By US Fed News
     ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 23 -- Grace Park and Tomer Rubinshtein, both of New York, and Chris Hobbs of Valley Park, Singapore, have developed a prepaid card method.
     According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: "A system and method for providing a reloadable prepaid card account maintained by a foreign financial institution is provided. The foreign financial institution is provided with a domestic payment network authorization code, such as the bank identification number approved by the American Banking Association. The bank identification number (BIN) along with a prepaid account number is loaded onto a prepaid card corresponding to the prepaid account. A prepaid cardholder may present the prepaid card to a merchant system for completion of a transaction request."
     An abstract of the invention, released by the Patent Office, said: "The merchant system may be accessed domestically and may recognize the BIN as belonging to the foreign financial institution authorized to transact business on the merchant's domestic payment network. The merchant may seek satisfaction of the transaction request by submitting the transaction request to an acquirer which may forward the transaction request to the foreign financial institution for processing. The foreign financial institution may provide funds to the merchant system to satisfy the transaction request, and the provided funds may be converted to the currency of the country in which the merchant system is accessed by the prepaid cardholder."
     The inventors were issued U.S. Patent No. 7,401,049 on July 15.
     The patent has been assigned to American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc., New York.
     The original application was filed on May 23, 2002, and is available at: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,401,049.PN.&OS=PN/7,401,049&RS=PN/7,401,049.
     HTS aamf 080723-428343


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