GSA Smart Pay Purchase Card

» Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

GSA has been responsible for contracting for purchase card services since 1989. The most recent purchase card contracts were awarded in November 2008 to Citibank, GE Capital Financial, JP Morgan Chase and US Bank.

The purchase card was initially adopted as a management tool.  The purchase card replaced the paper-based time consuming purchase order process. The Smart Pay purchase card currently saves the government approximately $1.2B annually in administrative costs. The government also receives refunds from GSA contractor banks in excess of $50M.  As a managerial tool, agencies have various mechanisms in place in order to oversee the program.  GSA mandated the contractors provide electronic reports to agency managers.  These reports are secure and easy to access via the internet. Agencies use these reports for various types of information for example: track spending habits, payment activity, and improper usage.  Most agencies establish their operating procedures at the department level and or field location when necessary.

The GSA strongly encourages each agency department to have a “Program Coordinator” responsible for ensuring that cardholders properly use the card and monitor account activity.   GSA requires that contractors participate in an annual training conference for card program coordinators.  The annual training conference includes training on electronic reporting tools; industry best practices, fraud monitoring and card management controls.

A strong training program, updated reporting tools and department specific procedures create the necessary tools and internal controls required to run a successful purchase card program.

By Maruca Malloy

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