WO2000065519A1 - Purchasing service for minors - Google Patents

Purchasing service for minors Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2000065519A1
WO2000065519A1 PCT/US2000/009792 US0009792W WO0065519A1 WO 2000065519 A1 WO2000065519 A1 WO 2000065519A1 US 0009792 W US0009792 W US 0009792W WO 0065519 A1 WO0065519 A1 WO 0065519A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
minor
guardian
merchandise
account
services
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2000/009792
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
George F. Morton
Martin Kuritz
Original Assignee
Morton George F
Martin Kuritz
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 US13057199P priority Critical
Priority to US60/130,571 priority
Priority to US13107899P priority
Priority to US60/131,078 priority
Application filed by Morton George F, Martin Kuritz filed Critical Morton George F
Publication of WO2000065519A1 publication Critical patent/WO2000065519A1/en

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
    • 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
    • G06Q20/227Payment schemes or models characterized in that multiple accounts are available to the payer
    • 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
    • G06Q20/385Use of an alias or a single-use code
    • 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
    • G06Q20/403Solvency checks
    • 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
    • G06Q20/403Solvency checks
    • G06Q20/4037Remote solvency checks
    • 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

Abstract

A method of doing business (10) with minors is disclosed. Consent is obtained from a guardian to open an account for a minor (12), purchasing information is obtained (16) and the minor is permitted to access the account (18). Purchasing information may includespending limits, purchasing restrictions on type of merchandise and services available to the minor, and how the merchandise and services are presented.

Description

PURCHASING SERVICE FOR MINORS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention pertains to a protocol for providing a purchasing service for minors. In particular, the purchasing service requires parental or legal guardian approval to permit a minor to purchase guardian approved merchandise or services.

The Internet is a rapidly growing decentralized network of networks that connects computers and other networks together that adhere to a basic set of communication standards and protocols. Websites comprised of web pages provide informational content and advertisements for users wishing to access information. Companies such as Yahoo! include links to retail web pages and chat groups, and provide links to other sources of data. It is relatively easy for a consumer to access websites offering all types of merchandise and services, some for adults only, from the privacy of a home computer. Much of the information is provided free of charge or for a nominal fee. There is a need for a website that is user friendly and allows minors and children to expand the scope and power of their purchasing abilities by providing access to guardian-approved and/or "G-rated" buying opportunities. G-rated merchandise and services may be defined as these items and services that are suitable for consumption by minors. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method of doing business with minors is presented. The method includes obtaining consent from a guardian to open an account for a minor, providing membership privileges to the minor, and providing access to the minor of pre- approved merchandise and services for purchase. Access to the pre-approved merchandise and services may be provided via an Internet web site, catalog, retail or wholesale stores, radio, television, or other distribution channels. Applicable account security measures and safeguards may include guardian imposed spending limits and/or merchandise-type restrictions, the availability of only "G-rated" merchandise and services for purchase, access by the minor and/or guardian to account activity through an Internet web site or through a secure database, the generation of periodic account activity statements, and the ability for authorized persons to cancel the account at any time.

Other implementations, modifications and aspects of the invention will be apparent from the figures, disclosure and the claims set forth below. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a flowchart of an implementation of a technique for providing a purchasing service for minors according to the invention.

Fig. 2 is a simplified block diagram of a computer system capable of running a software program to implement the technique of Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a block diagram of a distributor networked computer system capable of implementing the technique of Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is an example of a membership card for minors.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fig. 1 is a flowchart 10 of an implementation of a technique for providing a subscription service that enables minors to purchase goods and/or services. The method permits subscribing members, with prior parental approval, to have the opportunity to independently purchase a wide variety of approved merchandise and services, including but not limited to "G-rated" merchandise and services. G-rated and other types of merchandise and services may be made available through all marketing and distribution channels in commerce, including but not limited to direct mail, retail and wholesale stores, approved Internet web-sites, special mail-order catalogs, selected items in specialty catalogs, approved radio and television offers, and selected retail establishments.

Referring to Fig. 1, an adult consumer provides 12 guardian and minor information and indicates guardian authorization to permit the minor to purchase goods and/or services. The guardian is then asked 14 whether only G-rated merchandise can be accessed by the minor. If yes, then purchasing information is obtained 16. The purchasing information may include questions pertinent to obtain a credit line, or information required to establish a money account by electronically transferring money, and/or credit card information. Next, minor account information is provided 18, which may include opening a credit line, opening an account to draw on, and issuing a credit card, debit card or other types of membership card to the minor. Next, the minor is permitted 20 to access her account, possibly by an identification number or password or other membership information, and to purchase 22 the guardian-approved merchandise and services. Referring again to step 14, if other than G-rated merchandise is desired, then the guardian is asked 24 to provide further information concerning the desired level of merchandise that would be acceptable to offer the minor for purchase. For example, it may be acceptable to offer an electronic game containing some violent action scenes to a fifteen year old boy in addition to G-rated items. Thus, a rating system, such as that used to rate major motion pictures, could be used to categorize various merchandise and services and presented to a guardian for consideration and approval. Purchasing information is then obtained 16 and the other steps (e.g. 18, 20 and 22) required to establish the account for the minor and permit use of the account follow.

Membership in the subscription service system for minors initially will consist of children, regardless of how the age of majority is defined in a state or nation ("Minors"), who are under the care and custody of a parent or guardian. Membership may also be extended to minors after they reach the age of majority either by continuing the membership, or by issuing a new and/or replacement debit or credit card, or combined debit and credit card, for which the former minor will be responsible.

Applicants for membership may be a parent or guardian of a minor, or another person authorized by law to sign documents on behalf of the minor. Each applicant for membership may be required to sign a "Consent and Disclosure" form as part of the membership application process. The Consent and Disclosure form may include membership terms and conditions, and allows the applicant to specify spending limits, place restrictions on purchases, and specify any other restrictions on use of a credit or debit card. All applications may require payment of an initiation fee that includes the first year's annual membership dues, and may also require deposit or transfer of a minimum principal sum of money to open the minor's account. The system is flexible, and may allow annual debiting of annual dues from the account, charging an applicant's credit card, or paying by check or any other form of payment. The membership service may accept checks, money orders, or the applicant's credit card as payment for fees and account balances.

The system may also permit establishment of a "money market" account if certain minimum balances are maintained. Further, the membership service may allow limits on maximum account balances, and provide for annual "cash-back" credits for members that spend more than prescribed sums each year. Fig. 2 is a simplified block diagram illustrating a computer system 60 including a personal computer capable of running a software program implementing the techniques of Fig. 1. The personal computer may be an IBM® compatible or Apple® compatible machine or may be a personal digital assistant (PDA) such as a Palm Pilot®, contains hardware and software necessary for utilizing the techniques described above, may be small in size and portable, and may include connectivity hardware and software so that connections to a database 70 can be achieved from multiple locations.

The personal computer includes a housing 62 containing a central processing unit (CPU) 64, and a memory 66 associated with CPU that may contain pre-loaded software. The CPU 64 may be any conventional general purpose single or multi-chip microprocessor such as a Pentium® processor, a Pentium π® or III® processor, a Celeron® processor, a MIPS® processor, a Power PC® processor or an ALPHA® processor. In addition, the CPU 64 may be any conventional special purpose microprocessor such as a digital signal processor or graphics processor, and may include connections to conventional address, data and control lines. The memory 66 may be a random access (RAM) and/or read-only (ROM) memory, and may contain software such as operating system software to provide funtionality, such as the ability to print out information, and to execute software application programs. The housing 62 may also contain a communications device 68 which may be a modem, cable modem, wireless transceiver and/or other apparatus capable of sending and receiving digital or analog data. The communications device 68 is connected to the CPU 64 and is operable to establish two-way communications with the database 70. The database 70 provides information to the computer for processing. The computer may be powerful enough to process the data from the database in real time and present data to a user. Referring again to Fig. 2, input devices such as a mouse 61 and a keyboard 63 are also connected to the CPU 64 via connectors. A display 65 is connected to the CPU 64 and may be a conventional CRT display, a flat-panel display, a touch-screen display or other display capable of providing information in color to a user. Lastly, a printer 67 may be connected to the CPU 64 via a connector and be operable to print out data.

Fig. 3 is a block diagram of another implementation of a system 100 capable of implementing the methods described above. The system 100 can be accessed by a plurality of users substantially simultaneously. In particular, a server computer 102 is connected to a computer system 104, which may be a large mainframe computer or may include a plurality of interconnected microprocessors for accessing, calculating and otherwise processing information. The computer system 104 contains the required hardware and software to process data and provide results to the server 102. The computer system 104 may be connected to one or more information provider or retail databases 106 to obtain information and/or offers to sell merchandise, and to other databases 108, 110 which may contain, for example, product description and purchase price information. The server 102 may include memory space for storing web pages that may be accessed and viewed substantially simultaneously by a plurality of users. The server 102 may also be connected to one or more electronic communication networks (ECN's) 112 which may enable users to purchase items, to one or more historical information databases 114 and/or to proprietary databases 116. It should be understood that the described interconnections and processing functions of the server computer 102 and the computer system 104 are merely exemplary, and may be different depending on the processing required and/or other considerations. For example, an implementation may be possible wherein one computer unit is utilized to perform all of the functions of the server 102 and computer system 104. The server 102 may be connected to a plurality of users in a variety of ways. For example, a plurality of client work station computers 118, 120, 122 may be connected to a server 124 in a network configuration so that users may communicate with each other and with the server 102. In particular, the server 124 may have a direct line connection 125 to the server 102 so that the users can quickly access and view web pages and data that is available. Another plurality of client computer workstations 126, 128 and 130 are connected to a server 132 which is connected to the Internet 134 via line 133. The server 132 may belong to an Internet service provider (ISP) that charges users a fee to access the Internet, or may belong to another type of organization having a direct connection to the Internet. Users 126, 128, 130 may view the information by accessing the website on the server 102 through the Internet 134, and via line 135. Another plurality of client machines 136, 138, 140 may access the Internet through a server 142 that has a wireless connection 143 to a wireless transceiver device 144, which may be a server, connected via line 145 to the Internet 134. In addition, a user having a personal digital assistant device (PDA) 150 may have a wireless connection 151 to the Internet via the server 144.

The purchasing service for minors may be implemented as a website having a homepage display that provides links to products and services for minors in an easy to understand format. In order to access the website a user may be required to enter a login password, or some other type of membership information from a personal computer, PDA or other communications device. Alternately, software running on a personal computer in a system such as that of Fig. 2 may generate such an initial display screen, and then link to the service via the internet or other means to place a purchase order. In an implementation of the system, all approved merchandise and services offered by the website are "G-rated". Only merchandise and services offered and approved by the subscription service can be purchased with a membership card. Fig. 4 illustrates an example of a membership card 200, called an "IN" platinum card. The IN platinum card may be a stylish debit card made of any number of materials including plastic. Each card may be imprinted with the minor's name 202, account number 204, date of birth 206, and a wide variety of other information. For added security and identification, members may be offered the option of having a recent head shot 208 photograph affixed or embedded electronically into the card. Further, the card may permit use of eye print identification, finger print identification, and other control devices which will enhance security. In an implementation of the purchasing service, merchants and vendors will only accept the membership card for the exact amount of purchase plus any applicable sales taxes and shipping costs. The service may guarantee a 30 day "no questions asked" refund policy. The service will not, without adequate safeguards and security, offer cash advances, and may or may not tender cash refunds. Minors cannot subscribe without the consent of a parent, guardian, or other legally authorized person ("Authorized Applicant"). If membership is purchased as a gift by someone other than an Authorized Applicant, that person is required to provide written consent to activate the membership. An Authorized Applicant can exercise control over spending limits as well as restrict the types of merchandise and services the minor may purchase. If a debit card is used rather than a credit card, purchases cannot exceed the account balance or the Authorized Applicant's prescribed spending limit. Members and Authorized Applicants will have instant access to account activity through an Internet web-site or other secure database. Members will also receive a monthly activity statement "in care of the Authorized Applicant. The system may include one or more industry standards designed to prevent or limit losses due to lost or stolen cards. The account may be canceled anytime by the Authorized Applicant.

Members may enjoy additional advantages, including exclusive membership deals, free offers, discount offers, invitations to private sales, advance notice of membership events, etc. Members may also enjoy additional savings in the form of a special discount on merchandise and services offered by participating merchants and vendors. The system is also flexible enough to offer annual bonus programs that will give credits to those members that spend over certain amounts each year. Members may also receive a periodic newsletter that ties into the membership IN card, possibly called "IN-the Know", that in addition to advising members of timely "What's-IN" topics, may provide tips and suggestions that help teach skills and values involved in handling money and using it wisely. Although several implementations of the invention have been described, it should be understood that various modifications and improvements could be made that fall within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A method of doing business comprising: obtaining consent of a guardian to open an account for a minor; obtaining purchasing information from the guardian; and providing account access to the minor to purchase guardian-approved merchandise and services.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of obtaining purchasing information includes at least one of setting a spending limit, authorizing merchandise and service types that the minor may purchase, and choosing the media in which the merchandise and services are presented.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the media includes at least one of an internet website, a catalog, retain and wholesale stores, radio offers and television offers.
4. The method of claim 1 further comprising periodically providing an account activity statement.
5. The method of claim 1 further comprising providing a membership card to the minor.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the membership card is at least one of a credit card and a debit card.
7. The method of claim 1 further comprising offering membership privileges to the minor.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein the privileges include at least one of special free and discount offers, invitations to private sales, advance invitations to participate in membership events, participation in bonus and cash-back programs, and receipt of a members newsletter.
9. A purchasing service for minors comprising: an account authorized by a guardian and controlled by the minor; and a means for providing account access to the minor to enable the purchase of guardian-approved merchandise or services.
10. The service of claim 9 wherein the means for providing account access includes at least one of an Internet web site, a catalog, a retail store, a wholesale store, a television broadcast or a radio broadcast.
11. The service of claim 9 wherein the authorized person controls at least one of a spending limit on the account, the types of merchandise and services that may be purchased, and the type of merchandise and service access provided to the minor.
12. The service of claim 9 further comprising an account activity statement for access by the guardian or minor.
13. The service of claim 9 further comprising a card in the name of the minor for use to purchase merchandise and services.
14. A system for providing a purchasing service for minors comprising: a means of obtaining consent of a guardian to open an account for the minor; a means for obtaining purchasing information from the guardian; and a means for providing account access to the minor to enable the purchase of guardian-approved merchandise or services.
15. A software program stored on a tangible medium, the software program causing a computer to: obtain consent from a guardian to open an account for a minor; obtain purchase information from the guardian; and provide account access to the minor to purchase guardian-approved merchandise and services.
16. The software program of claim 15 including instructions to obtain purchase information that includes at least one of a spending limit, authorization of merchandise and service types, and the choice of media to present merchandise and services.
17. The software program of claim 15 including instructions to offer the minor membership privileges.
18. The software program of claim 15 including instructions to periodically provide an account activity statement.
PCT/US2000/009792 1999-04-22 2000-04-12 Purchasing service for minors WO2000065519A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13057199P true 1999-04-22 1999-04-22
US60/130,571 1999-04-22
US13107899P true 1999-04-26 1999-04-26
US60/131,078 1999-04-26

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU42355/00A AU4235500A (en) 1999-04-22 2000-04-12 Purchasing service for minors

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2000065519A1 true WO2000065519A1 (en) 2000-11-02

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ID=26828600

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2000/009792 WO2000065519A1 (en) 1999-04-22 2000-04-12 Purchasing service for minors

Country Status (2)

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AU (1) AU4235500A (en)
WO (1) WO2000065519A1 (en)

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2375214A (en) * 2001-05-02 2002-11-06 Virtual Access Ltd Secure payment method and system
EP1630753A1 (en) * 2004-08-26 2006-03-01 polyright SA Method for managing the access to products and services
GB2435530A (en) * 2006-02-22 2007-08-29 Vbc Ltd Method for educating children to acquire financial responsibility
US9454647B1 (en) * 2010-05-26 2016-09-27 Crimson Corporation Managing assets on a computing device

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5845260A (en) * 1995-02-06 1998-12-01 Sony Corporation System and method for parent-controlled charging for on-line services
US5864830A (en) * 1997-02-13 1999-01-26 Armetta; David Data processing method of configuring and monitoring a satellite spending card linked to a host credit card
US5914472A (en) * 1997-09-23 1999-06-22 At&T Corp Credit card spending authorization control system

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5845260A (en) * 1995-02-06 1998-12-01 Sony Corporation System and method for parent-controlled charging for on-line services
US5864830A (en) * 1997-02-13 1999-01-26 Armetta; David Data processing method of configuring and monitoring a satellite spending card linked to a host credit card
US5914472A (en) * 1997-09-23 1999-06-22 At&T Corp Credit card spending authorization control system

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2375214A (en) * 2001-05-02 2002-11-06 Virtual Access Ltd Secure payment method and system
GB2375214B (en) * 2001-05-02 2004-09-29 Virtual Access Ltd Secure payment method and system
GB2400962A (en) * 2001-05-02 2004-10-27 Virtual Access Ltd A method of limiting spending
GB2400962B (en) * 2001-05-02 2004-12-29 Virtual Access Ltd Secure payment method and system
US7110979B2 (en) 2001-05-02 2006-09-19 Virtual Access Limited Secure payment method and system
EP1630753A1 (en) * 2004-08-26 2006-03-01 polyright SA Method for managing the access to products and services
GB2435530A (en) * 2006-02-22 2007-08-29 Vbc Ltd Method for educating children to acquire financial responsibility
US9454647B1 (en) * 2010-05-26 2016-09-27 Crimson Corporation Managing assets on a computing device

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