Horst Dipl.-Ing. Foidl System, method and program for payment in a telecommunication network
WO2001046922A3 (en) * 1999-12-20 2002-01-10 Online Resources Corp Method and apparatus for securely conducting financial transactions over an insecure network
WO2002011090A2 (en) * 2000-07-28 2002-02-07 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Method and apparatus for authentication and payment for devices participating in jini communities
FR2815206A1 (en) * 2000-10-10 2002-04-12 Canon Kk Communications network remote execution process having client execution request having step sending server execution cost equivalent money cost transfer.
FR2817056A1 (en) * 2001-02-01 2002-05-24 Shok Method for obtaining prepaid access to communications network, comprises previous stage of installing program in accessing computer which permits entry through intermediary of identification server
FR2817060A1 (en) * 2000-11-17 2002-05-24 Ride I System for distributing secure prepayment cards to communications network users, comprises calling on distribution systems favored by legal system and sharing costs between various economic agents
WO2002067498A1 (en) * 2001-02-22 2002-08-29 Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Publ) Prepaid access to internet protocol (ip) networks
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EP1266323A4 (en) * 2000-02-25 2005-04-20 Ipass Inc A method and system to facilitate financial settlement of service access between multiple parties
EP1269373A4 (en) * 2000-02-25 2005-04-20 Ipass Inc Method and system to normalize transaction data pertaining to accesses to a service provided via a plurality of service providers
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WO2002089075A3 (en) * 2001-05-02 2003-11-06 Ian David Tree Secure payment method and system
WO2002089075A2 (en) * 2001-05-02 2002-11-07 Virtual Access Limited Secure payment method and system
US7110979B2 (en) 2001-05-02 2006-09-19 Virtual Access Limited Secure payment method and system
WO2002091321A1 (en) * 2001-05-04 2002-11-14 Giesecke & Devrient Gmbh Method and arrangement for paying data accessible on a data network
EP1255399A1 (en) * 2001-05-04 2002-11-06 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Method and arrangement for billing of services
EP1454275A2 (en) * 2001-05-07 2004-09-08 ACTV, Inc. System and method for providing targeted programming outside of the home
WO2003010937A3 (en) * 2001-07-05 2003-11-20 Jason Cooper Method and system for access and usage management of a server application by a wireless communications appliance
WO2003010937A2 (en) * 2001-07-05 2003-02-06 Firesoft Technologies, Ltd Method and system for access and usage management of a server application by a wireless communications appliance
US7729484B1 (en) 2002-03-04 2010-06-01 Sprint Spectrum L.P. System and method for providing prepaid communications
FR2855704A1 (en) * 2003-05-26 2004-12-03 France Telecom Telecommunication terminal and telecommunication network connecting method, involves connecting terminal to network by connection time management system, when system receives connection authorization of determined duration
WO2005124708A1 (en) 2004-05-18 2005-12-29 France Telecom Anonymous and secure internet payment method and mobile devices
FR2870656A1 (en) * 2004-05-18 2005-11-25 France Telecom Process for anonymous and secure payment on internet and mobile
US7630927B2 (en) 2004-05-18 2009-12-08 France Telecom Anonymous and secure internet payment method and mobile devices
FR2871316A1 (en) * 2004-06-08 2005-12-09 France Telecom Service access controlling method for e.g. Internet network, involves supervising current session, disconnecting client from service when session period reaches authorized maximum period, and updating access rights
US7750923B2 (en) * 2007-04-05 2010-07-06 Microsoft Corporation Implementing limited function mode in a display device

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