Fixing The Weakest Link: Push vs. Pull

Your credit card shouldn’t be the weakest link when advertising on Facebook, Google, TikTok or one of the other ad networks—but it is for many online advertisers. There are a couple of reasons why, but there are ways to overcome them.

  1. Traditional credit card providers don’t understanding digital advertising or advertisers

  2. Inherent flaws in the algorithms used by digital ad networks can handicap successful ad campaigns

Traditional Card Providers Don’t Understand Digital Advertisers

If your brand does a lot of advertising online, your business will likely be attractive to a lot of credit card providers. You run a lot of profitable transactions through your credit card account, you have the cash flow available to make timely payments, and successful ad campaigns usually mean a successful company. Unfortunately, because of those things, traditional credit card providers don’t have the ability to really accommodate your needs and may actually be unwittingly throwing up roadblocks to your success.

Let me explain why.

For starters, they want to treat your business the same way they treat all their other business clients—with a monthly payment cycle, unrealistic credit limits, and the inability to respond when opportunities arise and you need to ramp up your credit card spend. Instead of facilitating  your ability to scale, they throw on the brakes by turning off your card subsequently shutting down your active campaigns.

Problems With A Monthly Payment Cycle And Unrealistic Spending Limits.

Unlike your typical small business counterparts, advertisers often spend more on a daily basis—a lot more relative to their business size. The average credit card provider simply can’t wrap their heads around how to underwrite your credit card business. Let me share a little inside baseball to help you understand.

Let’s say your successful brand is spending $50,000 or more a day (which is a conservative estimate, we regularly work with brands spending at least ten or twenty times that everyday). A monthly billing cycle would mean you would need a $1.5 million dollar spending limit just to get through the month. Even if you were only spending $10,000 per day, you’d be spending $300,000 every month, which would still be in excess of most credit card company’s typical maximum spending limit.

Some brands compensate for this by using multiple credit cards.

“I know people who are trying to use something like 12 AMEX Gold Cards to keep up with daily ad spend, that’s far too complicated for us,” says Sean Frank at the online brand RidgeWallet. “And some of the cards designed to help small businesses are even predatory. They charge 50% APR and take their money first, before anyone else gets paid, so you can’t prioritize a payment.”

Depending on the nature of your business and your revenue cycle, you need a more customized payment cycle to accommodate the spending limit you need to keep your advertising seamlessly running. Using multiple cards and making daily payments to keep them alive can be a challenge for many brands.

The Problem With Algorithms

Facebook, and other algorithm-based platforms, use data  weighted for the most recent data. In the middle of a campaign when a payment fails the algorithm stops. Even if you’re able to turn it back on and rejoin the auction, it won’t continue the same way it did before you got booted.

This can sometimes cause an advertiser to walk away from a successful campaign because even if you are able to rejoin the auction, there’s a 70% chance it won’t work they way it did—turning a profitable campaign into an unprofitable one.

In other words, you're losing a lot of money when a card fails. This makes allocating advertising dollars a challenge, but it’s not all caused by the card providers. Poor A.I and platforms like Facebook or Google are too big to fail. Compliance issues and other glitches in their systems can make it hard for advertisers. For example, if Facebook shuts down your ad account because you have one payment method shared with other accounts, it can shut down all your ads at once.

Sometimes it just easier to walk away from ramping up a successful ad because the risk of your credit card acting as the weakest link is just too great. Credit card companies just don’t understand advertising and simply make it difficult for the average advertiser to scale a successful ad when the opportunity presents itself.

Push Vs. Pull

Traditional credit cards and even most virtual cards, are a “push”. In other words, you have a spending limit and to keep spending you need to make a payment to whoever the card provider is. This is considered “push” because you are pushing a payment to the card provider before you exceed your limit.

The push approach is just about impossible on weekends and holidays when banks are closed and can’t accept  your payment. For this to work, you need to be very good at forecasting need so you can anticipate when to send a payment, wait for it to settle and be credited to your account so you can continue to advertise successfully on weekends and holidays.

This is how traditional credit cards work. The provider authorizes a spending limit which may or may not work for advertisers who might be reaching that limit every day or two. Even if they’re paying down their card every day, it takes another day or two (sometimes longer) for that payment to post to the account in addition to however long the card provider holds the payment before they authorize the card again.

dash.fi solves this problem because they don’t evaluate spending limits by the calendar month or rely on the “push” approach. They use individualized payment cycles based on the advertisers revenue cycle and ad spend. The statement cycle for an advertiser doing $50,000 or more every day might be two or three days. And, to ensure that ads keep running 24/7 without a card failure, the card payment is seamlessly “pulled” from the bank account before the limit is ever exceeded.

For those brands who are regularly pushing up against their spending limit, are making daily credit card payments, or using multiple cards to keep their advertising running smoothly, dash.fi could be the answer.

Multiple Paths To Approval

Although your credit history, annual revenue, and other traditional underwriting factors are all important when evaluating a spending limit, there are other things like your revenue cycle, the amount of ad spend, and other factors that are folded into how a spending limit should be calculated.


If you’re interested in learning more about dash.fi, would like to pay 0% interest, get up to 3% cash back, and would like to evaluate whether it’s a good fit for your brand, speak to one of our experts to see if it’s right for you. Answer a few simple questions and we’ll be able to help you determine if dash.fi is a good fit.


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