Benefits of Travel Charge Card Requirement

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» Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Business Practices, Industry Postings, Payment Methods | 0 comments

On January 27, 1998, Public Law 105-264 mandated the use of a government furnished travel charge card and the implementations regulations were later published in the Federal Register, July 16, 1999. The FTR was effective May 1, 2000. In support of this activity, Public Law 105-264 mandated the reimbursement of travel expenses by agencies to its employees within 30 days.
Not only have the government and its travelers benefited from this law, but the TMC/CTOs have benefited as well. The greatest benefit is that the TMC/CTO could process payments for travel services fees much more rapidly. This also speeds up the processing time for tickets and reservations of government employees if they are in a rush to have a ticket issued. The TMC/CTO receives the payment through a Centrally Billed Account (CBA), or an Individually Billed Account (IBA). The TMC then processes these payments and sends them to ARC for all airline bookings.
Furthermore, the IBA is an individual account set up by the GSA SmartPay® Program contractor for the purchase of official travel transportation tickets and other authorized travel expenses. The unique aspect about the IBA is that IBA cards are issued to the employees and the government later reimburses the employees for all authorized expenses. However, the employee is then responsible for making the payment to the bank, leaving the liability with the government traveler.
Additionally, there are two alternatives to the IBA card for those government travelers that are infrequent travelers and those that do not have an IBA Card. The first alternative is travelers checks, which are paid for by the government agency. The second alternative is the pre-funded card. The pre-funded card works like a common debit or check card. These are great options to have beside the IBA card because they both can be replaced if they are lost or stolen. These alternatives also prevent delinquency and over spending by the infrequent government traveler or the government traveler without a card.

By: Ian Petrulli

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