Patent Issued for Automated proximity fraud account lock systems and methods (USPTO 11893568): United Services Automobile Association

2024 FEB 23 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — From Alexandria, Virginia, NewsRx journalists report that a patent by the inventors Buentello, Andre Rene (San Antonio, TX, US), Lilley, David Alexander (Schertz, TX, US), filed on February 10, 2023, was published online on February 6, 2024.

The patent’s assignee for patent number 11893568 is United Services Automobile Association (San Antonio, Texas, United States).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Consumers often have many financial accounts. Each account may have an associated payment card that allows the consumer to utilize the financial account in transactions with merchants. For example, the merchant may have a point-of-sale terminal that allows the consumer to swipe their payment card. The point-of-sale terminal then verifies the financial account information and processes the transaction.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “Various embodiments of the present disclosure generally relate to security of accounts. More specifically, various embodiments of the present disclosure relate to methods and systems for preventing unauthorized use of a financial account.

“Today, some financial institutions lock or close a consumer’s account when a payment card associated with the account is lost or stolen. The consumer typically notifies the financial institution that the payment card is lost or stolen. However, there may be a delay between when the payment card is lost and when the consumer notices it is gone and contacts the financial institution. During this interim period, the payment card may be used for fraudulent transactions.

“Embodiments are disclosed herein that allow a user’s computing device (such as a mobile phone) to identify whether a payment card is near the user. The payment card includes a security device that can communicate with a user’s mobile phone. For example, the payment card may include a Bluetooth device that can be paired with the user’s mobile phone.

“When a user attempts to use the payment card in a transaction, the mobile phone can verify that the payment card is nearby. The mobile phone may perform this verification by detecting that the payment card is paired with the phone. If the payment card is not paired, then the mobile phone can lock (or send a message to a server to lock) the consumer’s account associated with the payment card and prevent the transaction from proceeding. If the payment card is paired with the mobile phone, then it is assumed that the payment card is in the user’s possession, and the transaction is permitted to proceed. In some embodiments, the user’s account may be locked automatically when the payment card is out of range of the mobile phone, whether a transaction is taking place or not. In other embodiments, the payment card must be within a certain distance of the mobile phone (e.g., five feet).

“In other embodiments, the system may notify the user when the payment card is out of range of the mobile phone’s wireless communication. This notification may alert the user when the payment card is misplaced or stolen. The user may be given an option to lock the account associated with payment card or allow the account to be used.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A method comprising: sending, by a portable computing device, a transaction request for initializing a transaction using at least one user-selected consumer account, wherein the at least one user-selected consumer account is linked to a security device; in response to the transaction request, detecting, by the portable computing device, whether the security device is within a proximity to the portable computing device by determining whether the security device and the portable computing device are within communication range of each other, wherein the portable computing device is in communication with a point-of-sale terminal associated with a merchant, and wherein the security device and the portable computing device are associated with a user; in response to the portable computing device not being within the proximity to the security device, displaying, by the portable computing device, an option to lock or allow usage of the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device; receiving, by the portable computing device, an indication that the user selected the option to lock the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device; and in response to the indication to lock the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device, locking by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account to prevent the at least one user-selected consumer account from being used in the transaction with the point-of-sale terminal.

“2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: determining whether the security device has been previously paired with the portable computing device.

“3. The method of claim 1, further comprising: verifying the security device as authentic based on at least one security device identifier.

“4. The method of claim 1, further comprising: establishing, via a network, a connection with the security device.

“5. The method of claim 1, further comprising: in response to identifying that a merchant associated with the point-of-sale terminal is not an approved merchant, locking, by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account.

“6. The method of claim 1, further comprising: in response to identifying that an amount of the transaction exceeds a transaction limit associated with the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device, locking, by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account.

“7. The method of claim 1, wherein the security device comprises one or more of: a ring, a wallet, a watch, a necklace, a wristband, a purse, or a physical token.

“8. A system comprising: a portable computing device including: one or more processors; and one or more memories storing instructions that, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the system to perform a process comprising: sending, the portable computing device, a transaction request for initializing a transaction using at least one user-selected consumer account, wherein the at least one user-selected consumer account is linked to a security device; in response to the transaction request, detecting, by the portable computing device, whether the security device is within a proximity to the portable computing device by determining whether the security device and the portable computing device are within communication range of each other, wherein the portable computing device is in communication with a point-of-sale terminal associated with a merchant, and wherein the security device and the portable computing device are associated with a user; in response to the portable computing device not being within the proximity to the security device, displaying, by the portable computing device, an option to lock or allow usage of the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device; receiving, ty the portable computing device, an indication that the user selected the option to lock the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device; and in response to the indication to lock the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device, locking by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account to prevent the at least one user-selected consumer account from being used in the transaction with the point-of-sale terminal.

“9. The system according to claim 8, further comprising at least one server, wherein the process further comprises: determining, by the at least one server, whether the security device has been previously paired with the portable computing device.

“10. The system according to claim 8, further comprising at least one server, wherein the process further comprises: verifying, by the at least one server, the security device as authentic based on at least one security device identifier.

“11. The system according to claim 8, wherein the process further comprises: establishing, via a network, a connection with the security device.

“12. The system according to claim 8, wherein the process further comprises: in response to identifying that a merchant associated with the point-of-sale terminal is not an approved merchant, locking, by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account.

“13. The system according to claim 8, wherein the process further comprises: in response to identifying that an amount of the transaction exceeds a transaction limit associated with the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device, locking, by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account.

“14. The system according to claim 8, wherein the security device comprises one or more of: a ring, a wallet, a watch, a necklace, a wristband, a purse, or a physical token.

“15. A non-transitory computer-readable medium storing instructions that, when executed by a computing system, cause the computing system to perform operations comprising: sending, by a portable computing device, a transaction request for initializing a transaction using at least one user-selected consumer account, wherein the at least one user-selected consumer account is linked to a security device; in response to the transaction request, detecting, by the portable computing device, whether the security device is within a proximity to the portable computing device by determining whether the security device and the portable computing device are within communication range of each other, wherein the portable computing device is in communication with a point-of-sale terminal associated with a merchant, and wherein the security device and the portable computing device are associated with a user; in response to the portable computing device not being within the proximity to the security device, displaying, by the portable computing device, an option to lock or allow usage of the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device; receiving, ty the portable computing device, an indication that the user selected the option to lock the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device; and in response to the indication to lock the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device, locking by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account to prevent the at least one user-selected consumer account from being used in the transaction with the point-of-sale terminal.

“16. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise: determining whether the security device has been previously paired with the portable computing device, wherein the security device comprises one or more of: a ring, a wallet, a watch, a necklace, a wristband, a purse, or a physical token.

“17. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise: verifying the security device as authentic based on at least one security device identifier.

“18. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise: establishing, via a network, a connection with the security device.

“19. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise: in response to identifying that a merchant associated with the point-of-sale terminal is not an approved merchant, locking, by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account.

“20. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise: in response to identifying that an amount of the transaction exceeds a transaction limit associated with the at least one user-selected consumer account linked to the security device, locking, by the portable computing device, the at least one user-selected consumer account.”

For additional information on this patent, see: Buentello, Andre Rene. Automated proximity fraud account lock systems and methods. U.S. Patent Number 11893568, filed February 10, 2023, and published online on February 6, 2024. Patent URL (for desktop use only): https://ppubs.uspto.gov/pubwebapp/external.html?q=(11893568)&db=USPAT&type=ids

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