Google Eyes Small Biz With New Credit Card

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Google is on its way to becoming a de facto bank. It already has a mobile wallet, and now it’s coming out with a new small business credit card for its AdWords customers.

So what does it mean for small businesses?

It’s actually ironic that Google is getting into the credit card market. Company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page used credit cards to launch Google in the mid-1990s, and now they’re using credit cards to grow their company, which today boasts a market cap of $195.4 billion and a stock price of $605 per share.

Here are some facts about the new Google credit card:

  • The card is earmarked for small business users, particularly owners who use plastic to pay for Google AdWords advertisements.
  • MasterCard will issue the card.
  • The card will have no annual fee and a 8.99% annual percentage rate.
  • The card should be available in beta test form immediately. Small business owners can contact their AdWords representative for access.

Why a small business card for AdWords customers? Google says that business owners often need to beef up ad campaigns at select times during the year (think an online retailer needing a bigger advertising budget around the holiday season).

“They are resource-constrained and they are often cash flow-strapped. Many of them are trying to grow a business without the kind of means that, say, your classic company has,” notes Claire Johnson, vice president of global online sales at Google.

With a credit card on hand from the company they’re already doing business with, Google customers can get quick access to advertising funds to pay for more Google AdWords advertising.

The synergy is there for Google, too. The search engine giant already works with MasterCard (Stock Quote: MC) and Citi (Stock Quote: C) on its mobile wallet program. With the new credit card, MasterCard and Google cement that relationship, potentially setting the stage for a broader credit card release down the road (although Google hasn’t formally announced any additional card releases).

For now, the Google card release is limited, but if you’re a small business owner who wants to pay for ad campaigns via AdWords, the Google credit card could fit the bill.

And it certainly builds a launching pad for a newer, broader credit card release from Google, which more and more looks like it’s getting ready to be a major player in the financial services market.

—For more tips and tricks for managing your small business, visit MainStreet’s “Small Business” topic page for all of our latest coverage!

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