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Private-Label Credit Cards

Think issuing your own credit card is just a pipe dream? Maybe not. Here's why.

By
This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

There's nothing that gets Jackie Hoegger's juices flowing faster than trying to find new ways to improve Vive Paris, the upscale women's boutique she founded in Witchita Falls, Texas, several years ago. So after extensive research, Hoegger decided one way to differentiate her two-store company from competitors was to offer the Vive Paris credit card. "The credit card is another way to get our name out there and keep us on the cutting edge," explains Hoegger. "We designed our own card because I wanted it to reek of femininity and beauty. When [our customer] opens up her wallet, I wanted her to say, 'Oh my gosh, what a pretty card.'"

With annual revenues of $1 million and a business pulling in customers from up to 100 miles away, Hoegger is a prime candidate for a private-label credit card, according to Stewart Armstrong of CrediCard National Bank, a San Antonio-based limited-purpose bank that only finances private-label cards and that set up the program for Vive Paris. "Our ideal client is an owner who wants to integrate a private-label card into how they sell and service their customers--an owner who knows their customers well and is trying to get repeat business from a core group."

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