Requirements and Design for Voucher Trading System (VTS)
RFC 3506

Document Type RFC - Informational (March 2003; No errata)
Last updated 2015-10-14
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Network Working Group                                        K. Fujimura
Request for Comments: 3506                                           NTT
Category: Informational                                      D. Eastlake
                                                                Motorola
                                                              March 2003

        Requirements and Design for Voucher Trading System (VTS)

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   Crediting loyalty points and collecting digital coupons or gift
   certificates are common functions in purchasing and trading
   transactions.  These activities can be generalized using the concept
   of a "voucher", which is a digital representation of the right to
   claim goods or services.  This document presents a Voucher Trading
   System (VTS) that circulates vouchers securely and its terminology;
   it lists design principles and requirements for VTS and the Generic
   Voucher Language (GVL), with which diverse types of vouchers can be
   described.

Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

Table of Contents

   1.  Background ....................................................2
   2.  Terminology and Model .........................................3
       2.1 Voucher ...................................................3
       2.2 Participants ..............................................3
       2.3 Voucher Trading System (VTS) ..............................4
   3.  VTS Requirements ..............................................5
       3.1 Capability to handle diversity ............................6
       3.2 Ensuring security .........................................6
       3.3 Ensuring practicality .....................................7

Fujimura & Eastlake          Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3506              Voucher Trading System (VTS)            March 2003

   4.  Scope of VTS Specifications ...................................7
       4.1 Voucher Trading Protocol ..................................7
       4.2 VTS-API ...................................................8
       4.3 Generic Voucher Language ..................................8
   5.  GVL Requirements ..............................................8
       5.1 Semantics .................................................8
       5.2 Syntax ....................................................9
       5.3 Security .................................................10
       5.4 Efficiency ...............................................10
       5.5 Coordination .............................................10
       5.6 Example of GVL ...........................................10
   6.  Application Scenarios ........................................11
   7.  Q & A ........................................................13
   8.  Security Considerations ......................................13
   9.  Acknowledgments ..............................................13
   10. References ...................................................13
   11. Authors' Addresses ...........................................14
   12. Full Copyright Statement......................................15

1. Background

   It is often necessary to credit loyalty points, collect digital
   coupons or gift certificates, etc, to complete purchases or other
   trading transactions in the real world.  The importance of these
   activities is also being recognized in Internet Commerce.  If a
   different issuing or collecting system to handle such points or
   coupons must be developed for each individual application, the
   implementation cost will be excessive, inhibiting the use of such
   mechanisms in electronic commerce.  Consumers may also be forced to
   install a number of software modules to handle these points or
   coupons.

   A voucher is a digital representation of the right to claim services
   or goods.  Using vouchers, a wide-range of electronic-values,
   including points or coupons, can be handled in a uniform manner with
   one trading software module.

   This document presents the terminology and model for a Voucher
   Trading System (VTS) that circulates vouchers securely; it also lists
   design principles and requirements for a VTS and the Generic Voucher
   Language (GVL), with which diverse types of vouchers can be
   described.

Fujimura & Eastlake          Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 3506              Voucher Trading System (VTS)            March 2003

2. Terminology and Model

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