Government Travel Charge Card Payment Problems

» Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

The payment of Government travel charge cards (IBAs) and the liability placed on individual travelers is an interesting topic.  At the agencies I have been a part of as a travel administrator, travelers who are expected to travel at least twice a year are either strongly encouraged or required to get a travel charge card.  When travelers apply for the travel charge card they do it with the understanding that they are liable to pay their statement each month.  Even if they have yet to receive reimbursement from the Government for their travel, travelers are required to make full payment or their travel charge card.

I’ve seen this become a tense situation when several travelers were left without travel reimbursement for almost two months, despite their submission of a travel voucher.  At the time our ETS system was being interfaced with a new financial system.  There were technical problems between the two systems which halted voucher payments to a number of travelers.  Understandably we received a lot of hostility from travelers who were being contacted by the travel charge card provider to pay their bill.  The bank was unwilling to delay delinquency notification for these travelers.  Due to the policy that the Government must reimburse all travelers after the submission of their voucher within thirty days, many travelers were given a small percentage of interest for each day that their reimbursement was late.  In the end, most just paid their bill, or were just late with the payment.  While I’m not sure of the solution, I think that there must be a way to put less of a burden on the traveler.

By Kelvin Dawson

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