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1. (WO2010077674) AUTOMATED MERCHANT PERFORMANCE RATING FOR PAYMENTS ON ACCOUNT
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

CLAIMS

I claim:

1. A method comprising a plurality of steps each being performed by hardware executing software, wherein the steps include: receiving a selection of an industry from an industry set; determining a set of sample businesses that are categorized in the selected industry; sending a first transmission including the determined set of sample businesses; receiving, in response to the first transmission, a selection of one of the sample businesses in the set of sample businesses; pre-populating data fields corresponding to: an account cost to make a payment of an accounts payable payment (AJP) on an account of a corporate card for a transaction for the selected sample business; a non-account cost to make a payment of the A/P not on the account for the selected sample business; sending a second transmission including the pre-populated data fields; receiving, in response to the second transmission, a confirmation that the account cost and the non-account cost if the pre-populated data fields are representative of a business account holder (A/H); identifying each merchant to whom the A/H owes a corresponding said A/P but does not accept the corresponding said A/P upon the account; deriving a weighting factor for each said identified merchant using: the account cost; the non-account cost; and one or more past payments made by the A/H to the identified merchant; deriving for each said identified merchant, using the corresponding weighting factor, a benefit to A/H in paying the corresponding said A/P to the identified merchant on the account; identifying a set of preferred said identified merchants from among the one or more said identified merchants for whom the benefit exceeds a predetermined threshold; receiving a selection of one or more said merchants from among the set of preferred said identified merchants; and transmitting to each said selected merchant information about the corresponding said A/P owed by the A/H, wherein said information is sufficient to receive payment on the account for the corresponding said A/P.

2. The method as defined in Claim 1 , wherein the payment of the A/P not on the account is a payment method selected from the group consisting of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), wire transfer, check, Automated Clearing House (ACH), and cash.

3. The method as defined in Claim 1 , wherein the identifying of said each merchant that does not accept the corresponding said A/P upon the account further comprises: sending, for each said merchant to whom the A/H owes the corresponding said A/P, a request for delivery to a transaction handler for an acquirer of transaction for the merchant as to the status of whether the merchant accepts the payment on the account for the corresponding said A/P; and receiving, for each said merchant to whom the A/H owes the corresponding said A/P, a response to the request that includes the status.

4. The method as defined in Claim 1, wherein the identified said merchants further comprising each said merchant to whom the A/H has an outstanding Purchase Order (P.O.) for the corresponding said A/P. 5. The method as defined in Claim 1 , wherein the selection of one or more said merchants is based, at least in part, a quality factor selected from the group consisting of: a category of the merchant relative to the goods and services being marketed by the merchant; the status of whether the merchant has ever accepted a payment on an account issued by an issuer for submission to an acquirer for collection; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, the average number of said acceptances over a first predetermined period of time; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, the highest number of said acceptances over a second period of time; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, a ratio of the acceptances to non-acceptances over a third predetermined period of time; a quality level of data capability that is captured and passed by the merchant for a transaction with a consumer; whether the merchant will conduct a transaction with a consumer over a predetermined amount of currency ; and a socio-economic status of the merchant.

6. The method as defined in Claim 1, wherein the steps further comprise deriving the non-account cost for the selected sample business from one or more factors each of which are selected from the group consisting of: a cost to the selected sample business to issue a purchase order (PO); a cost to the selected sample business to process an invoice for the A/P; a cost to the selected sample business to pay the AfP by check; a negative cost to the selected sample business of a rebate from an issuer the account; a cost to the selected sample business attributable to the net present value of a capital investment return; and a cost to the selected sample business attributable to the net present value of a working capital cost.

7. A computer readable medium comprising the software for the execution by the hardware to perform the steps recited in the method of Claim 1.

8. An apparatus comprising: computer-implemented means for receiving a selection of an industry from an industry set; computer-implemented means for determining a set of sample businesses that are categorized in the selected industry; computer-implemented means for sending a first transmission including the determined set of sample businesses; computer-implemented means for receiving, in response to the first transmission, a selection of one of the sample businesses in the set of sample businesses; computer-implemented means for pre -populating data fields corresponding to: an account cost to make a payment of an accounts payable payment (A/P) on an account of a corporate card for a transaction for the selected sample business; a non-account cost to make a payment of the A/P not on the account for the selected sample business; computer-implemented means for sending a second transmission including the pre-populated data fields; computer-implemented means for receiving, in response to the second transmission, a confirmation that the account cost and the non-account cost if the pre-populated data fields are representative of a business account holder (AJH); computer-implemented means for identifying each merchant to whom the A/H owes a corresponding said A/P but does not accept the corresponding said A/P upon the account; computer-implemented means for deriving a weighting factor for each said identified merchant using: the account cost;

the non-account cost; and one or more past payments made by the A/H to the identified merchant; computer-implemented means for deriving for each said identified merchant, using the corresponding weighting factor, a benefit to A/H in paying the corresponding said A/P to the identified merchant on the account; computer-implemented means for identifying a set of preferred said identified merchants from among the one or more said identified merchants for whom the benefit exceeds a predetermined threshold; computer-implemented means for receiving a selection of one or more said merchants from among the set of preferred said identified merchants; and computer-implemented means for transmitting to each said selected merchant information about the corresponding said A/P owed by the A/H, wherein said information is sufficient to receive payment on the account for the corresponding said A/P.

9. The apparatus as defined in Claim 8, wherein the payment of the A/P not on the account is a payment method selected from the group consisting of Electronic Funds Transfer

(EFT), wire transfer, check, Automated Clearing House (ACH), and cash.

10. The apparatus as defined in Claim 8, wherein the identifying of said each merchant that does not accept the corresponding said A/P upon the account further comprises: computer-implemented means for sending, for each said merchant to whom the A/H owes the corresponding said A/P, a request for delivery to a transaction handler for an acquirer of transaction for the merchant as to the status of whether the merchant accepts the payment on the account for the corresponding said A/P; and computer-implemented means for receiving, for each said merchant to whom the A/H owes the corresponding said A/P, a response to the request that includes the status. 11. The apparatus as defined in Claim 8, wherein the identified said merchants further comprising each said merchant to whom the A/H has an outstanding Purchase Order (P.O.) for the corresponding said A/P.

12. The apparatus as defined in Claim 8, wherein the selection of one or more said merchants is based, at least in part, a quality factor selected from the group consisting of: a category of the merchant relative to the goods and services being marketed by the merchant; the status of whether the merchant has ever accepted a payment on an account issued by an issuer for submission to an acquirer for collection;

for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, the average number of said acceptances over a first predetermined period of time; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, the highest number of said acceptances over a second period of time; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, a ratio of the acceptances to non-acceptances over a third predetermined period of time; a quality level of data capability that is captured and passed by the merchant for a transaction with a consumer; whether the merchant will conduct a transaction with a consumer over a predetermined amount of currency ; and a socio-economic status of the merchant.

13. The apparatus as defined in Claim 8, further comprising computer-implemented means for deriving the non-account cost from one or more factors each of which are selected from the group consisting of: a cost to the selected sample business to issue a purchase order (PO); a cost to the selected sample business to process an invoice for the A/P; a cost to the selected sample business to pay the A/P by check; a negative cost to the selected sample business of a rebate from an issuer the account; a cost to the selected sample business attributable to the net present value of a capital investment return; and a cost to the selected sample business attributable to the net present value of a working capital cost.

14. A method comprising a plurality of steps each being performed by hardware executing software, wherein the steps include: receiving a selection of an industry from an industry set; determining a set of sample businesses that are categorized in the selected industry; sending a first transmission including the determined set of sample businesses; receiving, in response to the first transmission, a selection of one of the sample businesses in the set of sample businesses as being representative of a business account holder (AJH) for which there is: an account cost to make a payment of an accounts payable payment (A/P) on an account of a corporate card for a transaction for the selected sample business; a non-account cost to make a payment of the A/P not on the account for the selected sample business;

for each merchant (M) to whom a business account holder (AJH) owes accounts payable (A/P), where the A/H had not previously paid the M by an account of a corporate card (CC) issued to the A/H by an issuer, and where the M does not accept payments by the CC on the account: deriving a weighting factor for the M using: the account cost for the selected sample business; the non-account cost for the selected sample business; and one or more past payments made by the A/H to the M; and deriving for the M, using the corresponding weighting factor, a benefit to A/H in paying the corresponding said A/P to the M on the account; forming a list of said Ms for whom the benefit to the A/H exceeds a predetermined threshold, wherein each said M in the list is an entry on a report of non-acceptors of payment by the CC on the account; rendering the report on a user interface (UI) having input fields for each said M to allow input to be received from a user; receiving data input in the input fields for one or more selected said Ms on the report, wherein the received data for each selected said M includes an incentive to the M to accept a payment from the A/H on by the CC on the account; forming a transmission that includes the data, the data being for delivery to each said M having corresponding said input from UI, the data including a request to the M to accept a payment from the A/H on by the CC on the account and to accept the corresponding selected incentive for doing so; receiving, in response to the request from the A/H, an agreement for the M to accept the request; authenticating, for each said accepting the request, the eligibility for accepting payment by the CC on the account and for receiving the selected incentive; and forming, in response to a positive authentication of the M's eligibility, information for a transmission, the information being for delivery to the authenticated M and being sufficient for the A/H to pay the A/P to the M by the CC on the account.

15. The method as defined in Claim 14, wherein the rendered report of the CC non-acceptors on the UI has input fields for each said merchant to allow a user to input.

16. The method as defined in Claim 14, wherein each said incentive for each said merchant is based, at least in part, a quality factor selected from the group consisting of: a category of the merchant relative to the goods and services being marketed by the merchant; the status of whether the merchant has ever accepted a payment on an account issued by an issuer for submission to an acquirer for collection; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, the average number of said acceptances over a first predetermined period of time; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, the highest number of said acceptances over a second period of time; for each said merchant that has ever accepted a payment on an account, a ratio of the acceptances to non-acceptances over a third predetermined period of time; a quality level of data capability that is captured and passed by the merchant for a transaction with a consumer; whether the merchant will conduct a transaction with a consumer over a predetermined amount of currency; and a socio-economic status of the merchant.

17. The method as defined in Claim 14, wherein the incentive to the merchant to accept the payment from the A/H on by the CC on the account is selected via functionality of a pulldown menu on the UI.

18. The method as defined in Claim 14, wherein the incentive is selected from the group consisting of: a percentage of a cost savings of the merchant in paying the A/P by CC on the account instead of paying by another method of payment; a gift card; a percentage of a rebate given to the A/H by an issuer of the CC for paying the merchant the A/P by CC on the account; and a combination of the foregoing.

19. The method as defined in Claim 14, wherein the steps further comprise deriving the non-account cost for the selected sample business from one or more factors each of which are selected from the group consisting of: the cost to the selected sample business to issue a purchase order (PO); the cost to the selected sample business to process an invoice for the A/P; the cost to the selected sample business to pay the A/P by a method of payment other than by paying the A/P by CC on the account; the negative cost to the selected sample business of a rebate from an issuer the account;

the cost to the selected sample business attributable to the net present value of a capital investment return; and the cost to the selected sample business attributable to the net present value of a working capital cost. 20. A computer readable medium comprising the software for the execution by the hardware to perform the steps recited in the method of Claim 14.