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Consorteum Holdings (CSRH.OB) Covers All the Bases

Consorteum Holdings Inc. has continually grown to cover almost every aspect of card, payment, and transaction processing. The driving idea behind the company’s expanding transaction offerings has always been to facilitate the transfer of financial or informational value in the most cost effective, creative, and user friendly way possible, making it easier on businesses while making it attractive to customers.

Here is a sample of the markets currently being addressed by Consorteum to give an idea of their range of service.

• Unbanked/Underbanked – It is estimated as much as 30% of the work force (some 130 million in North America alone) have minimal or no banking relationship. And yet these individuals often receive things like government benefits, payroll checks, or other types of payments. The banking industry has traditionally overlooked this market because such individuals don’t readily fit the bank’s standard cost/risk model, and don’t qualify for credit cards, mortgages, and CDs. Instead, banks routinely demand $8-$15 per month to maintain a zero balance checking account, and check cashing stores can charge 2%-5% to cash a pay check. In addition, immigrant workers often face significant fees for transferring funds to support relatives in foreign countries due to a lack of a better banking solution. Electronic card transfers provide a much more attractive way for such people to access their money.

• Check Cashing – The check cashing outlet industry services over 30 million people, and processes more than $80 billion worth of checks annually, usually payroll checks having a value of $500-$600. These are mostly young blue and white collar workers in the retail and service industry, often unbanked by choice. These individuals typically spend a full 10% of their net income on associated transaction servicing fees.

• Loyalty & Reward Programs – These are marketing programs designed to attract, keep, and cultivate a company’s customer base. Good loyalty programs encourage customers to join and continue to be good customers, buying more frequently and spending more with each transaction. They usually do this by offering perks for membership and for purchases. It’s a successful and growing idea, and top level VIP programs have even acquired a social cachet exceeding the financial value to the customer. The use of card processing makes such programs easier to manage and more attractive to customers.

• Payroll Cards – Payroll cards are a simple way to give employees immediate access to their pay, and can be used at an ATM, in stores, or to pay bills. Each pay period, pay is automatically deposited into the individual’s card account. Cardholders can receive monthly statements, and do not need a traditional banking relationship. The approach is particularly useful for part-time or temporary employees.

• Health & Wellness Industry – These are card programs developed to help customers better manage their own personal health and wellness, by facilitating informational transactions related to things like health risk assessment, personal health records, emergency medical records, diet and fitness tools, medical search engines, and even genetic testing. Cards can also be used to pay for services.

• Stored Value & Gift Cards – There are already more than 2,000 stored value card programs now available, involving 7 million branded cards, and yet trend analysts still consider the industry at the early growth stage. In other words, the multi-billion market, serving tens of millions of customers, still has a long way to grow.

• Consumer Rebate Programs – Rebate programs are extremely popular, but often inconvenient for both the vendor and the customer. There’s a huge need to streamline these programs, making them simpler for users and processors, and more cost effective. Providing consumers with rebate gift cards has been shown to greatly increase customer satisfaction, leading to a more positive overall view of the vendor by the customer.

• Merchant Discount Rates – These are percentage rates charged by financial institutions and processors to a merchant every time a customer uses a credit card. The amount charged is an important financial factor to every vendor, considering the number of card transactions some businesses face. A reduced discount rate greatly increases the value of an offering to a vendor.

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