How Times Have Changed

I started the original CellCon Consulting in the late 1980s. At first, we were consulting people and businesses on how they could use these new things called “cell-phones” (get it- CellCon…), how to get things like “dropped call credits” and what “roaming access numbers” were (and if you know what any of those things are, you’re in an elite club!)

Anyway, we soon branched out and started selling cell phones and accessories. I went to the local bank where I had the corporate account and applied for a merchant account – in order to take credit cards. I was declined, not because I was too young or didn’t have a proper proposal (I did, and the bank VP complimented it.) No, the company was declined because we didn’t have a physical store front. Never did. If someone wanted to buy a phone, we went to them. It was a consultative sale – tell me what you need and want, we made a recommendation and then ordered the phone. We had no inventory.

Anyway, I digress. A bank declined us for having no store front. I told them right then and there that soon people would be buying things from the internet and if they didn’t change their policy they would be left far behind. We did end up getting an account from Novus and were soon in business, selling phones and taking charge cards.

So, why am I telling a story from 25+ years ago? Today, Groupon started a service called Breadcrumb. It’s very similar to Square (which we love) but the rates are a bit cheaper. There’s no exclusive deal with either, so I signed up and will use both.

The signup for Breadcrumb was very similar to that of Square. It took me under 10 minutes and I had a merchant account (OK, now two.) This is how technology changes the world folks. 25 years ago, a bank turned me down in an effort to grow my business. Today, it took about 6 minutes.


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