Consorteum Holdings Inc. owes much of its success to plastic. Not the plastics industry, but to plastic cards, like the ones that every American seems to carry twenty of whenever they go to the store. If you could use a time machine to bring someone from the 1950s to the present, one of the first things they would notice is the almost total replacement of cash and checks with plastic cards. Cards are easier to use, less messy, quicker, and generally more efficient for everyone involved, including the consumer, the merchant, and the bank.

Banks, of course, have a special love for debit cards, which have exploded in use, and now exceed credit card purchases. Banks like them because they can get a fee from merchants whenever they are used. As a result, there are now countless bank-sponsored rewards programs enticing consumers to use their debit cards for anything they buy. These can include interest earned on your checking account, or even cash back for certain retail purchases.

But Consorteum goes well beyond these traditional uses of plastic. Consorteum has identified, and serves, a large and growing segment of consumers for whom the standard debit card offerings are simply not enough. This includes unbanked or underbanked employees who either have no banking service, or one that makes it difficult for them to easily and quickly access their money.

For example, part-time or temporary employees, or those who do not wish to use direct deposit, often end up with checks which may be difficult or costly for them to quickly cash. Pay offered in the form of personalized and reloadable prepaid payroll cards, which can be used at an ATM, or at stores, or to pay bills, resolves the problem. Consorteum provides this ability to employers around the country.

Consorteum has also identified uses for plastic that are more profitable for merchants. Businesses that are looking to hold onto their current customers, encouraging them to spend more, and to spend more frequently, can be set up with a Consorteum operated loyalty program. The system, based on the use of cards, rewards customers for making purchases and for staying with the merchant.

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