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(RSS) Enhanced Loyalty Card To Automate The Purchasing Of Age-Related Items During The Check Out Process

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126519D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

During the regular check out or self check out process, if a customer buys an age restricted item e.g. alcohol, cigarettes, or a rated-R movie they are required to show a proof of their age like drivers license. This process requires intervention from a cashier which can be time consuming for the customer, and incur additional cost to the retailer. The companies, for e.g. HMV, that sells mainly age-restricted items might never consider purchasing/applying our SCO systems because every age-restricted sale would require sales-associate intervention. This is in particular troublesome in a self check out environment where the goal of both the customers and the retailers is not to involve an additional person (cashier). This problem is big enough that retailers are worrying about losing customers because of this required intervention. This problem needs to be solved by self check out system vendors (e.g. IBM) in order to sell their solutions. We propose the use of a "Smart Loyalty Card solution" that operates in two steps: (1) verifies the age of the customer via a user-defined pin and biometrics; and (2) allows the customer to proceed with the purchase of an age-restricted item based on the data received from the verification process.

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(RSS) Enhanced Loyalty Card To Automate The Purchasing Of Age -Related Items During The Check Out Process

     In this disclosure, we propose a "Smart Loyalty Card" solution which can be used to authenticate a customer and their age thus eliminating the need for a cashier intervention. The authentication process can be implemented using the following schemes. Any scheme-combinations can be applied while implementing the loyalty card based on the needs of the retailer.

     For purchasing scenarios that involve less strict materials e.g. Rated R movie, a PIN (pass code) can be used to automate the check out process. In this scheme, when the age-restricted material is purchased, a password will be prompted to ensure that the card holder is the true owner of the card and is old enough to purchase the age - restricted material. Note that the customer age is recorded when the customer fills out a loyalty card application form. During loyalty card application, proof of age must be provided and verified.

     For stricter age-restricted materials e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, a biometric reader can be used to read and authenticate the customer finger-print data that could be stored in a "smart loyalty card" (a smart card format). Note that the finger print data is restricted inside the self check out station and is not exposed thus minimizing the privacy concerns. Another customer authentication scheme would be to use a camera to perform a facial recognition of the customer. This coupled...