Title:
Payment transfer holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The scope of the described invention is intended to include all embodiments coming within the meaning of the following claims. The foregoing examples illustrate useful forms of the invention, but are not to be considered as limiting its scope, as those skilled in the art will be aware that additional variants and modifications of the invention can readily be formulated without departing from the meaning of the following claims.



Inventors:
Ohayon, Haim (Zuran, IL)
Dahan, Shlomi (Netanya, IL)
Application Number:
11/898361
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
09/11/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
705/39
International Classes:
A45C1/00; A45C11/18
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020157745Money /card holding deviceOctober, 2002Stodghill
20070137743Protection case for telecamerasJune, 2007Conte
20050263556Diaper bag with integral but removable moisture resistant pouchDecember, 2005Labit et al.
20050235448Windshield wiper gloveOctober, 2005Richard
20030131916Heat resistant pitot tube coverJuly, 2003Alexander
20060254952Diaper bag with lower blanket pocketNovember, 2006Trevino et al.
20090001788ACTIVE DYNAMIC SEATING DEVICEJanuary, 2009Lenz et al.
20090288744Collapsible Storable Handbag With Detachable PanelsNovember, 2009Moshirisfahini et al.
20100071815FLAMING WALLET AND/OR METHOD OF MAKING THE SAMEMarch, 2010Marmer
20090065111Payment transfer holderMarch, 2009Ohayon et al.
20080185082MOODY BAGAugust, 2008Mejia et al.



Primary Examiner:
JUNGE, KRISTINA N S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz LLP (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What we claim is:

1. A holder for temporarily and at least partially holding or enveloping a means of payment, said holder having at least one cut or open edge allowing the convenient insertion and subsequent removal of said payment means, said holder carrying a surface whereon the customer may write the sum to be charged from said payment means to facilitate correct payment for goods received or services rendered.

2. The holder as claimed in claim 1, wherein said surface forms a major surface of said holder.

3. The holder as claimed in claim 1, wherein said surface is a paper label attached at least indirectly to said holder.

4. The holder as claimed in claim 1, wherein said surface carries pre-printed indicia prompting the user to add further identifying details to facilitate locating and identification of the user/purchaser among others present.

5. The holder as claimed in claim 1, configured to allow the writing thereon for one-time use, said holder being disposable.

6. The holder as claimed in claim 1, configured to allow the writing thereon of more than one payment sum to allow re-use of said holder.

7. The holder as claimed in claim 1, provided with a front major face and a rear major face, said major faces being interconnected by any two edges to retain said major faces in spaced apart relationship.

8. The holder as claimed in claim 7, wherein at least one of said major faces is provided with a finger recess to facilitate removal of said payment means from said holder.

9. The holder as claimed in claim 1, further including a compartment configured to hold a separate banknote serving as a tip.

10. The holder as claimed in claim 1, wherein said payment means is a credit card.

11. The holder as claimed in claim 10 wherein the major faces of said holder are sufficiently low to expose the full length and width of the magnetic strip of said credit card.

12. The holder as claimed in claim 1, wherein said payment means is a banknote.

13. The holder as claimed in claim 1, wherein said payment means is a cheque.

14. A holder for temporarily and at least partially enveloping a means of payment substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

15. A holder for temporarily holding a means of payment comprising a substantially credit card size piece of paper or carton having at least one cut to facilitate the holding of the payment means.

16. A method of payment comprising the following steps: providing a holder as claimed in claim 1; supplier notifying customer of goods/services of the amount of payment requested; customer inserting payment means into said holder; customer marking a writable surface connected to said holder to indicate the amount intended to be paid; optionally-customer marking identification data on the provided writable surface; optionally-customer inserting a tip in a compartment of said holder provided for this purpose; customer giving said holder carrying said means of payment, and optionally also carrying said tip, to said supplier; supplier taking payment, identifying customer, and comparing payment received to payment requested; if payment received by supplier is less than payment requested, and said customer is one member of a group having received goods/services, supplier billing each of customer's associates to pay their share for goods/services received; if payment received by supplier is more than payment requested, supplier returns the change to the customer inside said holder; and if payment was made by credit card the supplier asks customer to sign the appropriate slip and returns said credit card in said holder to the customer together with a record of the transaction.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method of payment useful in a situation where both payer and payee are present.

More particularly, the invention provides a holder for a means of payment, the holder carrying a surface whereon a customer may write the sum to be charged in return for goods or services, whereafter the payer (customer) passes the holder to the payee (supplier) who receives payment and then returns the holder to the customer.

The holder when in use will contain a paper banknote, a cheque or a credit card. Holders for storing payment means in general and for a credit card are well known. They are constructed and used invariably for securely keeping the credit card to prevent its loss and protecting the magnetic strip disposed on a major face and running therealong near a major edge. For example, the card holder described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,431,207 to Siegel et al. relates to card holders or card-carrying cases, and it's primary object is to provide safe keeping for the credit card, protection for its magnetic strip, and limited visibility of the card while permitting easy removal of the card from the holder. Further, the card holder disclosed in the '207 patent is preferably a card-receiving pocket wherein one of its sides defines an opening for inserting the card, and a notch or recess is provided on the opposite side to facilitate removal of the card by the fingers of the user. When not in use the card is safely stored in the disclosed holder which preferably is included in a wallet or a pocketbook assembly. The card is thus stored until its user again wishes to execute a payment.

Varieties of such cardholders can be found in the prior art. Usually such cardholder is found attached to or part of a wallet, case, organizer or purse.

Traditionally, when a customer in a restaurant wishes to pay for a meal, he/she will signal a waiter or waitress who prepares a check and presents the check to the customer for approval while the customer is still sitting at the table. If the customer chooses to pay by credit card he/she removes the card from a wallet or from some other holder and gives the card to the waiter. The waiter passes the magnetic strip through a card reader connected to a cash register, and returns the card, together with an automatically printed payment slip which is checked and then signed by the customer.

The credit card is then restored to its holder where it remains until again needed. Typically the check and the payment slip are marked with the table number at which the customer has been served. Some such locations use a special designed cheque holder provided with a pocket for credit card.

There are however situations wherein the described prior art arrangement is inadequate: Situation 1: a group of several diners eat at a table together, yet each wishes to pay for his/her own meal. Accordingly a separate check is prepared for each customer, and several credit cards are given to the waiter. The chances of making an erroneous charge are high.

Situation 2: a group of customers dining at a single table ask for a single check to cover all expenses. However they wish to pay each with his own credit card either in several equal or even unequal parts, the number of parts possibly not corresponding to the number of customers. The chance of the waiter making an error is higher even than in the first situation.

It is clear that when the waiter receives a plurality of credit cards he cannot utilize the method of corresponding each check, and each payment slip, even when marked with a table number to the particular diner sitting at this table. Furthermore, the waiter is expected to remember which of the diners is to pay for example 10% and which are to be charged 20%. Finally, if one or more of the customers wishes to tip the waiter, he cannot relate the tip or any part thereof to a particular customer.

It is further to be noted that one or several customers may wish to pay their share by cheque or cash. The waiter is then faced with a complex situation, the likely result being that customers are over/under charged.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore one of the objects of the present invention to obviate the disadvantages of prior art payment methods and to provide a holder for means of payment which enables fast and accurate payment in complex or simple situations.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a method of use of said holder to execute payment in an error-free manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention achieves the above objects by providing a holder for temporarily and at least partially holding or enveloping a means of payment, said holder having at least one cut or open edge allowing the convenient insertion and subsequent removal of said payment means, said holder carrying a surface whereon the customer may write the sum to be charged from said payment means to facilitate correct payment for goods received or services rendered.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a holder wherein said surface forms a major surface of said holder.

In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a holder wherein said surface is a paper label attached at least indirectly to said holder.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a holder wherein said surface carries pre-printed indicia prompting the user to add further identifying details to facilitate locating and identification of the user/purchaser among others present.

In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a holder configured to allow the writing thereon for one-time use, said holder being disposable.

In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a holder configured to allow the writing thereon of more than one payment sum to allow re-use of said holder.

In yet a further preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided a holder provided with a front major face and a rear major face, said major faces being interconnected by any two edges to retain said major faces in spaced apart relationship.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided holder further including a compartment configured to carry the tip.

In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided holder wherein said payment means is a credit card, or a cheque or a banknote.

In a most preferred embodiment of the present invention there is provided holder wherein the major faces of said holder are sufficiently low to expose the full length and width of the magnetic strip of said credit card.

Yet further embodiments concern holders which envelope only a minor portion of the payment means.

The present invention also includes a method for use of the holder:

    • providing a holder for the means of payment;
    • supplier notifying customer of goods/services of the amount of payment requested;
    • customer inserting payment means into said holder;
    • customer marking a writable surface connected to said holder to indicate the amount intended to be paid;
    • optionally-customer marking identification data on the provided writable surface;
    • optionally-customer inserting a tip in a compartment of said holder provided for this purpose;
    • customer giving said holder carrying said means of payment, and optionally also carrying said tip, to said supplier;
    • supplier identifying customer, taking payment, and comparing payment received to payment requested;
    • if payment received by supplier is less than payment requested, and said customer is one member of a group having received goods/services, supplier billing each of customer's associates to pay their share for goods/services received;
    • if payment received by supplier is more than payment requested, supplier returns the change to the customer, optionally inside said holder;
    • if payment was made by credit card the supplier asks customer to sign the appropriate slip and returns said credit card in said holder to the customer together with a record of the transaction.

It will thus be realized that the novel device of the present invention serves to fill an important gap in present-day payment systems. While the system of the present invention is particularly suited to restaurants and fast food outlets, the system will be of service in any other situation where there are multiple customers trying to pay for goods or services in a common time slot.

As is known, writing on a banknote is illegal, writing on a credit card may make it unusable and writing on a cheque could invalidate the cheque. The holder obviates the need for such actions, and whether disposable or arranged for multiple uses the problem of the payee identifying the payer is solved. The holder is arranged to be suitable for writing thereupon and will provide the supplier (payee) with the information needed to correctly charge the customer (payer) who has received the goods/services vended.

The holder can be marketed directly to users, and offered by restaurants to customers. In the latter case the holder will carry advertising text, and due to the low cost of the holder there is no problem in giving the holders away free to customers. It is of course beneficial to both customers and vendors that no mistakes are made in the billing and payment process, and the holder and its mode of use will eliminate billing errors.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described further with reference to the accompanying drawings, which represent by example preferred embodiments of the invention. Structural details are shown only as far as necessary for a fundamental understanding thereof. The described examples, together with the drawings, will make apparent to those skilled in the art how further forms of the invention may be realized.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an preferred embodiment of the holder according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a multiple-use holder;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a plastic disposable holder;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a holder configured for easy extraction of the payment means;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment having a tip pouch;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a holder exposing the magnetic strip of a credit card;

FIG. 7a is an elevational view of a simpler low-cost holder;

FIG. 7b is a perspective view of the same embodiment, seen holding a credit card;

FIG. 8a is an elevational view of a cut-out of a second embodiment enveloping only a part of the payment means;

FIG. 8b is an elevational view of the same embodiment shown assembled and holding a credit card;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a further embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating the method of the invention.

FULL DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

There is seen in FIG. 1 a holder 10 for temporarily and at least partially enveloping a means of payment, which in the present embodiment is a credit card 12.

The holder 10 has an open edge 14 allowing the convenient insertion and subsequent removal of the credit card 12, or any other payment means.

The holder 10 is made of paper or carton of a type which can be written on by means of an ordinary ball-point pen or pencil. Thus most types of paper are suitable, excepting those faced with a smooth plastic membrane or those having a smooth shiny surface, and so major faces 16, 18 of the holder can be written on. The major surface 16 is preprinted 17 to remind the user to give information of his location, e.g, “Table 16, yellow shirt.” The customer has also written on the holder 10 the sum to be charged 20. This sum is usually equal to the total amount of the check, although it will be less than this sum if the expense to be paid is to be shared among a group of customers. The back side of the holder or some of it could be used for advertising.

As any part of the holder 10 can be written upon, there is no need to provide a designated surface whereon the customer may write the sum to be charged from the payment means to facilitate correct payment for goods or services received.

The holder 10 is configured to allow the writing thereon for one-time use, the holder in the present figure being disposable.

With reference to the rest of the figures, similar reference numerals have been used to identify similar parts.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is seen a holder 22 suitable for reuse. The holder 22 is molded of a plastic, and the surface to be written on is the outer page 24 of a paper pad 26. The lowest label 28 is adhesively attached to an outer surface of the holder body. The pad 26 of stacked labels is adhesively stabilized at one edge 30.

Seen in FIG. 3 is a disposable holder 32 of molded plastic. The surface to be written on is a paper label 34 adhesively attached to the plastic body of the holder. The user writes on the label 34 identification data (example: Table 3, blue sunglasses) and the sum to be charged.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is depicted a holder 36 provided with a front major face 38 and a rear major face 40, the major faces 38, 40 being interconnected by any two edges 42 44 to retain the major faces in spaced-apart relationship.

The present embodiment shows a small cut-away portion 46 of the two major faces 38, 40. The cut-away recess 46 allows finger access to the payment means, for fast and easy removal thereof from the holder 36.

FIG. 5 shows a holder 48 further including a compartment 50 configured to carry a separate banknote tip serving as a tip. The compartment is marked 52 in a manner to assure the recipient, for example a waiter, that the contents of the compartment 50 are personally his/hers and are not intended to be a part of the payment for goods or services rendered.

FIG. 6 illustrates a holder 54 wherein the major faces 56, 58 of the holder are sufficiently low to expose the full length and width of the magnetic strip 60 of the credit card 12. In this embodiment the credit card 12 need not be removed from its holder and is passed directly by the user to the supplier (example: a waitress) who passes the card 12 held in holder 54 through a card reader.

FIGS. 7a and 7b show a carton or paper holder 88 which is provided with a substantially semi-circular cut forming a flap 90 having a bend line 92 parallel to a major edge 94 of the holder 88 and along the base of the semi-circular cut 96. The flap 90 is bent slightly outwards and the payment means 12 is inserted between the flap 90 and the remaining portion 98 of the holder. The holder 88 is pre-printed 100 to prompt the user to enter wanted information. The magnetic strip 60 of a credit card 12 is seen exposed, ready for use. A folded banknote or cheque could be held in the same manner. The cut 96 could be in other shapes and forms.

FIGS. 8a and 8b show a carton or paper holder 102 which holds the payment means 12 satisfactorily despite enveloping only a portion thereof.

FIG. 8a shows the holder 102 before folding, which has been printed to prompt the user to give fill in the data 17. A projecting area 104 and a cut slot 106 are seen which are sized and positioned to inter-engage after folding first along line 108 and then along line 110 to form and stabilize the holder 102.

FIG. 9 illustrates a carton or paper holder 98 having a folding line 99 and one or two small pockets 97 to facilitate holding card 12. Cover part 95 is folded along folding line 99.

Turning now to FIG. 10, there is seen the method depicted as a block diagram

The method of payment comprises the following steps:

Step A. Providing a holder 10 as described hereinabove.

Step B. Supplier 70 notifying customer of goods/services of the amount of payment requested by providing a check 72.

Step C. Customer inserting payment means 12 into the holder 10, if not done previously.

Step D. Customer marking a writable surface connected to the holder 10 to indicate the amount 12 intended to be paid.

Step E. Customer marking identification data 17 on the provided writable surface 16.

Step F. Optionally-customer inserting a tip 74 in a compartment of the holder provided for this purpose (see FIG. 5).

Step. G. Customer giving the holder 10 carrying the means of payment 12, and optionally also carrying the tip 74, to the supplier 70.

Step H. Supplier identifying customer, taking payment and comparing payment 76 received to payment requested.

Step I. If payment 78 received by supplier is less than payment requested, and the customer is one member of a group having received goods/services, supplier billing 80 each of customer's associates to pay their share for goods/services received.

Step J. If payment received by supplier is more 84 than payment requested, supplier returns the change to the customer inside the holder.

Step K. If payment was made by credit card 12 the supplier asks customer to sign the appropriate slip 86 and returns the credit card in the holder to the customer together with a record of the transaction.

There will now be described further embodiments of the holder 88, 102 which only partly envelope the payment means 12. These embodiments of the holder are of low cost, but they are less secure in holding the payment means. As however the holder containing the payment means is transferred directly from hand to hand such holder can be quite satisfactory in practice.