By Bruce Carlson

Hi everyone! Since Karen and I have retired and moved down south to New Athens, we have begun to explore the area and how we can be of help and service to the Metro East area. We have been learning how to get around and find the everyday items you need. We had always figured we would continue to serve others but just weren’t sure what that would be.

Sometimes things fall into your lap. This is one of those things. I’m quite excited about this new opportunity. After talking with Bill I’m even more excited. It’s a win-win for everyone. I’ll stop rambling and get to the interview and let you decide. Please read on, this is good stuff.

The following is an interview with Bill Toth, leader of TranzactCard. He gracefully shared a few minutes of his time to give an overview of TranzactCard and the many benefits to those who use it.

Interview with Bill Toth on TranzactCard

Bill – My name is Bill Toth. I’ve been heavily involved in the direct sales, b2b, for the last 25 years. About three and a half years ago, I decided to bring on a new client, which was Loop TV. And if you’re not familiar with Loop TV, Loop TV is a company that was created about 10 years ago that basically owns all the music, and music video rights, to any video that’s played in public. And what they were looking at was turning a subscription model that they currently had into a free model where they’d make their money from ads playing on the TV.

The reason why that’s important is the story of how I got involved with TranzactCard. Loop continually added more content besides music and video. They own the rights to the TikTok channel, they’ve got the ability to have artists do endorsements at public venues. So we were looking at ways that we could improve the amount of time that these screens were being kept on in these businesses. When we saw TranzactCard, the first thing we thought was, hey, this is a great company to be part of our ad placement. An ad placement means instead of you paying for the advertising, which is what everybody does, that’s how Loop currently makes its money.

Instead, if you’re in a specific location and have players in your location, it will allow you to run a TransactCard ad with your QR code so that any customers, any employees, or any of your supporters that sign up for the service, you get credit for that as the business owner. So that’s what drove us from what we were doing with Loop to where we wanted to add what we call ad placement and TranzactCard was the perfect partner, roughly a little after March of this year is when we partnered up with them.

What is TranzactCard

Bruce – Cool. It’s interesting, Karen and I are very excited about being part of the TranzactCard family, but we’re new at it. So we’re looking for you as a source to fill in some of the blanks. My first question is what makes this different from any other debit card?

Bill – I think the first thing that always comes out of my mouth whenever I talk to anybody is this, TranzactCard is the only debit card that I know that is tied to rewards. And the fact that matters is you’re able to double anyone’s spending power with this debit card. And if you don’t mind, I’ll expand just a little bit on that only because it’s sometimes taken the wrong way by people. So with our debit card, and again, what makes it different is we also have a marketplace that people can go to, and they can use dollar for dollar.

So if you bought a $70 tank of gas, and then you paid for it, at that point, you’ve earned 70 of our Z bucks, dollar for dollar. But then when you wanted to buy something from our marketplace, which could have anything from consumable items to luxury items, you’re able to take in and use those Z bucks to buy in that marketplace, a little different than if you got reward points from American Express or some of the other ones where we usually get pennies on anything you do. This is dollar for dollar and allows you to actually double your spending power every time you use the card.

Tells us about Z Bucks

Bruce – Now my next question would be, can you expound a little more on this idea of Z bucks, this sounds like a brand new idea. How would I use Z bucks in my day-to-day life?

Bill – So think of the way that the company put this together, and I give the two co-founders, all the credit, Peter Rancie, and Richard Smith. When they were putting it together, they knew they needed two pieces for this rewards card, a debit rewards card to be different from anything else that was out there. The first had to be a reason for people to get the debit card and that dollar-for-dollar spending. That was the reason. But now the second had to be if I have the Z bucks, what does that mean? Is it cryptocurrency? What exactly is a Z buck? Is it where I can go into a place and get 2% off? Is it cashback? What exactly does that mean?

So where we’re different from anything else that’s out there is we treat it just like a coupon. This means that the important part of that is as long as you’re using it within our closed-loop system. It’s just like using an Arby’s coupon and you go in, there’s never going to be a tax tied to it. So whatever you paid for that product or service, that is exactly what you’re paying even the sales tax on, because that’s like a coupon. So when you look at the marketplace, and you say okay, I need a pair of sneakers. So you go maybe on Amazon, or maybe you go to your local guy, you look and see it’s $100 there, and then you go into the Z Club, as we call it.

And let me see what I can get that same pair of sneakers for. So you go in, you do the search, okay, I found a pair of Adidas, They are $100 at Amazon, and I can get them in the Z store for $50. It could be any range. But in this case, it’s $50, which means that $70 tank of gas, you earn 70 Z bucks. Now you’re going to buy that down with 50 of those $70 in Z bucks. You’re going to keep $20 which you can use for other purchases later. But that’s where we’re different than everyone else.

Now you’ve doubled your spending power because when you’re when you’re out buying things within our marketplace, you’re using those Z bucks that could be anywhere from 100% off to as little as probably 25% on everything from products that are consumable, luxury products, to services, like legal services are going to be in there, gonna be anything where you were a normal everyday person can use these services. That’s what’s important to putting these two things together. That’s what makes this debit card different from anything else that’s out there.

What other benefits are there?

Bruce – Cool. Cool. So the next question would be you’ve filled us in on what Z bucks are, are there any other benefits that the card brings to us?

Bill – So one of the other benefits that is pretty, pretty big, in my opinion, is the fact that every card is pre-programmed with some additional ways that allow you to save money, or take that money that you’re saving and put it into what we call our power save account. So I want you to get a picture. If you’ve ever gone into Home Depot or into Target or gone into Walmart, and you have one of those apps on your phones, or you do a lot of online shopping, and they call it cashback. So what’s cool about cashback is it’s instant. You get it instantly with whatever company that you set up versus where you would get coupons.

So in this case, you went into Home Depot, you saved, let’s say, anywhere from 1% to 6%, depending on which one of these major stores or restaurants you’re involved with, the cashback you’ll get with that money, when you use that card automatically, will get deposited into what we call a power save account. And that power savings account is not like what you’re probably thinking, a typical savings account at a bank that would give you very little interest.

This is where it’s based on a real estate trust, where they’re only investing in properties that they know they’re going to make money on, which would be commercial, or residential. That’s the key. And that’s why they’re able to create this real estate trust. So when that money goes in there, it’s not only the 2%, but it’s compounding every month from the day that it goes in there. That’s the first one. Another big value to the TranzactCard is when you use the card, you take the card, and let’s say you, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of acorn, you can round up your purchases, some people round up for charity, some people round up for their own account.

In our case with the TranzactCard, you tick a box, that’s programmed so that every time you use the card to purchase, the change will go into that power save account. And then the last one, which I think is the most important one is, again, it creates everybody to want to use the card not only when they’re when they’re outside of our, marketplace, but when you’re inside our marketplace. So when you use that card inside our marketplace, the company is going to take 2% of the full purchase price.

So on that $100 pair of sneakers, they’re taking 2%. And they’re putting that into your power save account, not the 50, but the full 2%. So when you look at what this will do, whether it’s somebody who just living paycheck to paycheck, whether it’s somebody who has a lot of money, but spends as much as they get this power save account will basically put them in a position where they’ll be saving money without having to come up with extra money to be able to save the money.

How does the community benefit?

Bruce – That’s the other really big thing that excites me about what this card can do for people in the community. Those are some really great ideas. I mean, you’ve taken these individual saving methods and put them all together in one place. So that’s, going to be I think, a real plus for people using this card, a lot bigger bang for the card than what they had before. My next question is, I’ve heard that TranzactCard is working with the local community banks, how are they benefiting from this?

Bill – So the way that our franchise model works is the lion’s share of the money is made from the interchange fee. That typically would go to the bank, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and then the interchange company and then the people who basically are selling the processing service to the business that’s using it, whether it’s online or offline. So again, I take it back to Peter Rancie, who put the whole banking side of this together. What he did is he said, Okay, like I’ve been involved with these community banks, they’re dropping like flies because they can’t have or hold enough deposits to compete in the marketplace to be able to stay open.

And in a lot of cases, they’re in the areas where they’re one of the only banks and some people just can’t get banked when those people leave. So there are two parts to being involved with the community. Number one, it’s this ability for us to give back to that community where the community bank is from with TranzactCard, but the second piece is now all that money that is going on those cards that are being held in deposit, not in your big Wells Fargo, Chase, but now it’s being held In these community banks, they can use that so they can get their ratings up. And in return, what they’re doing is they’re saying, okay, look, we’ll give you the lion’s share of the interchange fee.

Every time one of your customers who are our customers uses that card. Anywhere Visa is accepted. So it’s a, I call it a win, win, win, right? The bank wins, TranzactCard franchisees win. And then, of course, the customers win because all of us are doing something really good. But think about the other side of it. This is one thing where I throw this in all the time, is from the customer side and the franchisee. So as the franchisee I run into somebody whom I haven’t seen in a while, I tell them about my card, they order the card, they get the card, they make their first transaction, and they get 500 Z bucks just for making that first transaction plus they get whatever the Z bucks are. Now, what do I get as the franchisee, I’m getting a piece of that interchange fee. So I helped them double their spending power. And they helped me build my business in the community where my franchises. So hopefully that helps.

Is TanzactCard safe?

Bruce – Wow, that’s an interesting thought. So the next question I had was, how safe is this? Because people have asked us well, you know, I’m a little concerned that something’s going to happen to my money.

Bill – So when I get that question, it’s a question that we all have the first time that we look at any, it doesn’t need to be this one, but anytime there’s a company that’s in startup mode because we’re just over two years old now. Those are good questions that people want to know. So first, the way I answer this question is a couple of ways. Number one, the company is in a trust. And what that means is twofold.

Number one, it means that the company can never be sold based on the paperwork, the way that the trust was written. And the reason why that’s important from a safety standpoint, whether you’re a franchisee, or whether you’re a customer is you don’t want your account to get sold to the next big bank that wants it because as a franchisee you would lose the swipes and as a customer, you might not want to be with that big bank. So that’s the one safety mechanism that’s in place because it’s a trust.

Now the one that everybody always asked about how do I know my money is safe? That’s the one everybody really wants to know. We only deal with community banks that are FDIC-insured. This means it doesn’t matter what community bank your money is being housed in. At any given time, you know, 100%, that your money is FDIC insured. So that 250,000 insurance is there, it’s there for your protection. And our government covers that, if anything ever happens, just as you saw with some of these other banks, where people had more money in, and they still got covered, in some cases.

So those two are the big ones, where people really ask about the safety. But the third, which is the one where I kind of tie everything together, because of the way the company is set up, because we are basically building the new face of banking. The third one is, in terms of safety that everybody wants to know whether the company has enough money to do the expansion and everything that they’re doing.

Peter Rancie is the highest stakeholder in terms of dollars that he put in, he has sold some of his major real estate projects in the Salt Lake City area. So he has funded the company enough. And then the other principles within the company, have all made contributions as well. And part of that reason again, this goes back to safety. We know we have good fiscal people working in the company. And we know that we have the protection because we also have very, very good attorneys. So for me, this is the safest company I’ve been involved with. From a startup side, even though I can say I’ve started 10 businesses in the last 15 years, I never had this much safety in any of those businesses. They were all great ideas.

What’s the timeline for the rest of the year?

Bruce – Great. My final question would be what’s the timeline then for TranzactCard? We know we have the kickoff coming up in November. But what should people know, coming up to that?

Bill – So the way I look at the timeline now is the next milestone. So like I said, we’ve been around for two years. So there’s been a lot of things happening. We have over 10,000, what we call DBO (Digital Branch Office) today that are going to be converted over to franchises. And you’ll understand why I want to go through the timeline. So beginning of September, that first week in September, we will convert everybody over to an actual banking app, no different than if you had Wells Fargo or anything along those lines. That’s the next big milestone on that side.

What will happen in the next couple of weeks after that? A lot of the new what I like to call experience marketing material will start to end up with people to share in the community to get more credibility. That’s really what I call it, more credibility because the more people hear about the new face of banking with TranzactCard, the more credibility we all have as time goes on. And by the time customers can start sharing with customers. Everybody’s gonna have heard of TranzactCard. So the next milestone after that will be the beginning of October, when we launched the franchise system.

Everybody will get what they call Franchise Disclosure agreements. Everybody will have 14 days to read through it and make sure that one of the other things that’s safe about this is, the fact that we are using a franchise model and the banks love the fact that we’re using a franchise model because you get 14 days to decide to make sure this is the type of franchise I want to be involved with. And we have some reporting that we have to do that in the direct sales or if you just want a local grocery store you don’t have to do so. Going forward year after year, we have some serious filings, that’ll be happening.

That’ll start at the beginning of October giving everybody enough time to get us to where the big milestone will be on November 12th and 13th. Now, that’s when we’re going to do the launch in Vegas at the Paris Hotel. That milestone is where what I’ll call the full franchise system will be ready to go. The banking app will be tied to the franchise system. That may happen a little bit before but at that point, everything will be tied together.

And then the first time Z Club, where you will be able to go in and see probably anywhere between 500,000 and probably a couple million SKUs. And then every month after that, we’ll keep adding SKUs. Because right now under contract, we do have 25 million SKUs. We just can’t put them all into the marketplace on day one, I will say that, and the first SKUs that we put out, those are going to be the more consumable ones, because those are the ones that are gonna have people using that card the quickest. So those are our milestones.

Wrap up

I would like to thank Bill for his input on TranzactCard. This helped expand my knowledge of TranzactCard and what it can do for me and everyone I can get it in front of. This is a win-win for everyone. Why wouldn’t people want to get involved? Thanks again Bill for your input.

So ends another story of our moving and starting retirement. We hope you’ll continue to follow our blogs and articles as we continue to move into retirement. As we get into our new home, we’ll continue to report on what we find going on in southern Illinois.