Plastyc Wins Patent For Enhanced Online Payment Methods

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Consumer financial services company Plastyc, Inc. has won a patent for new ways to make online payments more efficient and affordable for online merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard.

The VisaNet and ACH networks are very scalable, secure and reliable, but they tend to evolve more slowly than market demand. So our approach is to innovate on top of them,

Consumer financial services company Plastyc, Inc. has won a patent for new ways to make online payments more efficient and affordable for online merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard.

The patent defines methods that extend the payment networks' capabilities to address online shoppers' desire to buy digital goods -- such as a 99 cent song or e-magazine -- using debit and prepaid cards.

Specifically, U.S. Patent No. 7,850,080 addresses three areas:

  • Protecting consumers while reducing customer support costs for merchants, by creating a way for merchants and card-issuers to resolve disputes in real time when purchased digital goods -- such as music, e-books, games, applications or videos -- fail to download properly.
  • Enhancing discount programs by enabling merchants to exchange product category information with card issuers when needed. (Today, the card issuer only receives information about the merchant and the amount paid, not the category of the product purchased). The system also allows merchants to flag certain purchases as eligible for loyalty rewards without disclosing the nature of the purchase.
  • Making it more feasible for merchants of small-value digital goods to accept prepaid cards by letting merchants verify the balance of debit or prepaid cards and negotiate a short-term reservation of funds without placing a formal authorization hold on the card. This gives merchants the option to safely aggregate micro-payments from one customer and submit them in a batch, reducing the multiple interchange fees that otherwise make small card payments unaffordable for merchants.

Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret said his company created these new methods to take advantage of the universality, security, speed and reliability of the existing payment networks while also providing innovative services to its customers.

“Too many patents for proprietary payment protocols and electronic tokens mildew inside filing cabinets because they can't be implemented in a scalable manner,” said Peyret. “We are offering online merchants the option of a new helper channel without asking them to modify their shopping carts and their checkout pages, or to place a bet on a new payment network.”

Plastyc offers consumer payment and financial management services under the iBankUP and UPside Card brands, using long-established and well-standardized networks including VisaNet for card payments, the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network for direct deposits and bill payments and Interlink and Cirrus for cash withdrawals at ATMs.

In addition to the recently awarded patent, Plastyc has additional patents and pending patents to protect its innovations in financial services for consumers.

"These standardized networks are very scalable, secure and reliable, but they tend to evolve more slowly than market demand. So our approach is to innovate on top of them," said Peyret.

About Plastyc, Inc.
Plastyc delivers good banking to all by providing 24x7 access to FDIC-insured accounts through any Internet–connected computer or cell phone. Unlike traditional checking accounts, Plastyc's iBankUP portal and UPside cards never incur overdrafts, and they offer better services at lower prices, with more ways to receive money and no risk of over-spending it. Plastyc's principals and directors have a track record as financial services innovators at companies including Gemalto, Oberthur, Signio (now part of PayPal, an eBay company), ClairMail, Lending Club, and Genetic Finance. Plastyc is privately held with headquarters in New York City.

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Patrice Peyret

Lynda Radosevich
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