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Tech Companies Eye Credit to Fuel Customer Growth

There are few large technology companies that haven’t taken a stab at payments. Between Apple, Amazon, Google and offerings from countless varieties of startups, the desire for Silicon Valley to assert its control over the flow of commerce has been fully expressed in 2014.

But if payments is an abiding interest for tech, credit is only beginning to dawn on them.

Quietly, companies like Google and Amazon have been offering various forms of credit to advertisers and merchants—programs that, if expanded, could give their maturing businesses a boost by finding them new customers and helping them get more revenue from existing ones.

Online advertising giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter are constantly under the gun to maintain steady growth in revenue and advertisers. Many want to target small businesses in particular, and offering credit would open up a new tier of small and medium businesses that wouldn’t otherwise be financially capable of running large campaigns.

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Google’s relationship with small businesses is a closely watched area for the company, as its year-over-year growth rate in ad revenue slowed from 20 percent in 2012 to 16 percent in 2013.