Years and years ago, a friend of mine started an advertising business. Basically, he wanted to be a “small town ad agency” helping Mom and Pop businesses advertise. And he had a really good idea – he was going to offer these businesses the ability to pay via credit card. Which, in 1992, was a big deal (if you remember, in 1992, it was uncommon for even a supermarket or fast food restaurant to take credit cards, never mind an advertising service.)
But he was undaunted. He wanted to give Mom and Pop the ability to pay him on credit. I have to say, as someone involved in equipment financing and credit, my friend was ahead of his time.
But try as he might, he couldn’t get it done. 1992 was “pre-web”, and the only way to accept credit cards was to walk into a bank and get things rolling. And banks laughed at my friend. I know – I went with him. One bank officer even said “son, that’s not how credit is used”.
Fast forward to now. The internet has made things very, very easy. And, attitudes towards credit have changed as well. Right now, my friend could go to one of several websites and in five minutes (and no expense at all), have the ability to accept credit cards from anyone, for anything, right on his website. No stuffy bank officer needed.
In fact, this has changed how we buy things, hasn’t it? Workers are now commonly paid via direct deposit, and some even get paid on a debit card. We use credit for everything. It’s super common. Even fast food is paid for by credit, and small town ad agencies can accept credit cards for their services. It’s a totally different world.
“So what does this have to do with equipment financing?” you ask… well, stay tuned for part two.