(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,805,284 B2
Himmel et al. (45) Date of Patent: Oct. 19,2004
(54) METHOD FOR USE OF TRANSACTION MEDIA ENCODED WITH WRITE-ANDDESTROY ENTRIES
(75) Inventors: Maria Azua Himmel, Austin, TX (US);
Herman Rodriquez, Austin, TX (US);
Newton James Smith, Jr., Austin, TX
(73) Assignee: International Business Machines
Corporation, Armonk, NY (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term ol this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 73 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 10/144,137
(22) Filed: May 10, 2002
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2002/0162885 Al Nov. 7, 2002
Related U.S. Application Data
(62) Division of application No. 09/213,919, filed on Dec. 17, 1998, now Pat. No. 6,386,446.
(51) Int. CI.7 G06F 17/00
(52) U.S. C I 235/375
(58) Field of Search 235/375, 492
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,702,464 A * 11/1972 Castracci 235/492
A system and method for using write-and-destroy transaction cards which cannot be reprogrammed. The write-anddestroy transaction cards are programmed (i.e., written to) at bit increments representing, in total, the stated value of the card. The stated value may be represented in one or a plurality of denominations and currencies. In use, the remaining value of a card can be ascertained at a merchant location by reading those bits which have not been erased. The remaining value can additionally be confirmed by contacting the issuing financial institution using a unique serial number which may be encoded onto each transaction card. Upon confirmation that the card has sufficient value to conduct the desired transaction, the card is decremented by erasure of the bits representing that value. By invocation of locally stored software, or based upon communication with a host location, the current rate of currency exchange between the merchant-preferred currency and the currency represented at bit increments on the transaction card can be ascertained and the appropriate value decremented by erasure from the card. Once bits have been erased, they cannot be reprogrammed.
10 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets