Thursday, October 9, 2014

Intuit Patent # 885537 / Method and system for semi-automated setup of accounts within a data management system (Digital images of credit cards and checks, etc are captured & processed)

Intuit Patent No.8855377 : Digital images of account related items, such as credit cards, membership cards, ATM cards, checks, etc., are captured. The digital image of the account related items is then converted into electronic account data that is used to auto-fill add account information data fields of add account forms and semi-automatically add the accounts associated with the account related items to a data management system.

If you're interested in seeing that actual patent, complete with diagrams of checks and credit cards, flow charts, and a detailed explanation on how it all works?...Click Here: Intuit Patent 8855377.

Description

BACKGROUND

Over the past decade data management systems have enjoyed increasing popularity and use throughout the world. One important class of data management systems currently available are financial management systems.
Financial management systems are typically software applications which, along with a parent computing system or device, help users manage their finances by providing a centralized interface with banks, credit card companies, and other various financial institutions, to access associated accounts and obtain financial data for electronically identifying and categorizing user financial transactions. Currently, financial management systems typically obtain data associated with electronic financial transactions, such as payee, payment amount, date, etc. via access to a user's accounts with banks, credit card providers, or other financial institutions, using user provided login data and electronic data transfer systems or various other means for transferring financial transaction data.
While, as noted, financial management systems have enjoyed increasing popularity and now offer a significant array of services and/or features on both desktop and mobile platforms, one area that continues to be problematic for users of financial management systems, and particularly users of mobile financial management systems, is the process of adding and/or changing accounts that are to be accessed in order to provide data to the financial management system. This is particularly problematic when the user is initially using the financial management system because there are typically multiple accounts to be added, and the experience is likely to create the user's first, and lasting, impression of the financial management system and its ease of use
Currently, when a user of a financial management system desires to add or change one or more accounts to be associated with, and/or accessed by, a financial management system, the user must first access and interact, e.g., tap or otherwise manipulate, an interface screen on a display device of a user computing system to begin the add account process for each new bank account, credit card account, or other type of account.
The user must then search for the required/desired financial institution name associated with the new account in a search box, drop down menu, etc. In many cases, this step alone becomes an issue as potential users of financial management systems are often unable to find the desired financial institutions to add for one of various reasons including, but not limited to, typographical errors and/or misspellings, or the financial institution is not included in the provided listing of financial institutions.
Once, and if, the financial institution associated with the account is discovered/selected, the user must then select the financial institution name associated with the account and enter the account number manually. Only then can the user begin to enter the user's login data, e.g., password and user name, for the account.
Currently, even if successful, the add account process described above is tedious and must be repeated for each new/added account; thereby requiring the repeated accessing of multiple screens and/or interfaces for each added account. As a result, the current add account process is extremely burdensome for the user and particularly problematic for mobile computing system users who must enter the data via small display screens and with limited data input interface devices and capabilities.
Given that the process of adding and/or changing accounts for use with a financial management system plays a crucial role in enhancing user/customer satisfaction, and often determines if the customer continues the implementation and use of the financial management system, the situation described above is a significant problem for both the potential user of a financial management system and a provider of the financial management system. In addition, the situation described above is even more problematic for the ever increasing number of mobile financial management system users.
What is needed is a method and system to simplify the process of adding and/or changing accounts to be used within a data management system by making the add/change account process highly automated, intuitive, easy, efficient, and relatively error free.

SUMMARY

In accordance with one embodiment, a system and method for semi-automated setup of accounts within a data management system includes a process for semi-automated setup of accounts within a data management system whereby the common availability of digital image capturing capabilities, such as digital cameras, on computing systems, and particularly mobile computing systems, is leveraged. In one embodiment, digital images of account related items, such as credit cards, membership cards, or ATM cards, checks, etc., are captured. In one embodiment, a digital image of multiple account related items is captured at once.
In one embodiment, one or more edge/boundary systems are used to detect each individual account related item. In one embodiment, the digital image of the account related items are then converted by one or more OCR systems into electronic account information data that is used to auto-fill add account information data fields of add account forms and semi-automatically add the accounts associated with the account related items to a data management system, such as a financial management system.
Using the system and method for semi-automated setup of accounts within a data management system as disclosed herein, a process is provided to simplify the add account process by making the add account process highly automated, intuitive, easy, efficient, and relatively error free.
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