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Publication numberUS3671720 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 20, 1972
Filing dateNov 20, 1969
Priority dateNov 20, 1969
Publication numberUS 3671720 A, US 3671720A, US-A-3671720, US3671720 A, US3671720A
InventorsGeorge S Oberhart, James E White
Original AssigneeDay Albert J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Encoded card readout system
US 3671720 A
Abstract
A system employing encoded cards and a card readout machine wherein the cards incorporate both embossments and a light responsive encoding surface which cooperate with said machine to read out information encoded on individual cards. The readout machine which is employed in the system may be adapted for either "on line" usage with a computer or perform "off line" functions. Regardless of the usage to which it is adapted, the machine employs embossment encoding readout means in the form of a plurality of sensing pins which are mounted for movement within the machine and are adapted to be brought into engagement with an encoded card when it is suitably positioned within the machine. The pins perform switching functions in the machine's card readout circuitry in response to the locations of the embossments on the card. The embossments may take the form of embossed card identification numerals or a pattern of discrete embossments arranged in accordance with a predetermined code. The card further includes a light responsive encoding surface which cooperates with a suitable light source on the machine for anticounterfeit or fraud detection purposes.
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United States Patent White et a1.

[ June 20, 1972 [54] ENCODED CARD READOUT SYSTEM [72] Inventors: James E. White; George S. Oberhart, both of San Mateo, Calif.

[63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 867,567, Oct. 20, 1969, which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 855,068, Aug. 4, 1969.

3,105,908 10/1963 Burkhardt ..250/219 3,191,007 6/1965 Mixer 235/61.1 13 3,245,697 4/1966 Nugent .340/149 A 3,279,826 10/1966 Rudershausen. 235/61 12 3,437,793 4/1969 Van Berkel..... 235/6l.12 3,457,391 7/1969 Yamamoto. 235/61.6 3,512,130 5/1970 Hulett ....340/149 2,686,217 8/1954 Prince ..l78/l7 X 3,184,714 5/1965 Brown ..340/l49 A 3,299,298 l/l967 Schinner ..235/6l.7 B X 3,394,246 7/1968 Goldman... ....235/6l.7 B 3,414,716 12/1968 Jones ..l78/l7 X 3,432,645 3/1969 l-lartmann.. ..235/6l.1l C 3,502,851 3/1970 Kakimoto ..235/6l. l 2 R Primary Examiner-Maynard R. Wilbur Assistant E.\'aminerRobert M. Kilgore AttorneyNaylor & Neal [57] ABSTRACT A system employing encoded cards and a card readout machine wherein the cards incorporate both embossments and a light responsive encoding surface which cooperate with said machine to read out information encoded on individual cards. The readout machine which is employed in the system may be adapted for either on line" usage with a computer or perform off line functions. Regardless of the usage to which it is adapted, the machine employs embossment encoding readout means in the form of a plurality of sensing pins which are mounted for movement within the machine and are adapted to be brought into engagement with an encoded card when it is suitably positioned within the machine. The pins perform switching functions in the machines card readoutcircuitry in response to the locations of the embossments on the card. The embossments may take the form of embossed card identification numerals or a pattern of discrete embossments arranged in accordance with a predetermined code. The card further includes a light responsive encoding surface which cooperates with a suitable light source on the machine for anticounterfeit or fraud detection purposes.

7 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures Patented June 20, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR5 JAMES E. WHITE BY GEO/36E 5. OBEKHAKT ATTOKNEVS FIE.- -2- Patented June 20, 1912 3,671,720

3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN'TO 42 JAMES E. WHITE BY 650K615 5. OBEKHAKT j ATTOKNEV5 H j 122 :5; 7 8 JOHN DOE Patented June 20, 1912 3,671,720

3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Zi I Z80 am 1 I0 mumnon m 96 Q DAT E '50 PKUCESSOK TKANSMIT 1 INVENTORS 4 JAMES 5. WHITE BY GEOKGE 5. OBEKHAKT ATTOKNEYS I I TIME DELAY I 1: I E cmIIIEIzFm 70 [I WAY I more ENCODED CARD READOUT SYSTEM This application is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 867,567, filed Oct. 20, 1969 and entitled CARD READOUT SYSTEM, said latter application being in turn a continuationin-part of Ser. No. 855,068, filed Aug. 4, 1969 and entitled VERIFICATION SYSTEM.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a system for reading out information encoded on cards, and more particularly, credit cards. In its more specific aspects, the invention is concerned with a system wherein information encoded on a card by means of embossments and a discrete light responsive encoded surface is read out by a machine for purposes of card verification and/or data processing.

In the prior art, encoded cards for use in verification and related systems are known. Cards have been encoded, for example, by means of such arrangements as the incorporation in the cards of components having a predetermined resistence or capacitance characteristic. In addition, magnetically encoded cards have been utilized. These arrangements suffer from a number of deficiencies which render them undesirable for credit card verification purposes. Not the least of these deficiencies is the prohibitive expense in employing these relatively complex cards on a large scale. In addition, the readout mechanisms employed with such cards are relatively complex and prone to mechanical failure after repeated use. Complex readout equipment of this nature does not readily lend itself to use by the small businessman.

In addition to the electrical and magnetic verification systems of the type described above, the prior art also suggests electromechanical readout systems for use with embossed or perforated credit cards. Such prior art systems do not have sufficient flexibility nor are they inexpensive enough to permit their use by smaller organizations. The readout mechanisms employed in the prior art arrangements are characterized by their complexity and susceptibility to mechanical breakdown. In addition, cards employed in these systems which are encoded only by means of embossments or perforations provide no effective means whereby fraudulent or counterfeit cards may be readily detected.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a relatively simple and inexpensive system for reading out desired information from an encoded card, such as a credit card.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a system employing an encoded card which is inexpensive to manufacture and yet incorporates two different encoding means whereby the validity of the card may be determined and additional encoded information may be readily read out.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a card readout mechanism for use with a readout machine which is inexpensive, simple and durable in construction, and readily lends itself to reading out information from a card placed in operative association therewith.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above-noted and other objects of this invention will be understood from the following description taken with reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a card readout machine incorporating the teachings of the present invention just prior to insertion of an encoded card, also incorporating the teachings of the present invention, into the machine.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating details of the embossment encoding readout means in operative association with an encoded credit card.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the line 66 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating details of the antifraud detection mechanism employed in the readout system.

FIG. 8 is a plan view illustrating details of a credit card in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and showing at one end thereof potential embossment encoding positions which may be utilized.

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic illustration showing the system according to the present invention being used in an on line capacity with a remote data processor facility.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged plan view illustrating the principles employed when utilizing the card identification numerals as the embossment encoding means on a card.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, a card 10 constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention is illustrated just prior to its insertion into the system readout machine 12. As stated above, the card according to the present invention may be utilized with a readout machine adapted for either off line or on line use. Machines of both types are disclosed in co-pending application, Ser. No. 867,567, filed Oct. 20, 1969 and reference may be had to that application for a detailed explanation of both the off line and on line functions. To summarize briefly, the readout machine adapted for off line use incorporates means to punch a memorized code thereinto, means to read encoding embossments on a card and means including electrical circuitry to determine for card verification purposes whether or not embossment encoding on the card compliments the combination punched into the machine. The on line machine, on the other hand, incorporates means for reading embossment encoding on a card and means for feeding the encoded information to an electronic data processing center. In addition, the on line machine may be utilized to feed to the electronic data processing center information relating to such matters as the location of the machine, the amount of money being charged and/or information regarding the source of the card being utilized in combination with the machine.

For purposes of illustration it may be assumed machine 12 is a machine adapted for on line use with a computer, although it should be kept in mind that the principles of operation of the system disclosed in this application are the same whether employed with the off line or the on line machine. On line machine 12 includes a housing 14 within which the machine circuitry is confined. Projecting upwardly from the top of housing 14 is a card receiving portion 16 defining a slot 16a into which card 10 is adapted to be manually inserted. In addition to the card receiving portion, on line machine 12 includes a plurality of cash keys is, a transaction display window 20, and a tape exit slot 22. In addition, on line machine 12 includes a transmission indicator light 24, an anticounterfeit detection light 26, and three credit limit indicator lights 28a, 28b and 28c. The function of these various lights will be brought out in greater detail below. An on-off push button may also be provided on the on line machine panel as indicated by reference numeral 30. In accordance with the teachings of the present invention machine 12 further includes an anticounterfeit selector switch 32 disposed on the front panel thereof.

In FIG. 2 card 10 is shown in the position assumed thereby after it has been inserted in slot 16a defined by card receiving portion 16. With reference to that figure it may clearly be seen that slot at the upper extent thereof is defined by two sidewalls 34 and 36 of card receiving portion 16 which diverge outwardly to assist in the placement of card 10 in the slot by the operator. Diverging sidewalls 34 and 36 are connected at their lower ends to walls 38 and 40 respectively which are fixedly positioned between the top wall of housing 14 and a horizontally disposed support panel 32 fixedly positioned within the housing in any suitable manner. Slot 16a as defined by walls 38 and 40 is only slightly greater in width than the thickness of card 10 (including the embossments which will be described subsequently) so that the card engages both walls 38 and 40 thereby preventing lateral movement thereof.

Referring for the moment to FIG. 8, a credit card 10 suitable for use with readout machine 12 is illustrated. The card 10 preferably has printed on the surface thereof the name of the cardholder as well as the account identification number. Disposed above the account identification number is an encoding area 50 in which a plurality of embossments 52 are formed in the card. In the illustrated embodiment there are five potential embossment positions located in line above each of the characters of the account identification number. These potentialembossment positions are illustrated on the left-hand side of the card as viewed in FIG. I and designated by means of reference numeral A. In the event an alpha-numeric system is utilized in the account identification number a fivebit binary code is used to determine the position and numbers of the embossments disposed above each of the account identification number characters. In the event the account identification utilizes a numeric system only, one less row of potential embossment positions need be utilized to provide an accommodation for a four-bit binary code. For purposes of illustration in this application, however, it will be assumed that an alpha-numeric identification system is employed and that a five-bit binary code is utilized.

In addition to the embossment encoding area 50, card includes a second encoding area 60. Second encoding area 60 constitutes the antifraud or anticounterfeit feature of the card and will be describedin greater detail below.

Referring once again to the readout machine 12, and more particularly to the details of the machine as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, wall 40 has extending therefrom a plurality of horizontal support rods 62 and 64. Located on these support rods a predetermined distance from wall 40 is a nonconducting support plate 66 upon which a printed circuit 68 is formed on the side of the support plate disposed away from wall 46. Disposed in suitable apertures formed in wall 40 and support plate 66 are a plurality of embossment detection pins 70 which by virtue of being positioned in the aforementioned apertures are disposed in a generally horizontal plane. In FIGS. 2 and 3 only one group of five embossment encoding detection pins is illustrated, these pins being disposed vertically with respect to one another so that they assume positions corresponding to one row of potential embossment locations 54 above one of the characters of the account identification number. It is, of course, to be understood that there is one group of five pins for each character of the account identification number.

Pins 70 are constructed of an electrically conductive material. Formed on the pins as at 72 are enlarged contact portions which are also made of electrically conductive material. As may most clearly be seen with reference to FIG. 3, enlarged contact portions 72 are disposed on the side of nonconducting support plate 66 upon which printed circuit 68 is formed. Surrounding each aperture in nonconducting support plate 66 in which a pin 70 is disposed, is a donut-shaped contact 80 (FIGS. 3 and comprising a portion of printed circuit 68. It may readily be seen that pins 70 have a diameter less than the inner diameter of donut-shaped contacts 80 so that the shaft portions of the pins are maintained out of electrically conductive engagement therewith. Enlarged contact portions 72, on the other hand, are of a size permitting them to be brought into engagement with donut-shaped contacts 80.

Extending from the right-hand side of support plate 66 as viewed in FIG. 2 are horizontal support rod extensions 82 and 84. These support rod extensions may be formed integrally with horizontal support rods 62 and 64 or, as illustrated, support rods 62 and 64 and support rod extensions 82 and 84 may be secured to support plate 66 as by threaded securing means. Threadedly mounted on horizontal support rod extensions 62 and 3 3 are sleeve members 86 and 68 to which a plate 96 is secured. To provide stability to the free ends of horizontal support rod extensions 82 and 84 they are secured as by means of threaded fasteners to brackets 92 and 94 affixed to a solenoid 96, said solenoid being described in greater detail below.

As may most clearly be seen with reference to FIGS. 3 and 5, plate 90 has formed thereon a plurality of spring elements 100. In the illustrated embodiment, spring elements 100 are in the form of integral leaf springs which have been stamped out of the plate itself. Embossment detection pins 70 are spot welded or otherwise secured to the free ends of spring elements 1106.

Plate 90 is fixedly secured to the movable element I02 of solenoid 96. When solenoid 96 is in its de-energized state movable element W2 is in the position illustrated in FIG. 2. With reference to that Figure it is readily apparent that enlarged contact portions 72 of all of the embossment detection pins 70 are completely disengaged from printed circuit 68. In addition, the pointed ends of embossment detection pins 70 are completely retracted into their respective associated apertures formed in wall 40.

Upon energization of solenoid 96 movable element 102 thereof moves to the left as viewed in FIG. 2, thereby also moving plate 90 and embossment detection pins'70 to the left as well. Assuming that a card It) is positioned within slot 16a formed between walls 38 and 40, the pointed ends of embossment detection pins 70 will engage the card as they are moved to the left. Assuming that a pin contacts a location on the card in which no embossment has been formed, the enlarged contact portion 72 of that pin will not engage its associated donutshaped contact 80 since further movement of the pin is prevented by the card. This may most clearly be seen in the detailed view presented in FIG. 3 wherein two such pins are so blocked. Resulting relative movement between the blocked pins and plate 90 is compensated for by the flexing of spring elements 1% associated with those pins. In the event, however, that a pin 70 is in line with an embossment formed in the card, the pointed end of the pin will enter the embossment thereby permitting the enlarged contact portion 72 thereof to engage its associated donut-shaped contact 80 of printed circuit 6%. It should be readily understood that this selective engagement of enlarged contact portions 72 of the pins with the printed circuit 66 performs a suitable switching operation in the machine circuitry which permits the information encoded by means of embossments on the card It) to be read out by the circuitry.

For example of circuitry which may be employed in either an off line or on line machine, reference may be had to U.S. application, Ser. No. 867,567, filed Oct. 20, 1969, of which the present application is a continuation-in-part. Suffice it to say at this juncture, however, that the switching functions performed by each grouping of five pins is unique for each character of the account identification number since the embossment encoding varies for each character. The readout circuit is completed through the aforementioned switching arrangement through wire leads W6 associated with the printed circuit 68 and wire lead 108 which is electrically operatively associated with plate 90.

To insure proper registry of embossment detection pins 76 with potential embossment locations 54 on the card 10, it is necessary that the card be fixedly and accurately located within slot 16a. The mechanism for accomplishing this is shown in FIG. 6. The card, as previously stated, will not wobble within slot 16a since the distance between walls 38 and 40 (FIG. 2) is only slightly greater than the maximum thickness of the card 110, including the embossments formed thereon. Upon insertion of the card it is forced by the operator in a downward direction within slot 116a until the bottom of the card contacts horizontally disposed support panel 42. Horizontally disposed support panel 42 accurately positions the card vertically with respect to embossment detection pins 70. Slot 16a is in communication with a chamber 110 defined by a housing I112 which is fixedly positioned with respect to the card receiving portion 16. A spring biased follower 114 is disposed within chamber 110. Follower 114 is normally urged in the direction of the arrow and in the absence of a card being disposed within slot 16a is positioned partially within the slot. Card 10 when being inserted in slot 16a contacts a cammed surface 116 of the follower to urge the follower to the right (as viewed in FIG. 6) against the resilient urging of the associated spring. Follower 114, on the other hand, insures that the card 10 is securely maintained against a sidewall 118 comprising part of the card receiving portion 16. In this manner, card 10 is fixedly and accurately positioned within slot 16a due to its engagement with horizontally disposed support panel 42 and sidewall 118. It should be noted that one of the walls of card receiving portion 16 is notched out as at 120 to permit the ready retrieval of the card 10 from slot 16a.

Returning once again to FIG. 2, it may be seen that wall 38 has an aperture 130 formed near the bottom thereof. Aperture 130 is positioned such that it is in registry with. second encoding area 60 of card 10 when the card is accurately positioned in the readout machine 12. Disposed above aperture 130 and mounted for rotary movement upon wall 38 is a shaft 132 to which a color filter disc 134 is fixedly attached. Shaft 132 is connected to anticounterfeit selector switch 32 (FIG. 1) and is adapted to be selectively rotatably positioned thereby. Disposed in line with aperture 130 is a fraud detector mechanism indicated generally by means of reference numeral 136. With specific reference to FIG. 7, it will be assumed that the housing associated with the fraud detector mechanism has been removed thereby revealing the operative components thereof. The fraud detector mechanism operative components include a light source which is illustrated as being an electric lamp 138 and a photocell 140. A fixed opaque shield 142 is disposed between the light source 138 and the photocell 140 to prevent direct actuation of the photocell by the light source. Light source 138 should be chosen so that the light emitted therefrom is substantially white light. Color filter disc 134 is divided into three filter sections 144, 146 and 148 which incorporate respectively substantially spectrally pure red, green and blue filters.

The arrangement shown in FIG. 7 operates as follows. A card 10 to be detected as valid must incorporate in the second encoded area 60 thereof a surface which will cooperate with the readout machine mechanism in such a manner as to permit photocell 140 to detect the existence of light. Photocell 140 is in turn operatively disposed in an electrical circuit which is only completed upon actuation of the photocell. In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 7, it may be assumed that filter section 146 which is in alignment between light source 138 and second encoded area 60 contains a red filter. Assuming that the interior of the machine 12 in the vicinity of fraud detector mechanism 136 is substantially light tight, the only light that will impinge upon the surface of the card within second encoding area 60 will be red. Photocell 140 will only detect the existence of light impinging upon the surface within second encoding area 60 when that surface is of such a color as to have the capacity to reflect red light. In the event the color of the surface within second encoding area 60 is blue or green, for example, photocell 140 would not be activated.

It is the practice of large credit card issuing agencies to periodically reissue an entire series of new credit cards to their customers with the old cards no longer being considered valid. Utilizing the present invention, the new series of cards may be provided with a light responsive encoding surface having entirely different characteristics from those in the preceding expired series. For example, assuming that the old series of cards had a red light reflective surface within second encoding area 60, the new series may be imprinted within that area with a different color uniquely adapted to reflect either green or blue. All readout machine users would be notified of such a change and would make a suitable adjustment of color filter disc 134 within the machine to bring the desired color filter into registry with light source 138. In this manner, the readout machine photocell 140 would be responsive to only the light responsive encoding surface of the new series of cards.

It should be understood that the use of a light responsive encoding surface on credit card 10 to perform the antifraud function is quite advantageous from the standpoint of manufacture of the card as well as flexibility. The surface within second encoding area 60 may be imprinted on the card as by means of ink along with the imprinting of the other material which is customarily on such cards. Rather than constitute a simple round spot as shown, encoding area 60 may incorporate therein a service mark or the like at least a portion of which is responsive to reflect light of a predetermined color. In addition, the position of second encoding area 60 may be varied upon the card from one series to the next. Appropriate adjustments with respect to the fraud detection arrangement in the machine would then be made to adapt its use to the new location. Rather than employ a color filter disc and white light source as shown in FIG. 7, the light source utilized in the fraud detector mechanism may be ultra violet and the light responsive encoding surface within area 60 would be comprised of a suitable material reactive to such light to produce light in the visible spectrum which would be detected by photocell 140. Fluorescent inks excited by ultra violet light have the advantage that their position on the card may be readily camouflaged since many such fluorescent inks are invisible under ordinary ambient light conditions. This makes the task of a card counterfeiter even more difficult.

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic illustration showing the encoded card readout system according to the present invention being used in an on line capacity with a remote data processor facility. It should be understood that insofar as the readout system itself is concerned the operation thereof will be the same regardless of whether it is used in an on line or an off line machine. In both cases the embossment detection pins of the system perform switching functions in card readout circuitry associated with such machines. In addition, the systems anticounterfeit mechanism is employed in the machines circuitry. A brief explanation of the on line machine operation will serve to make the operation of these system components more readily understood.

After card 10 has been inserted into the machine, the operator pushes the on-off or transmission push button 30 (FIG. 1). This opens up the line between the readout machine and the remote data processing facility for information transmission through the machine transmit mechanism 150. In addition, the anticounterfeit mechanism 154 of the machine is actuated. Anticounterfeit mechanism 154 is disposed in a common circuit with anticounterfeit detection light 26 and said light will be selectively lit or unlit depending on the existence of a valid card 10 in the machine. In the event a valid card is detected by anticounterfeit mechanism 154 a circuit is completed through the anticounterfeit mechanism 154, and through a time delay relay 156 to solenoid 96. Anticounterfeit device 154 is also disposed in a common electrical circuit with transmit mechanism and upon the existence of a valid card will actuate said transmit mechanism 150 to commence transmission of desired information to the remote data processor. The first such information to be transmitted is the merchant identification number so that the remote data processor will recognize the source of the signal. Copending application, Ser. No. 867,657, filed Oct. 20, 1969, of which the present application is a continuation-in-part, may be referred to for an example of a suitable arrangement which may be utilized to encode this information into a readout machine for subsequent transmissron.

After energization of solenoid 96 embossment detection pins 70 will be positioned in engagement with credit card 10 in the manner previously described. By virtue of the various switching functions which have been carried out by these pins in accordance with embossment locations on the card, signals will be sent to the machine decoder 158 which is adapted to read out encoded information detected by means of pins 70 on card 10. The decoder 158 in turn signals the transmit mechanism with regard to this read out information. The transmit mechanism 150 then transmits to the remote data processor electrical signals uniquely indictative of characters sensed by pins 70 through the card embossments. This information relating to the account identification number of the card would be transmitted after transmission of the merchant identification number.

After sending this information to the remote data processor a return signal will be received therefrom which will actuate one of lights 28a, 28b and 2&0, advising as to the credit status of the identified account. Assuming that this status is satisfactory, transmit mechanism 150 will again be activated upon depression of on-off or transmission push button 30 and cash keys 18 of the machine cash keyboard will be depressed in accordance with the transaction and such information will be conveyed to transmit mechanism 156 through suitable circuitry. Once again, reference may be had to copending application, Ser. No. 867,567, filed Oct. 20, 1969, for details concerning one type of circuitry which may be employed for this purpose. Transmit mechanism 150, the actuation of which is indicated by means of transmission indicator light 24, transmits this transaction information to the remote data processor facility.

In the present system, rather than using a pattern of discrete embossments arranged in accordance with a predetermined code corresponding to the account identification number, the characters of the account identification number itself may be utilized as encoding embossments which may be sensed by pins 70. One approach for accomplishing this is illustrated in FIG. 10 wherein numeric characters utilized in the account identification number are shown as they are positioned with reference to a grouping of seven pins arranged in a predetermined pattern as designated generally by means of reference numeral 160. It should be noted that each numeral is adapted to be operatively associated with the pins in a grouping in a manner unique to that particular numeral. Assuming that these numerals are embossed in the card as all or a part of the account identification number, different pins would enter into said embossments for each numeral. In FIG. 8 the potential embossment locations as defined by each seven pin grouping which are disposed in side by side relationship are designated by means of reference numeral 162. Utilizing this arrangement the characters of the account identification number could be sensed directly by means of encoding embossment detection pins. In like manner, a suitable pin grouping could be utilized to detect different alphabetical characters in the account identification number if such are employed.

1 claim as my invention:

1. In a machine including readout circuitry adapted to read out information encoded on a card by means of encoding embossments and an encoding surface having predetermined light responsive characteristics, the improvement comprising:

means defining a slot adapted to receive said card;

a plurality of embossment detection pins selectively movable into and out of said slot, said embossment detection pins being slidably mounted for individual movement relative to said means defining a slot responsive to the detection of embossment on a card received within said slot and being engaged by a plate spring integrally formed with a plurality of leaf spring elements disposed, respectively, in biasing engagement with the respective pins to individually bias the pins toward said means defining a slot;

a board having a printed circuit thereon and a plurality of apertures formed therein, said embossment detection pins being mounted for slidable movement within said apertures;

enlarged contacts on said embossment detection pins for engagement with the printed circuit on the board in accordance with the position of said pins as determined by the embossments sensed on a card by said pins;

prime mover means for moving said plurality of embossment detection pins into and out of said slot;

positioning means for positioning said card in said slot so that the potential embossment locations on said card are in registry with said embossment detection pins; and I counterfeit card detection means adapted to cooperate with the encoding surface having predetermined light responsive characteristics on said card to determine the validity of said card.

2. The improvement according to claim I wherein said prime mover means comprises a solenoid actuator.

3. The improvement according to claim 2 wherein said solenoid actuator is in operative association with said counterfeit card detection means whereby said actuator is actuatable upon detection of a valid card by said counterfeit card detection means.

4. The improvement according to claim I wherein said counterfeit card detection means comprises a light source adapted to direct light on the encoding surface on said card and photoresponsive means adapted to detect light on the encoding surface when said card is valid.

5. The improvement according to claim wherein a selectively variable color filter is disposed between said light source and said card.

6. The improvement according to claim 4 wherein said light source comprises an ultra violet light emitter.

7. The improvement according to claim ll wherein said positioning means comprises a spring biased follower having a cammed surface engageable by said card upon insertion into said slot.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification235/440, 235/448, 200/46, 235/491, 235/454, 235/487, 382/201
International ClassificationG06K7/04, G07F7/08, G07F7/10
Cooperative ClassificationG07F7/086, G07F7/10, G06Q20/403, G06K7/045, G07F7/08, G07F7/1066
European ClassificationG07F7/10P6B, G06Q20/403, G06K7/04B1, G07F7/08B, G07F7/08, G07F7/10