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(11) Patent Number: KE 131
(45) Date of grant: 8/4/2004
(12) PATENT
(51) IPC7 (7): G06F17/60, G07F07/10

(21) Application Number:PCT/DE97/01341 
(22) Filing Date:23/6/1997

(31) Priority Number:19627308.0 & 19627307.2
 (32) Date: 27/6/1996
(33) Country: DE
(72) Inventor(s): MIHATSCH, Peter
(73) Owner(s):MANNESMANN AG, of Mannesmannufer 2, 0-40213 Dusseldorf, Germany
(74)Agent/address for correspondence:Kaplan & Stratton P.O BOX 40111-00100 Nairobi  
 (84) WO No. WO 9800802

(54) Title: COMMUNICATION SYSTEM FOR TRANSMITTING ACCOUNTING INSTRUCTIONS
(57) Abstract
A communication system for transmitting accounting instructions has central and decentralized devices. Accounting instructions input by individual users at the decentralized devices are checked for authenticity and retransmitted to the central devices to be processed. According to the invention, the communication system has at least virtually networked devices, means of an independent second communication system (2) with stationary devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) and portable communication transmitters (23) which communicate therewith in an encrypted manner. The stationary devices (21, 22/1, and 22/2) of the second communication system (2) may be at least temporarily connected to the central devices (11) of the first communication system (1). Accounting instructions given by individual users with the portable communication transmitters (23) of the second communication system (2) can he previously authentified in one of the central devices (11) of the first communication system. A previously authentified encrypted accounting code can be stored at least temporarily in the portable communication transmitters (23) of the second communication system (2); and the previously authentified, encrypted accounting codes can be transmitted to a decentralized device (12/1 to 12/3) of the first communication system independently of the first and second communication systems (1, 2) to conclude the accounting operation.
 
Communications system for transmitting accounting instructions.
Description
The invention relates to a communications system for transmitting accounting instructions, according to the preamble of Patent Claim 1.
Such communications systems are known with clear prior use.
A multiplicity of prepayment smart cards, such as telephone cards, customer cards, credit cards etc. are in use for this purpose, which are suitable for being temporarily inserted into a remote device, which is physically separated from a central accounting device, in order to pay for goods or services. It is disadvantageous that these prepayment smart cards are normally suitable for a narrow specific purpose, for example telephone cards are suitable only for telephoning when using terminals of a single telephone organization, and can be used in conjunction with remote devices of varying convenience. Furthermore, obtaining such a prepayment smart card is normally accompanied by monetary loss. In addition, for liability reasons, such smart cards have limited maximum values, which limit their usability to a major extent.
Furthermore, a communications system for transmitting accounting instructions, so-called "home banking", has become known in which the user of this system uses a personal computer with a modem to transmit accounting instructions to a central accounting device, via a telephone link. The technical devices required for this purpose are transportable only to a limited extent. Furthermore, this method suffers from the lack of capability to make cash payments. In addition, the precautions for protection against unlegitimized access are, at least, incomplete.
The invention is thus based on the object of specifying a communications system of this generic type, which allows convenient access with the best-possible security against unlegitimized access, as well as wide acceptance.
According to the invention, this object is achieved by the means in Patent Claim I. Advantageous refinements of the invention are described in Patent Claims 2 to 6.

The invention is in this case based on a communications system which is known per se for transmitting accounting instructions, which comprises central and remote devices which are at least virtually networked with one another, and in which case the user-specific accounting instructions which can be input at the remote devices are checked for their legitimacy and are passed on to central devices for processing.
The essence of the invention is that an independent second communications system is provided, which comprises fixed-position devices and portable communications terminals which communicate with these fixed-position devices in encrypted form. In this case, the fixed-position devices of the second communications system can at least temporarily be connected to the central devices of the communications system, for transmitting accounting instructions. Theportable communications terminals of the second communications system can be used, after legitimization to initiate user-specific accounting instructions in one of the remote devices of the communications system for transmitting accounting instructions. In this case, the user is
legitimized during his access to the second communications system.
User access to the services of the second communications system is protected against unlegitimized access by a multi-stage identification process. To this end, the terminal number of the portable communications terminal, the user's subscriber number, which is stored on a replaceable module within the portable communications terminal, and the personal identification number of the user are interrogated by the fixed-position devices of the second communications system. This multi-stage identification process prevents unlegitimized access to the second communications system, when used correctly. The second communications system is preferably a mobile communications system based on the GSM Standard.
There is advantageously no need for any further legitimization.
The invention furthermore provides that initiated and legitimized accounting instructions can be transmitted as an accounting code, originating from the remote devices of the first communications system, via the portable communications terminal of the second communications system, at least to a fixed-position device of the second communications system. The accounting codes for actual accounting purposes can be transmitted from this fixed-position device to the central device of the first communications system.
In this case, there is advantageously no need for the central and remote devices of the first communications system to be networked.
An accounting instruction initiated by a user is input using the means of the portable communications terminal of the second communications system. The portable communications terminal is equipped with a keyboard and, preferably, with a display apparatus for this purpose. The accounting instruction is converted within the remote device of the of the [sic] communications system for transmitting accounting instructions into an accounting code, which is transmitted via devices of the second communications system in encrypted form.
The accounting codes can be settled in a fixed-position device and can be debited from the user together with the user-specific debit for using the services of the second communications system. In this case, it is regarded as advantageous that the user now receives only a single overall bill periodically for information and checking, both for the use of the services of the second communications system and for payment for goods and services to and from remote devices of the communications system for transmitting accounting instructions.
Furthermore, a high level of convenience is advantageously achieved with the best-possible security against unlegitimized access, since known portable communications terminals have such small volumes that they can always be carried on the person.
An additional positive effect may be regarded as being that accounting business can be carried out in addition using a single device carried on the person, which is in any case already widely used for the purpose of verbal and data communication.
 
The invention is explained in more detail in the following text, with reference to an exemplary embodiment, including consideration of advantageous refinements.
The single figure shows a communications system 1 for transmitting accounting instructions, having a central device 11 and three remote devices 12/1 to 12/3.
Furthermore, a second communications system 2 having fixed-position devices 21, 22/1 and 22/2 and portable communications terminals 23 is shown, this system being designed as a mobile communications system. In this case, the fixed-position devices 21, 22/1 and 22/2 are permanently linked to one another. A link between the portable communications terminal 23 and one of the fixed-position devices 22/1 and 22/2 is accordingly produced when required, this link being a radio link with encrypted data transmission.
The fixed-position device 21 of the second communications system 2 is linked to the central device 11 of the communications system 1 for transmitting accounting codes. This link may be permanently connected, or may be connected temporarily, on request.

A user-specific accounting instruction is input on the keyboard of the portable communications terminal 23 and is transmitted to the remote device 12/1 of the communications system 1 for transmitting accounting instructions, in which case the satisfaction of the access preconditions to the second communications system (2) is the user-specific legitimization for the initiation of accounting instructions in the first communications system (1).
Since the legitimization of the user has already been checked in a number of stages during access to the mobile communications system 2, there is advantageously no need for any additional legitimization of the user for the purposes of the central device 11 of the communications system 1 for transmitting accounting instructions. In this case, it may be regarded as being a further advantage that the number of access and identification keys to be remembered by the user is reduced, thus reducing risk of confusion and incorrect identification. This feature is particularly important with regard to the tightly limited number of access attempts used as the basis of security in conventional systems.
The accounting instruction is converted, in one remote device 12/1 of the communications system 1 for transmitting accounting instructions, into an accounting code which, originating from the remote devices 12/1 of the first communications system 1, is transmitted via the portable communications terminal 23 of the second communications system 2 at least to a fixed-position device 21 of the second communications system 2. Acknowledgement by the fixed-
 
position device 21 that it has received the accounting code is sufficient to actually order goods or services.
In this case, the invention provides that the portable communications terminal 23 of the mobile communications system, and the remote device 12/1 of the communications system 1 for transmitting accounting instructions, can be connected to one another via a wire-free, short-range communications arrangement, in which case the portable communications terminal 23 and the remote device 12/1 are each equipped with transmitting and receiving means.
In an advantageous refinement of the invention, this wire-free, short-range communications arrangement is represented by an infrared link. The technical means required to do this are distinguished in an advantageous manner by very small volumes and very low supply requirements, so that they can advantageously be integrated in known portable communications terminals.
In an alternative refinement of the wire-free, short-range communications arrangement, the invention provides for this arrangement to be designed as an ultrasound link. The technical means required for this purpose have the same advantageous characteristics as the infrared link.
A more far-reaching refinement of the invention provides for the legitimized accounting code to be transmitted in encrypted form in accordance with the algorithms in the traffic between the fixed-position devices 21, 22/1 and 22/2 and the portable communications terminals 23 of the mobile communications system 2 which communicate with these fixed-position devices 21, 22/1 and 22/2 in encrypted form, thus allowing wide acceptance based on the far-reaching safety precautions.
The invention furthermore provides that the fixed-position devices 21, 22/1, and 22/2 of the second communications system 2 can be split into central fixed-position devices 21 and remote fixed-position devices 22/1, 22/2, and that the central fixed-position devices (21) can be equipped with means for settlement storage of accounting codes. In mobile communications systems which can preferably be used, these means for settlement storage of accounting codes can advantageously be integrated in the already implemented means for user-specific debiting for the use of the services of the mobile communications system.
 
Patent Claims
1. Communications system for transmitting accounting instructions, which comprises central and remote devices, user-specific accounting instructions which can be input at remote devices being checked for their legitimacy and being passed on to central devices for processing, characterized
    -in that means of an independent second communications system (2) are provided, having fixed position devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) and having portable communications terminals (23) which communicate with these fixed-position devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) in encrypted form,
     - in that the fixed-position devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) of the second communications system (2) can at least temporarily be connected to the central devices (11) of the first communications system (1),
     - in that the portable communications terminals (23) of the second communications system (2) can be used to initiate user-specific accounting instructions in one of the remote devices (12/1 to 12/3) of the first communications system (1), in which case the satisfaction of the access preconditions to the second communications system (2) is the user-specific legitimization for the initiation of accounting instructions in the first communications system (1),
 
- in that the initiated and legitimized accounting instructions can be transmitted as an accounting code, originating from the remote devices (12/1 to 12/3) of the first communications system (1), via the portable communications terminal (23) of the second communications system (2), at least to a fixed-position device (21) of the second communications system (2), and
- in that the accounting codes can be transmitted from the fixed-position device (21) of the second communications system (2), for actual accounting purposes, to the central device (11) of the first communications system (1).
2. Communications system according to Claim 1, characterized in that the communications terminals (23) of the second communications system (2), and the remote device (12/1 to 12/3) of the first communications system (1) can be connected to one another via a wire-free, short-range communications arrangement, in which case the communications terminals (23) and the remote device (12/1 to 12/3) are each equipped with transmitting and receiving means.
3. Communications system according to Claim 2, characterized in that the wire-free, short-range communications arrangement is represented by an infrared link.
 
4. Communications system according to Claim 2, characterized in that the wire-free, short-range communications arrangement is represented by an ultrasound link.
5. Communications system according to Claim 1, characterized in that the initially legitimized, encrypted accounting code can be transmitted in encrypted form in accordance with the algorithms in the traffic between the fixed-position devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) and portable communications terminals (23) of the second communications system (2), which communicate with the fixed-position devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) in encrypted form.
6. Communications system according to Claims 1 and 5, characterized in that the fixed-position devices (21, 22/1, 22/2) of the second communications system (2) are split into central fixed-position devices (21) and remote fixed-position devices (22/1, 22/2), and in that the central fixed-position devices (21) comprise means for settlement storage of accounting codes.
 
List of reference symbols
1 Communications system for transmitting accounting instructions 11 Central device12/1 to 12/3 Remote devices

2 Second communications system 21, 22/1, 22/2    Fixed-position devices 
 Portable communications terminal

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