|Publication number||WO2001052206 A1|
|Publication date||19 Jul 2001|
|Filing date||10 Jan 2000|
|Priority date||10 Jan 2000|
|Publication number||PCT/2000/4, PCT/ZA/0/000004, PCT/ZA/0/00004, PCT/ZA/2000/000004, PCT/ZA/2000/00004, PCT/ZA0/000004, PCT/ZA0/00004, PCT/ZA0000004, PCT/ZA000004, PCT/ZA2000/000004, PCT/ZA2000/00004, PCT/ZA2000000004, PCT/ZA200000004, WO 0152206 A1, WO 0152206A1, WO 2001/052206 A1, WO 2001052206 A1, WO 2001052206A1, WO-A1-0152206, WO-A1-2001052206, WO0152206 A1, WO0152206A1, WO2001/052206A1, WO2001052206 A1, WO2001052206A1|
|Inventors||Robert John Powell|
|Applicant||Robert John Powell|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (2), Classifications (17), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet|
Internet Business Method
The invention provides a method of conducting business over the
internet and a computer program for such a method of conducting
Background of the invention
More and more companies are currently offering goods and services
for sale over the internet, and e-commerce is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. One problem with conducting business over the internet is that in many instances it is not possible to
verify the origin of an order or trace the source at a later stage. It is
thus possible that a person could fraudulently place an order, perhaps
even using a reputable person's or company's name, the ordered goods or services could be collected or delivered, and then only at the
payment stage would it be uncovered that the order was fraudulent.
Even if it were possible to trace the origin of the order to a particular
source, the cost of which is prohibitive to many businesses, it is even
more difficult to prove that a particular person placed the order and
received the goods or services, which is necessary in order to establish liability before a court. Another problem is that many businesses do not have the resources and/or the facilities for conducting business over the internet. This is particularly so with smaller businesses, where the cost of administering such a facility could prove exorbitant relative to the volume of business
which is conducted through this process.
There is therefore a need for a method of conducting business over the
internet which offers security for both a business provider and a client,
and which also minimises the resources required by the business
Summary of the invention
Thus according to a first embodiment of the invention there is provided a method of conducting business over the internet, the method
including at least the following step:
linking via internet a business provider to an internet business
management provider, such that when a client of the business provider
accesses the business provider in order to conduct a business
transaction, the client is directed, directly or indirectly, to the internet
business management provider, which verifies the authenticity of the
client by more than one security procedure, and if all security
procedures are satisfied, a business transaction can be conducted,
whereafter details of the business transaction are transmitted to the
business provider for processing. The client may bo unaware of the internet business management provider, and all tha steps may be conducted as if the client is dealing directly with the business provider.
The internet business management provider may be linked to a website
of the business provider. The internet business management provider may further be linked to a computer or computer network of the
business provider, thereby permitting entries to be recorded in the
relevant sales book, debtor book, inventories, bank account and the
like when a transaction has been processed by the internet business
Details of the business provider may be stored with the internet business management provider. These details may include details of
the products and/or services offered by the business provider.
Details of clients which have been authorised by the business provider
to conduct business over the internet may also be stored with the
internet business management provider, typically in a database specific to the business provider. These details may also include prices of
products which may be specific to the client and any purchase
restrictions which have been placed on the client. For example, the
client may be restricted to purchasing only certain products and/or
services, or may be prevented from purchasing products and/or
services which exceed a certain value. The details may further include
security details for verifying the authenticity of the client. The security procedures which are conducted by the internet business management provider in order to verify the authenticity of the client may include at least requesting from the client details provided on a
token previously issued to the client by the business provider, and a
password. For example, the token may be a card and the required
details on the card may be a card number or may be information
encoded on a magnetic strip which is readable by a card reader. Further security procedures may require the client to submit a
thumbprint or fingerprint or token, which may be electronically scanned.
The password may be a PIN number.
The internet business management provider may compare the card
details and password (and possibly also the fingerprint details)
submitted by the client with the security details already stored. If these details are a satisfactory match, then the client may be permitted to
select a business transaction.
The internet business management provider may request the client to
provide an order number before the transaction is processed. The
client may select the product and/or service required, and may also
select a desired quantity thereof. The client may further be prompted
to confirm the order. This information, together with the price of the product and/or service may then be stored by the internet business management provider. This order information may be cross-referenced with the stored
information relating to the client. If the value of the order exceeds the purchase limit of the client, then the order may be declined.
The internet business management provider may arrange for an
account of the client to be debited, and may further request
authorisation from a banking institution. If all the security procedures have been satisfied, and payment of the order has been approved,
then the order may be approved by the internet business management
On approval of the order, the internet business management provider may access the computer or computer network of the business provider in order to supply the business provider with the completed
transaction details in order that the business provider may supply the
client with the ordered product(s) and/or service(s), and also so that the
records of the business provider may be updated, such as entries in
the sales book, debtor book and inventory lists.
The internet business management provider may generate a delivery
note and/or invoice. The internet business management provider may
further generate an order reference number, which may be electronically delivered to the client. According to a second embodiment of the invention, there is provided a set of instructions for a central processing unit (CPU) which includes instructions for carrying out a method of conducting business over the internet substantially as described above.
The instructions may be in a computer-readable format.
According to a third embodiment of the invention there is provided a computer programmed to carry out the method of conducting business over the internet substantially as described above.
According to a fourth embodiment of the invention there is provided: at least two computers in electronic communication, the computers being programmed to carry out the method of conducting business over the internet substantially as described above; an electronic card reader; and optionally an electronic fingerprint reader.
According to a fifth embodiment of the invention there is provided a computer program product.
Detailed description of the invention
The invention will now be described further by way of specific example.
The method includes at least one computer program which has
instructions for conducting business over the internet. The computer
program is divided into eight co-operating modules, which may be installed independently of one another and at least one of the modules
is installed on a first computer or computer server remote from a
second computer or computer server onto which the remaining
modules are installed. Each module performs different functions, which
will be described in further detail below.
The first module (module one) is intended to be loaded onto a web site
and computer server of a business provider. The module links the
business provider's web site to a server of an internet business
management provider (IBMP), and is accessed when a client of the
business provider attempts to perform a business transaction, typically in order to purchase a product and/or service, using the web site of the
Module one also contains computer instructions for linking the IBMP to
the business provider's computer network in order to update sales
books, debtors' books, inventories, bank accounts for credit card
transactions and the like. Module two is stored on the computer server of either the IBMP or the business provider's computer network. The module stores information pertaining to the respective business provider. Typically, the information includes the business provider's name, physical and postal address, telephone and fax numbers, E-mail address, a contact name, bank details, and debit order authorisation.
The information also includes the number of internet business authorisation tokens, typically cards, issued to the business provider, a number and password of each authorisation card, terms and conditions, the type of business, the number of employees, and the number of internet business licenses granted for using the program according to the invention.
Other details relating to the business provider may also be included in
The third module (module three) includes a database containing details
of internet clients of the business provider, and is installed on the
server of the IBMP. The information stored in the database of module two includes terms and conditions of business transactions between the client and the business provider, the client's name, names of persons authorised by the client to conduct internet business transactions with the business provider and the number on the authorisation card given to each person the cardholder's name, account number to be debited, credit/debit card number, the client's purchase limit and purchasing method (for example account, credit card or debit card).
The particular product price list for the client is also stored in module three, with the pricing per product/service. Further information which may be stored is a limitation of the products which are available to that client.
Module four stores on the IBMP server information related to the product portfolio of the business provider. For example, a stock code, product name, short product description, and a price including and excluding VAT will be listed for each product or service offered by the business provider.
Module five stores on the IBMP server all the product and/or service selections made by the client, and also lists the unit price paid per item
ordered. The sixth module (module six) processes the client's order on the IBMP server.
Module seven processes payment of the order on the IBMP server, and after the order has been accepted, links to the computer server of the business provider to provide the business provider with details regarding the order.
Module eight confirms the order with the client.
In use, the computer servers of the IBMP and business provider are in electronic communication, and modules one to eight are installed on these servers. Additionally, the web site of the business provider is also electronically linked to the IBMP server. A client of the business provider who is authorised to order a product over the internet is issued with an authorisation card which has an identification number, either printed thereon or encoded on a magnetic strip. The client may also be issued with a magnetic card reader if the card contains a magnetic strip, and/or an electronic fingerprint reader.
When the client accesses the web site of the business provider in order
to place an order, the first module will request the client to enter the
card number and/or swipe the card through the card reader and/or
place a thumb on the fingerprint reader. The module will further
request the client to enter a secret password or PIN. Module one will
then link to the IBMP server, where the second module will verify the
card and/or fingerprint details and password. If the above details match the details stored in module two, then the client will be allowed to proceed with placing the order. The client will be requested to enter an order number before selecting the required
product(s) and/or service(s) (module four). After selecting the
product(s) and/or service(s), module five will list whatever has been
ordered and the price thereof, and request the client to confirm the
Upon confirmation of the order by the client, module six cross
references the order details with information stored in the client's database. In particular, the order value is compared to the client's
order limit, and if this is exceeded then the order will be declined,
thereby providing an additional security feature to both the client and the business provider. The method of payment is selected according to
the information stored in the database, which includes the account number to be debited. For credit/debit transactions, the card number is
retrieved and the relevant institution's merchant payment system is activated in order to have the transaction approved.
The purchase order will then either be declined or approved (module
seven). If the order is approved, module eight accesses the business
provider's server and places the relevant entries in the sale book and
debtor book, and makes adjustments to the inventory levels. A delivery
note and invoice is also generated. Once the order has been properly
processed, an order reference number is generated which is returned to the client's terminal. The business provider then only has to arrange for the products and/or services to be delivered to the client.
The invention is not limited to the precise constructional details as hereinbefore described and illustrated.
The applicant believes that the invention is advantageous in that it provides a method of conducting business over the internet which has a number of security features to protect both a business provider and a client, and it also reduces considerably the administration required on the part of the business provider.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|EP1276066A3 *||9 Jul 2002||26 Nov 2003||Systemneeds Inc.||Licensing method and license providing system|
|International Classification||G06Q20/00, G06Q30/00, G07F7/10|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F7/1066, G06Q20/26, G06Q20/04, G06Q20/02, G07F7/10, G06Q20/12, G06Q30/06|
|European Classification||G06Q20/26, G06Q20/02, G06Q20/12, G06Q20/04, G06Q30/06, G07F7/10P6B, G07F7/10|
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