AMERICASMART ADDS CREDIT CARD FOR B2B

Byline: Georgia Lee

ATLANTA — Buyers at AmericasMart.com now have access to an exclusive credit card that can be used for business-to-business purchases with transactions in the building or online.
AmericasMart announced Wednesday a new partnership with UPS Capital Corp., the financial services arm of United Parcel Service, a delivery service based here with $27 billion in annual sales. The deal offers an unsecured, revolving line of credit, “the AmericasMart.com account,” and includes a MasterCard business credit card.
The announcement coincided with the start of e-commerce on what had been the mart’s information-only Web site.
Exhibitors who honor the account can get immediate transaction authorizations and credit checks on buyers’ accounts. The credit line will be available to buyers in mid-August. Buyers can apply online or on paper. The agreement does not exclude other forms of payment, such as existing credit cards.
Although specific terms, such as interest rates, were undisclosed, officials said the card would offer exhibitors “aggressive, lower rates and fees to conduct transactions and provide services such as expense reports, transaction tracking, market research and discounts to buyers based on volume.
“The two companies are highly compatible, because UPS already delivers 90 percent of the freight in the AmericasMart buildings,” said John Portman, chairman of AMC Inc., parent of AmericasMart. “We’re learning that bricks-and-clicks businesses that enhance the physical locations work best. This partnership, and the Web site, allow us do more for our customer.”
Portman said AmericasMart, which attracts over 200,000 buyers from 72 countries each year to its gift, merchandise and apparel shows, has a well-established foundation to expand globally through Internet sales. The credit cards can also be used during markets, through kiosks that will be set up in exhibitor spaces.
AmericasMart.com’s e-commerce business site, which has been operating as an informational Web site for over two years, has more than 230 participating vendors, from the three mart buildings that comprise AmericasMart — the Gift, Merchandise and Apparel markets. More than 200 of these vendors from nearly 30 showrooms offer merchandise online.

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