US 20060151348 A1
A dual card package having cards secured within. A first panel of the package includes an access flap that is pivotal about a fold line. A second panel is also foldable along a fold line substantially corresponding to the fold line of the access flap. One card is accessible by the access flap so that the package is selectively movable from a closed position in which an magnetic strip on the card is covered and an open position in which the access flap and the second panel is swung out from the card such that the magnetic strip is exposed for activation purposes.
1. A debit card package, comprising:
a first panel defining a first plane and including an access flap joined to said first panel along a score line, said access flap being selectively pivotal in a single direction about said score line such that said package is selectively movable between a closed position in which said access flap is in substantial alignment with said first plane and an open position in which said access flap is swung out and away from said first panel along said score line so that said access flap is substantially outside of said first plane and defines a second plane distinct from said first plane;
said access flap having an interior surface including identification indicia on said interior surface, said identification indicia being exposed and observable when said package is in said open position; and
a debit card removably secured within the debit card package, said debit card having a activation portion, said activation portion being exposed and capable of being activated when access flap package is in said open position.
2. The debit card package of
3. The debit card package of
4. The debit card package of
5. The debit card package of
6. The debit card package of
7. The debit card package of
the rear panel interconnected with said front panel, an access flap retention means present on said rear panel for providing resistance to movement of said access flap out of the first plane;
the debit card disposed between said front panel and said rear panel; and
said access flap rearwardly moveable away from said front panel.
8. The debit card package of
9. The debit card package of
10. The debit card package of
11. The debit card package of
12. The debit card package of
13. The debit card package of
14. The debit card package of
15. The debit card package of
16. The debit card package of
17. A method for activating a packaged debit card, comprising the steps of:
providing a package with a debit card disposed on a panel, the panel including a access flap that is pivotal about a fold line, the package including retention means for temporarily retaining the access flap in a plane defined by the first panel, the card being secured within said package, the card including an identification means for identifying the card for activation purposes;
applying a force to the access flap to overcome the retention means;
swinging the access flap into an open position out of the plane defined by the first panel;
reading the identification means while the access flap is in the open position and while the card remains within said package; and
activating the card in an activation device based on the identification means.
18. The method of
19. The method of
20. The method of
The present invention relates to packaging and more particularly to a package for debit cards such as phone cards, bankcards, credit cards, and debit cards.
Wallet cards are well known and widely used for a variety of purposes. For example, wallet cards have long been used as credit cards, debit cards, rental cards and bankcards. Wallet cards are also used to represent a variety of pre-paid services. Prominent examples of this are pre-paid phone cards, merchant cards, gift cards and debit cards that are offered by a number of companies. To reduce the risk of theft, pre-paid cards are typically stored, or displayed, in an inactive status. As a result, pre-paid cards usually require activation before they will function. Often, activation is performed at the time of purchase by reading a unique identification number encoded on the card. This method is widely referred to as “point-of-sale activation.” The identification number is generally stored on a magnetic strip, encoded into a bar code, or stored in a memory device (such as a smart chip) attached the card. The identification number is read by a card reader (e.g. a magnetic card reader, bar code scanner, smart chip reader or the like) and then transmitted to a device that activates the card. Once activated, the card entitles the holder to access the functionality of the card.
A variety of phone card packages are commercially available that facilitate point-of-sale activation of the pre-paid card by packaging the card so that the identification number is accessible for reading without removing the card from the package. One such type of phone card package 200 includes front 202 and rear (not shown) panels that sandwich the upper portion 204 of the card 206 (See
A second type of point-of-sale phone card package 300 includes panels that can be folded about the card 302 to provide access to the identification number (See
Another prior art wallet card package is illustrated in
The prior art packages all described above, fail to provide additional activation and security features suitable for use with debit cards. In particular, there is no suitable provision in such prior art packaging for efficient access to a debit card's personal information number (“PIN”), let alone efficient access that also provides access to the debit card for activation purposes.
In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof wherein like numerals designate like parts throughout, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural or logical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. Therefore, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
Embodiments of the present invention include a user-friendly packaging for loadable debit cards.
In the following description, various aspects of selected embodiments of the present invention will be described. However, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art and others that alternate embodiments may be practiced with only some or all of the aspects of the present invention. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art and others that alternate embodiments may be practiced without the specific details. In other instances, well-known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the illustrated embodiments.
The various operations will be described as multiple discreet steps in turn, in a manner that is most helpful to understanding of the present invention. However, the order of description should not be construed to imply that these operations are necessarily order dependent. In particular, these operations may not be performed in the order of presentation.
The phrase “in one embodiment” is used repeatedly. The phrase generally does not refer to the same embodiment, however, it may. The terms “comprising,” “having” and “including” are synonymous, unless the context dictates otherwise.
Embodiments shown in
A debit card package, according to one embodiment, is illustrated in
The front panel 512 may be a generally rectangular, planar sheet of paperboard. The front panel 512 defines a card opening 550 that permits viewing a card 505A. The opening 550 may be similar in shape to, but slightly smaller than, the periphery of the card 505A. As a result, the front panel 512 overlaps the card 505A around its entire periphery. This prevents the card 505A from being pulled forwardly through the opening 550 without damaging the package 500.
As shown in
The debit cards 505A-B are generally conventional, and may be manufactured from a sheet of plastic material. The cards 505A-B include card numbers 510A-B and magnetic strip 511B (magnetic strip of card 505A not shown). The magnetic strip 511B is applied to a surface of the card 505B, such that the magnetic strip 511B may be passed through a card reader when the access flap 516 is open (as described below). The dimensions of the cards 505A-B may vary from application to application as desired. In addition, if desired, the magnetic strip 511B can be replaced by a bar code or other form of machine-readable identification and/or activation information.
The debit cards 505A-B are manufactured using conventional techniques and apparatus. The one surface card 505A, which is visible through the opening 550 in the front panel 512, may be printed with the desired graphics.
The debit cards 505A-B are secured to the package 500 by a layer of peelable adhesive (not shown). The adhesive may be either a hot melt or a cold glue. A suitable hot melt is available from L&D Adhesives of Comstock Park, Mich. under the trade name INSTANT-LOK. Suitable cold glues include formulated rubber latex available from L&D Adhesives under the trade name National 35-6148 and compounded natural rubber latex available from P-H-X, Inc. Of Milwaukee, Wis. under the trade name PHX 4011. The peelable adhesive is characterized by its relatively high shear strength and relatively low peel strength. The low peel strength permits the cards 505A-B to be easily peeled up from the package 500 when the panels 512 and 514 are separated. Alternatively, as desired, the cards 505A-B may be secured to the package 500 by other conventional methods.
A rack-hanging hole 540 is defined within the front 512 and rear 514 panels. The two holes 540 are aligned to form a single hole when the package 500 is closed. The rack-hanging hole 40 is used for hanging the package 500 from a conventional display hook (not shown). Obviously, the hole 540 can be eliminated if desired.
If desired, a transparent window (not shown), such as a transparent plastic film, can be secured in the opening 550 to protect the front surface of the card 505A. The transparent window may be secured to the front panel 512.
As perhaps best illustrated in
Referring now to
As best seen in
Once the package 500 is die cut, a peelable adhesive is applied to an interior surface of the package 513,515 using conventional techniques and apparatus. Alternatively, the adhesive can be applied to the cards 505A-B. The cards 505A-B are then secured to the package 500 by placing them into position on the package 500. The cards 505A-B can alternatively be secured by adhesive tape, double sided tape or other conventional securing mechanisms.
A layer of adhesive or cement is then applied to either or both of the interiors front 513 and rear 514 panels using conventional techniques and apparatus. The package 500 is then folded along fold line 530 using conventional folding machinery to complete the package 10. The cement secures the panels 512 and 514 in the folded position.
Alternatively, the cement can be eliminated and the front 512 and rear 514 panels can be sealed together using an alternative technique. For example, the two panels can be secured by a heat-activated adhesive that is pre-applied. When a heat-activated adhesive is used, the two panels are folded and then sealed together by selectively applying heat and pressure to the panels.
As a second example, the front 512 and rear 514 panels can be secured by applying a layer of peelable adhesive to the entire face of either or both of the front 512 and rear 514 panels, except the access flap 516. In this embodiment, the layer of peelable adhesive secures the panels together and secures the card to package 500.
In the completed package 500, the cemented front 512 and rear 514 panels entrap cards 505A-B, with card 505A visible through opening 550. Prior to purchase, for example, when the package 500 is on display, the cards 505A-B are in an inactive state, and the access flap is in the closed position. When the cards 505A-B are purchased, it is necessary to activate the cards 505A-B. The activation process is well known and will not be described in detail. Suffice it to say that the cards 505A-B are activated by reading the activation information encoded on the magnetic strip 511B and communicating that activation information to an activation device (not shown). The activation device activates the cards 505A-B.
To activate a card 505B (and associated card 505A), it is necessary to obtain access to the magnetic strip 511B. Access to the magnetic strip 511B is obtained by applying a force to the access flap 516 to separate it from the rear panel 514. Once sufficient force is applied, the cut line 518 is ruptured or broken and the access flap 516 is free to swing rearwardly away from the package 500. The access flap 516 is then swung rearwardly into the open position substantially perpendicular to the plane of the package 500. In use, the secured card 505B stays within the package 500. The access flap 516, which initially covers the magnetic strip 511B, swings rearwardly and out of the way as the card 505B and magnetic strip 511B are exposed. The exposed strip 511B can then be passed through a conventional magnetic strip card reader (not shown), to provide activation information, while the card 505B remains attached within the package 500.
Once the card 505B (and 505A) is activated, PIN 525 printed on the access flap 516 may be used to initiate a load transaction to load a stored value to the card 505B (i.e., to an account associated with the card number).
Access flap 516 can be returned to the closed position by manually swinging the Access flap 516 back into a substantially closed position without substantially deforming the appearance of the package 500. The access flap 516 will generally partially close by virtue of its inherent tendency to return to the closed position. As a result, the access flap 516 also helps to hide the PIN 525 from inadvertent exposure.
Eventually, it will be desirable to remove the cards 505A-B from the package 500 so that they can be easily carried, for example, in a wallet. To remove the cards 505A-B, the access panel is opened along cut lines 518 to provide easy access to the cards 505A-B. The cards 505A-B are separated from the access panel 520 by simply peeling the cards 505A-B up from the peelable adhesive to separate it from the access panel 520. The low peel strength of the peelable adhesive permits relatively easy removal of the cards 505A-B.
The foregoing descriptions disclose various embodiments of the present invention in which the access flap 516 is hinged or foldably joined to the panel along its adjacent to card 505B. In alternate embodiments, the access flap can alternatively be hinged or foldably joined to the panel along other edges.
Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art and others, that a wide variety of alternate and/or equivalent implementations may be substituted for the specific embodiment shown and described without departing from the scope of the present invention. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the embodiment discussed herein. Therefore, it is manifested and intended that the invention be limited only by the claims and the equivalence thereof.