Member Exclusive, Payments

‘The nice thing about our model is everyone wins’: Plastiq allows consumers to use credit cards at businesses that don’t accept them

  • Digital payments are good options for everyday-type transactions.
  • Many merchants still don't accept credit cards because they don't need to.
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‘The nice thing about our model is everyone wins’: Plastiq allows consumers to use credit cards at businesses that don’t accept them

Eliot Buchanan dreamed up the idea of Plastiq seven years ago as an undergrad. A Canadian in the U.S., he got frustrated by how hard it was to transact paying for his tuition. His firm Plastiq enables individuals and businesses to pay for virtually any expense with a credit card — even if a merchant doesn’t take cards.

Since then, the firm has serviced over 1 million consumers and businesses and processed over $2 billion, as of last year. Buchanan joins us today on the Tearsheet Podcast. He has big ideas for the firm and we talk about the pain points of making a large transaction and how Plastiq addresses them. We talk about other products in the pipeline and where the firm is headed in the future.

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

When Eliot Buchanan was at Harvard seven years ago, he faced a tricky problem when it came for paying his tuition. As a Canadian without a credit score, the only type of credit card he could get was a cash secured card from a local bank. After scrambling to find one, he was faced with another problem: his college didn’t accept credit cards.

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“It just felt so disempowering,” he said. “I began questioning why you couldn’t pay for big ticket items like tuition with a credit card.”


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