WOOD DALE, ILL. - Maybe the last entity you'd think would use credit cards has abandoned greenbacks for plastic. The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing has found that credit cards are faster and easier than cash, and has used them to keep the United States awash with fresh greenback bills.
The bureau, the Treasury Department unit responsible for printing U.S. dollar bills, used a credit card to become one of the first customers of AEC Inc.'s new service, which speeds the delivery of auxiliary plastics machinery and machinery parts.
AEC of Wood Dale, which makes chillers, dryers, granulators, robots and other auxiliary equipment, began to accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards in February.
Jackie McNaught, credit manager for AEC, said in a telephone interview Oct. 31 that credit card purchases both speed the delivery of AEC's products to customers and provide her company with assured credit protection.
Customers get faster delivery because, with a single phone call, they can order parts or machinery and delivery begins the day of purchase. Time previously spent on getting purchases approved and cutting purchase orders is eliminated, according to McNaught.
For AEC, a credit authorization from the credit card company guarantees payment, and reduces the time needed for credit checks, McNaught said.
Credit card sales have grown to an average of $4,000-$5,000 a month, with September's billing at $10,000. The sales have included a $12,000 purchase.
As for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in July a production manager needed a new evaporator for a chiller for printing inks. Those ink chillers are the same units used in injection and extrusion molding, and are vital to the production of fresh bills.