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System for processing product sales at an automated point-of-sale terminal utilizing the determination and distribution of upsell items

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004470D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Automated point-of-sale (POS) terminals, such as debit card/credit card cash registers in supermarkets, allow customers to complete their transactions without requiring the help of a store employee. Such POS terminals save stores money by reducing the number of employees required. Also, automated POS terminals can save customers time by speeding up the process of purchasing items. One problem that may complicate the use of such machines, however, revolves around the issuance of change. A way to avoid this problem altogether is to offer a variety of non-cash “upsells” in lieu of change. An example of an upsell item is the dispensation of postage stamps by the POS terminal if the amount of change due to the customer is a multiple of the current postage rate (to be 34¢, as of January 2001). The point-of-sale terminal would preferably maintain a database of applicable upsells to offer a customer in exchange for the change due to him. If the customer accepts the upsell, the customer so indicates by pressing a selection button on the POS terminal. Thus, the customer receives the upsell in exchange for the coins due to him, and the coins need not be exchanged between the customer and the POS terminal.

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System for processing product sales at an automated point-of-sale terminal utilizing the determination and distribution of upsell items

Automated point-of-sale (POS) terminals, such as debit card/credit card cash registers in supermarkets, allow customers to complete their transactions without requiring the help of a store employee. Such POS terminals save stores money by reducing the number of employees required. Also, automated POS terminals can save customers time by speeding up the process of purchasing items. One problem that may complicate the use of such machines, however, revolves around the issuance of change. A way to avoid this problem altogether is to offer a variety of non-cash "upsells" in lieu of change. An example of an upsell item is the dispensation of postage stamps by the POS terminal if the amount of change due to the customer is a multiple of the current postage rate (to be 34¢, as of January 2001). The point-of-sale terminal would preferably maintain a database of applicable upsells to offer a customer in exchange for the change due to him. If the customer accepts the upsell, the customer so indicates by pressing a selection button on the POS terminal. Thus, the customer receives the upsell in exchange for the coins due to him, and the coins need not be exchanged between the customer and the POS terminal.

In Figure 1, a POS terminal 10 includes a POS processor 12 connected to each of an input device 14, a printer 16 and a display device 18. The POS processor 12 comprises at least one microprocessor 20, which is connected to a storage device 22, such as a RAM, floppy disk, hard disk or combination thereof. Microprocessor 20 and storage device 22 may each be located entirely within POS terminal 10 or connected by a remote communication link, such as a serial port cable, telephone line or wireless device. Input device 14 is preferably a keypad for transmitting input signals, such as signals indicative of a purchase, to microprocessor 20. Printer 16 is for printing receipts, coupons and vouchers as commanded by microprocessor 20. Display device 18 is preferably a video monitor for displaying at least alphanumeric characters to the customer. Storage device 22 stores a POS program 24 for controlling microprocessor 20 in accordance with the present invention. Storage device 22 also stores a required payment amount 26, which is an amount of money expected to be paid in return for products provided to the customer. >From required payment amount 26, microprocessor 20 may determine, for example, the change due and the total amount of money that should have been collected by the POS terminal 10 at the end of a day. Storage device 22 furthermore stores an inventory price database 28, which includes products and corresponding product prices. Inventory price database 28 enables microprocessor 20 to calculate a total purchase price of one or more products, and in turn store the total purchase price in required payment amount 26. An upsell da...