Sq1 Ad Agency

Sq1, a national digital ad agency, streamlines payments and increases revenue with the help of CSI Paysystems.



Media and digital agencies manage paid search campaigns for their clients. Also called pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, this responsibility can encompass many simultaneous campaigns, with significant dollars invested. The ability to track this activity – by vendor, campaign and/or by client (who may be running multiple campaigns) – is difficult and time consuming. Yet accurate reconciliations must be done on a monthly basis to ensure accurate reporting and invoicing to clients.

The agency had been using other credit card vendors and reports, but found all payment methods to be both time consuming and nearly impossible to reconcile. “We needed a better solution than processing data from paper invoices (with no details) or pulling data direct from each vendor platform, both of which were very time consuming and certainly not automated,” said Mim Davis. “We could no longer afford to stand at a fax machine to send credit card purchases for our media invoices, or manually analyze daily charges to extract client and campaign level details. We had to find a fully automated system that would be scalable.”



Sq1 shifted the payment mechanism for its client’s PPC campaigns from monthly ‘paper’ billings and other credit card accounts to CSI Paysystems, leveraging multiple products including virtual credits cards, ghost cards, and corporate purchasing cards.

Unlike typical ghost cards that store a single credit card number to be used for purchases, CSI’s ghost cards and other virtual card solutions add a critical layer of security and spending controls. Account numbers are easily set up with specific profiles for each client media program with the ability to designate vendor, specific budget amount, and set spending limits for each client or by campaign level.

User-defined security and spend levels allow the agency to track costs on a real-time basis from all of the related paid search vendors that flow into the card, bringing needed relief to Davis, Sq1’s CFO.

“Because each card profile is designated to a specific client or campaign (depending on the media plan), account reconciliations are a breeze.” Spending can be tracked at virtually any level: by client, campaign, vendor, hour and day, and company-wide details and totals.

“CSI provides amazing customer service that you won’t find with other credit card companies… excellent reporting for client spend details and cash rewards to further boost ROI. It’s easy! ”

- Mim Davis, VP/CFO, Sq1

Cash back rewards based on monthly virtual card transactions are an added benefit that generates new revenue for the agency. Considering the net spend on PPC campaigns can range from $5,000 per month to $750,000 per week, the monthly cash back rewards can be substantial.



  • Cash rebate delivered more than $100,000 in new revenue for the agency in 2013
  • Excellent reporting for month-end reconciliations made it easy to compare client totals to vendor spend levels
  • Online management tools made it easy to adjust spending in realtime, from one dashboard
  • Security controls in spend levels, card management, profiles and funding for each account
  • 24/7 access to daily spend and pacing
  • Automated workflow conformed with the agency’s company procedures
  • All vendor account setup and training was provided by CSI
  • Actual reporting for review, real-time access and full detail with client data is not available from other providers as it is through CSI

The rebate delivered more than $100,000 in new revenue

24/7 access to daily spend and pacing

All vendor account setup and training was provided by CSI

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