December 10, 2014

The General Services Administration is preparing for a third generation of its SmartPay program and is asking industry about current best practices for payment and charge cards.

The program currently serves some 350 agencies and organizations in managing payment cards for purchasing office supplies, travel accommodations and fleet transactions. Agencies spent approximately $26 billion in 2014 using cards, saving $1.7 billion compared to the cost of submitting paper purchase orders.

The request for information – posted Dec. 9 – is probing to determine what is new in the payment card industry, particularly related to cost savings and security.

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“Through the RFI GSA is looking for recommendations about the future of the payments industry, solutions to continue to reduce waste, fraud and abuse, security of payment tools, how to maximize data, and innovative payments solutions in the commercial space,” the agency said in a release.

Responses are due Jan. 22.

GSA expects to compete SmartPay 3 during fiscal 2016 before the current contracts expire in November 2018.

"GSA’s governmentwide SmartPay program is an extremely effective and successful payment solution that has proven to streamline the business of conducting every-day transactions for federal agencies,” said Tom Sharpe, Federal Acquisition Services commissioner. “FAS is looking forward to adding even more value to the payment products and services we offer our government agency customers by working with our industry partners to evolve this program to an even higher level of performance and support."

For more information, please go to: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20141210/ACQ/312100015/GSA-What-s-new-payment-cards-