Google is reaching out to small business owners in a new way, by offering them an opportunity borrow money for advertising with the AdWords Mastercard from World Capital Financial Bank. With a low, 8.99 percent, ongoing interest rate, and purchasing power limited to the procurement of search advertising on the most popular internet search engine in the world, the AdWords card, for now, offers users no awards or perks.
“We are beta testing the AdWords Business credit card with a small group of our U.S.-based advertisers,” according to a Google spokesperson, “AdWords is a tremendous driver of growth for small businesses, so we think it makes sense to give them a more attractive way to pay for AdWords.”
Google plans to email invitations for the credit card to some of its customers, although they have not released details as to how many.
“Even though (availability) will skew toward the smaller businesses, obviously we want to cast a wide enough net so we can see what resonates depending on your historical monthly spend,” said Brent Callinicos, Google’s treasurer. He claims that the primary motive behind the card was to “provide loans to Google customers in an economic environment in which getting credit can be tough.”
The company will determine the creditworthiness of its invitees using in house methods with assistance from a financial partner. Credit limits on the cards will vary from cardholder to cardholder.
Vice president of global online sales, Claire Johnson, said that Google designed the AdWords card specifically to lend a hand to small and medium-sized businesses that already advertise on Google but who might not find themselves with the funds to bump up their campaign in anticipation of a potentially lucrative sales season.
“They are resource-constrained and they are often cash flow-strapped,” Claire said. “Many of them are trying to grow a business without the kind of means that, say, your classic company has.”
Google is focusing a lot of attention on courting SMBs and for good reason – currently 96% of its revenue comes from advertising. Most of that can be attributed to AdWords, which are the small ads that appear beside search results.
Megan Bramlette, director of knowledge management at Auriemma Consulting Group, points out “Google may want to do something else with this card down the road, so it bears watching. The new co-branded card could be the company’s first foray into other types of credit-based payment offerings.”