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GSA SmartPay

Integrated

The GSA SmartPay integrated solution combines two or more business lines on a single account. 

Account Holders

Overview

The GSA SmartPay integrated account is a combination of two or more business lines on a single account (for example, purchase and travel).  Reconciliation procedures for the integrated account may differ.  Please check your agency’s specific policies or contact your program coordinator (A/OPC) with questions.

Common Questions

Who should I contact for help with my account?

First contact your Agency/ Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC). A/OPCs can answer most account related questions including:

  • How do I apply for a card?
  • What is considered proper use of my card?
  • What is my spending limit?
  • What are merchant codes and how can I request lifting these codes?
  • What is delinquency? What is fraud? What are the consequences for my agency?
  • Why has my card been suspended or canceled?
  • How do I get set up for online access?

Account holders can also contact the bank directly using the customer service phone number listed on the back of their card.

  • Citibank, 1-800-790-7206
  • JPMorgan Chase, 1-888-297-0781
  • US Bank, 1-888-994-6722

If your issue can not be resolved by your A/OPC or the bank, please forward it to GSA Program Support at (703) 605-2808 or email gsa_smartpay@gsa.gov.

 

How do I get a GSA SmartPay account? Do I need to qualify?

Accounts, such as charge cards, need to be obtained through your agency’s payment solutions program. Each agency has different criteria for distributing accounts to employees. Contact your supervisor or your agency’s program management office for more information on applying for a GSA SmartPay account. 

Depending on the type of payment solution and agency/organization, there are different qualifications for applicants to obtain an account:

  • For purchase accounts, a supervisor must recommend an employee to apply.  Potential purchase account holders must complete purchase account holder training before using their purchase account.
  • Depending on the frequency of travel, agency or Governmentwide policy may require that an employee obtain a Government travel account to make travel related purchases. Travel account applicants may be subject to a creditworthiness check and must complete travel account holder training before using their travel account.
  • Fleet accounts are generally assigned to a vehicle, rather than an individual. Users of a Government vehicle should contact their fleet program manager to learn more about how to use vehicle fleet accounts.

 

What may be purchased with my GSA SmartPay account?

Purchase Account – Purchase accounts are the preferred contracting and payment mechanism for micro-purchases of supplies and services in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Only a few categories of purchases are excluded, such as:

  • Long-term rental or lease of land or buildings;
  • Travel related expenses (excluding conference rooms, meeting spaces, and local transportation services such as Metro fare cards, subway tokens, etc.);
  • Cash advances (unless permitted as a value added service under the agency task order).

For purchases above the micro-purchase threshold, the purchase card may be used as an ordering and payment mechanism, not a contracting mechanism. These purchases will require a separate contract.

Travel Account – Travel accounts may be used by individual government travelers to pay for all official Government travel and related expenses. Account holders are expected to submit vouchers to their agency for all authorized travel-related expenses within five days after the travel is completed (or within 30 days if on continuous travel) and must pay their travel account bills.

Account holders are not authorized to make purchases for anything other than official government travel-related expenses. Some agencies authorize the use of travel accounts for local travel purposes - check with your supervisor or A/OPC to learn more about your agency/organization’s policy.

Fleet Account – Fleet accounts may be used for purchasing fuel and maintenance services for government vehicles.

 

What policies exist regarding use of charge cards?

Depending on the type of account, different policies may apply.  Policies include:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR);
  • Federal Travel Regulations (FTR);
  • Federal Management Regulations (FMR);
  • OMB Circular A-123 Appendix B;
  • Treasury Financial Manual for Guidance of Departments and Agencies.

Additionally, many agencies have additional regulations that are specific to their program and tailored to the agency's mission and operating procedures. Contact your agency program management office for more information regarding agency-specific policies.

 

What are the training requirements? How will my program coordinator know that I have completed my online training?

All program participants must be trained and receive a training completion certificate prior to appointment.  In addition, refresher training must be completed every 3 years (or more often if required by your agency training policy).  Training certificates serve as proof that an account holder has taken the appropriate training course. 

Account holders can obtain their training certificate by logging into the GSA SmartPay Online Training.  If the account holder has previously taken the course and passed the quiz, they may reprint or save the certificate with the original course completion date by logging into the online training.  An account holder can also take a refresher quiz.  A passing score will enable the account holder to reprint the certificate with a refreshed date. 

 

What is card misuse, and what are the potential penalties?

Intentional use of a government account for other than official government business constitutes misuse, and depending on the situation, may constitute fraud. Each agency develops and implements policies related to employee misuse of charge cards. Examples of misuse include:

  • Purchases that exceed the cardholder's limit;
  • Purchases that are not authorized by the agency;
  • Purchases for which there is no funding;
  • Purchases for personal consumption, and
  • Purchases that do not comply with the policies.

Potential consequences for the account holder may include: counseling, cancellation of the account, a written warning, notation in employee performance evaluation, reprimand, and/or suspension or termination of employment.

In the case of purchase account or centrally billed accounts (CBA) travel misuse, the employee may be held personally liable to the Government for the amount of any unauthorized transactions. Depending on the agency and the circumstances, there are a number of applicable laws that can result in fines or imprisonment.

Additionally, the contractor banks are authorized to take certain actions against account holders whose accounts are cancelled for delinquency, such as:

  • Assessing late fees;
  • Utilizing collection agencies to recover the delinquent balance;
  • Reporting the delinquency to national credit bureaus, and
  • Salary offset.

 

What is my responsibility when it comes to paying taxes when using my GSA SmartPay account?

In some cases, when using certain types of cards, government account holders are exempt from taxes on their purchases.  Please visit the SmartTax section of the website for more information on taxes.  

  • Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA): CBAs are purchase accounts where payment is made directly to the bank by the Government.  Currently, all states except Arizona, Illinois, and Hawaii exempt Federal Government employees with CBA purchase accounts.
  • Individually Billed Accounts (IBA): IBAs are travel accounts where payment is made directly to the bank by the individual.  The state determines the exemption status for Individually Billed Accounts.
  • Integrated Accounts:  Integrated accounts are CBAs

 

What is split disbursement?

The payment process called split disbursement is defined in the GSA SmartPay 2 master contract as the process of dividing a travel voucher reimbursement between the contractor (bank) and the traveler. The balance designated to go to each is sent directly to the appropriate party.

Note:  Although OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B in Chapter 4.4 requires all executive branch agencies to implement split disbursement, it may not yet be operational in your agency/organization. Please contact your Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC) for further details

 

Program Coordinators/AOs

How it Works

The GSA SmartPay integrated payment solution is a combination of two or more business lines in a single solution (for example, purchase and travel). 

Reconciliation procedures for the integrated solution may differ.  Please check your agency’s specific policies or contact your program coordinator (A/OPC) with questions.

Managing your Integrated Card Program

Managing your integrated program involves a combination of managing two or more business lines on a single account (for example, purchase and travel).  Procedures for the integrated account may differ, so please check your agency’s specific policies.

Reporting a Lost or Stolen Card

As the program coordinator (A/OPC), you have the responsibility to immediately report a lost or stolen account to the issuing bank so that they can cancel the account. 

Reporting the account as stolen does not relieve the account holder or Federal Government of payment for any transactions that were made by the account holder prior to reporting it stolen.  If the account holder did not make the transactions appearing on the billing statement, the account holder must submit a dispute form to the bank within 90 days from the date of the transaction. Failure to submit the dispute form could result in liability to the account holder or to the Federal Government.  If required, the bank will mail a new card within one business day from the time theft or loss was reported and will assign a new account number to the replacement card.

Common Questions

As a Program Coordinator, how do I connect with other agency program coordinators to share ideas and best practices?

There are several ways to actively participate within the community:

  • Join the Discussions with GSA SmartPay Community on Interact: A private online community allowing Program Coordinators (A/OPCs) a central location to share ideas and best practices, as well as discuss all other issues related to the GSA SmartPay program.
  • Attend the Quarterly A/OPC meetings, monthly Discussions with Dave conference call,  as well as other special meetings and events.  Dates and location for all meetings will be posted within the Interact Community.
  • Attend the GSA SmartPay Annual Training Forum:  Learn about all aspects of successfully managing your charge card program, including innovative payment solutions and the latest advancements in program oversight, as well as network, collaborate and share best practices with other card managers, bank representatives and GSA personnel. Check the website for more information.
What can I do to improve my agency’s program performance?

The GSA SmartPay program office provides a number of tools and other types of assistance to support effective program management in agencies across the Government. A few tips include:

  • Ensure policies are being followed: Most agencies have comprehensive policies regarding the administration of their payment programs. This includes policies for account use as well as for program management. Agency program management offices should ensure that the policies are communicated to cardholders and easily accessible (e.g., post the regulations on the agency's Intranet website). It is important for agencies to follow through with the implementation of their policies, including distribution and compliance monitoring.
  • Make sure training is a priority for all account holders and program coordinators: 
    • GSA offers free basic online training covering regulations and best practices for all agencies,
    • A variety of free resources and guidebooks to support card management are available on our website 
    • Contact the bank to schedule an in person or virtual Electronic Access System (EAS) training for your program coordinators
    • Attend the annual GSA SmartPay training forum provides a large variety of training for all program coordinators   
  • Initiate an Accounts Payable File Review:  An A/P File Review is a no-cost tool for agencies to help identify opportunities to leverage GSA SmartPay solutions as methods of payment to increase process efficiencies, cost savings, and refunds. 
  • Participate in Workgroups:  The GSA SmartPay program office sponsors periodic workgroups to facilitate the sharing of information between agencies, and to collect feedback on the performance of the GSA SmartPay program office and its contractor banks.
How do I go about incorporating a new payment solution into my program?

Under the GSA SmartPay program there are many options available to assist in meeting your agency’s mission critical needs.  Products  and related services under the GSA SmartPay program can offer customized payment solutions to help your agency achieve its goals. Upon award of the GSA SmartPay 2 Master Contract, each agency awarded a task order to one of the three GSA SmartPay contractors: Citibank, J.P. Morgan, and U.S. Bank. The products and services offered to your agency under the GSA SmartPay program, may not be specified at the task order level, as each agency's task order is different and unique.  Therefore, it is important to review your agency/organization's task order and speak to those within your agency responsible for managing your agency’s task order, such as your level 1 Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC) and/or the Contracting Officer, to find out how your agency/organization can take advantage of these offerings. 

What policies exist regarding the use of the GSA SmartPay payment solutions?

There are a number of policies that govern the use of Government payment solutions. Policies include:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR);
  • Federal Travel Regulations (FTR);
  • Federal Management Regulations (FMR);
  • OMB Circular A-123 Appendix B;
  • Treasury Financial Manual for Guidance of Departments and Agencies.

Additionally, many agencies have regulations that are specific to their program and tailored to the agency's mission and operating procedures. Contact your agency program management office for more information regarding agency-specific policies.

What training is available for agency program coordinators?

There is a variety of free training offered for program coordinators (A/OPCs).  All upcoming training relevant information for program coordinators will be posted in Interact. 

What can agencies/organizations do to help prevent misuse of cards? What tools are available to provide assistance to agencies in detecting fraud and misuse?

Agencies can significantly benefit by mandating training that meets governmentwide standards for account holders and A/OPCs. Currently, training varies widely among the agencies, with many agencies relying on the training provided at the annual GSA SmartPay training forum and the online training courses on the GSA SmartPay website.  These training courses provide the necessary governmentwide rules and regulations but do not reflect agency-specific requirements.

The master contract requires a number of tools that support the Government in controlling and monitoring card spend to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Examples of these tools are:

  • Credit limits – Credit limits restrict single purchase, daily, weekly, or monthly expenditures by the cardholders. In accordance with agency policy, limits are set to meet the agency needs.
  • Merchant Category Code (MCC) Blocks – MCCs are established by the bankcard associations to classify different types of businesses. Merchants are assigned codes that describe their primary line of business. Agencies can limit the types of businesses where cardholders can make purchases by limiting the MCCs available to the cardholder.
  • Reports – Agencies have access to management reports via the Internet. The banks provide standard reports and ad hoc reports. These include Account Activity reports, Dispute reports, Unusual Spending Activity reports, Lost/Stolen Cards reports, and miscellaneous Ad Hoc reports.
  • Guidebooks – The banks are required to provide written guides for A/OPCs that include best practices for account setup and maintenance, account suspension/cancellation, disputes, reports, and invoicing procedures. Agencies also have access to account holder guides from banks, which outline authorized uses of the account, disputes, and billing.

Other resources such as “Knowledge:  The Best Protection for Your GSA SmartPay Card” are available for download or print on the website. 

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