CB History

By Aug 28, 2014
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C B Merchant Services (CBMS) was founded in 1917 by the Stockton Merchants Association as a mutual benefit, not-for-profit Corporation. For over 99 years, C B Merchant Services has contributed to the financial health of communities and businesses throughout California by quickly and professionally handling their delinquent accounts.

Timeline of Significant Events:

  • February 14, 1917: A group of business owners, the Stockton Merchants Association purchased Major E. V. Burke’s one-man Credit Bureau for $3,000.

  • June 15, 1917: Sixty-two new membership applications were accepted by the Merchants Association as they were eager to increase memberships.

  • 1928: The Stockton Merchants Association Adjustment Bureau “a collection agency” came into being. It operated under James J. Power for four years as part of the Merchants Association.

  • February 1932: The Merchants Association installed an electric teletype to communicate with credit bureaus, banks and business houses all over the United States . This made it possible to learn the credit standing of people moving from city to city.

  • June 14, 1932: The Bureau entered six years of private ownership under Albert Posner.

  • August, 1935: The Stockton Merchants Association installed a complete new telephone system that handled 400-500 calls a day. 150,000 credit reference cards were on file. 

  • January, 1942: The Credit Bureau grew to 12 full-time employees, had 250,000 active file cards and the local bureau was affiliated with more than 1,300 Credit Bureaus in the U.S. and Canada.

  • 1946: A streamlined Credit Bureau Reporting System was developed to warn merchants not to credit certain people.  It was called the “Merchant Plan” and was mailed out monthly to merchants.

  • 1956: CBMS installed switchboards and provided headsets. This made the Bureau one of the most efficient and well equipped of its kind on the West Coast.

  • January 1975: CBMS affiliated with Equifax, which enabled computerized reporting services. The automated technology provided a more efficient and convenient work environment.

  • 1980: CBMS doubled the size of its headquarters by purchasing it's current home for $240,000.

  • 1981: CBMS purchased the collection arm of the San Joaquin Medical Society, Bureau of Medical Economics greatly expanding the medical collections division.

  • June 25, 1984: CBMS reached its goal of a $1,000,000 year in gross collections.

  • 1985: CBMS' collection department re-engineered the collection process by automating the accounts assigned for collection. Previously typed correspondence was now generated at the touch of a button, on line calendar systems kept record of payment promises and predictive dialing computers increased the amount of calls per collector.

  • 1990:CBMS acquires Credit Bureau of Amador & Calaveras County.

  • 1992: CBMS reached its goal of $2,500,000 year in gross collections.

  • 1996: CBMS reached its goal of $4,000,000 year in gross collections.

  • 2000: CBMS turns all consumer credit reporting activity, now available via the world wide web, over to Equifax.

  • 2001: CBMS acquires Credit Bureau of Stanislaus County

  • 2005: CBMS reached its goal of $5,800,000 year in gross collections.

  • 2007: In recognition of it's 90th Anniversary CBMS provides a gift to the community. CBMS the provides the funding and incubation to create a Community Foundation for San Joaquin County, a philanthropic organization.

  • 2012: CBMS continues to embrace the most current technology, with an attention to data security, by upgrading data storage to SSAE 16, Soc 2 Data Center.

  • 2014: CBMS receives Community Partner Award. The Community Foundation of San Joaquin Community Partner Year Award was created to highlight and celebrate the contributions of businesses that make an impact on the California Nonprofit community.

2017: C B Merchant Services has been a vital force throughout California for 100 years. The Bureau's growth is a result of investing in new technology and various acquisitions over the years. 

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Website: www.cbmerchantservices.com

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