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GSA SmartPay

Resources

GSA SmartPay resources include online publications, event presentations and ordering information for account holders, program coordinators and vendors.  Customers can also find fraud prevention tips, GSA SmartPay logos and designs, and a glossary of terms.   

Account Holders

Travel

Helpful Hints for Travel Card Use cover
Helpful Hints for Travel Card Use

This card-sized brochure provides succinct information to cardholders on the travel card including do's and dont's.

GSA SmartPay Travel Card Troubleshooting Guide

The Office of Charge Card Management frequently receives questions from cardholders about how to pay a travel card bill. This publication acts as a primer, offering information about the four ways to make sure the bank receives your payment on time.

Purchase

Helpful Hints for Purchase Card Use cover
Helpful Hints for Purchase Card Use

This card-sized brochure provides succinct information to cardholders on the purchase card, including do's and dont's.

GSA SmartPay Payment Solutions: Chip-enabled Cards cover
GSA SmartPay Payment Solutions: Chip-enabled Cards

Chip and PIN/Signature cards are innovative card products. How do they work? Why now? What are the benefits? Find out more...

Fleet

Helpful Hints for Fleet Card Use cover
Helpful Hints for Fleet Card Use

This card-sized brochure provides succinct information to cardholders on the fleet card, including do's and dont's.

General

Tips for account holders to help detect and avoid fraud cover
Knowledge: The Best Protection for your GSA SmartPay Card

Tips for account holders to help detect and avoid fraud.

SmartTax Customer Guide cover
SmartTax Customer Guide

A customer guide with the most up-to-date tax information and best practices for CBA and IBA accounts.

GSA SmartPay Payment Solutions cover
GSA SmartPay Payment Solutions

Here you can find a folder full of information and examples of the many product and service offerings available under the GSA SmartPay 2 Master Contract. Learn how to customize payment solutions to assist your agency achieve its goals.

Acquisition Gateway

What is the Acquisition Gateway?

Have you ever needed to procure something for your agency or organization using GSA SmartPay and wanted more information to guide your purchasing decision? Good news!  GSA created the Acquisition Gateway to consolidate available product and service information across best-in-class Federal Government providers.  

The Acquisition Gateway is categorized into product and service offering “Hallways,” which include information, tools, and resources to facilitate acquisition and procurement decision-making.

For first time visitors to the Acquisition Gateway, please take a brief moment to register at OMB Max here.  Click here for a video on the registration process.

Program Coordinators

Below is a list of guides, presentations, publications, and other resources for program coordinators.

Travel

Travel Card Program Guide for A/OPCs

This guide is intended to assist the travel charge card A/OPC in managing his/her agency's travel charge card program.

Purchase

Managing Your SmartPay Purchase Program FlipBook Cover
Managing Your SmartPay Purchase Program

The Managing Your SmartPay Purchase Program Interactive Flipbook is intended to serve as a source of information for assisting in the oversight role within the purchase program. As an agency/ organization program coordinator (A/OPC), you serve as the liaison between your agency, the contractor bank, the account holder and GSA. Your role is essential to efficiently and effectively manage your agency’s GSA SmartPay purchase program. In addition to the traditional card services, GSA SmartPay offers a variety of other payment solutions to assist with improving security, control, and oversight, as well as reducing paper and administrative costs. These innovative solutions can help your agency better leverage government spending while increasing transparency and accountability.  

Fleet

General

Approving Officials
Approving Officials

Roles and responsibilities for GSA SmartPay Approving Officials.

Convenience Check Alternatives
Convenience Check Alternatives

Convenience Check Alternatives

Interact Online Community for A/OPCs

Discussions with GSA SmartPay

GSA SmartPay Online Communities offer opportunities for networking and sharing best practices among groups utilizing the GSA Interact platform.

Discussions with GSA SmartPay is a private online community giving 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. If you are an A/OPC and would like to register, please go to https://interact.gsa.gov. Once registered, email your User ID to gsa_smartpay@gsa.gov so we can add you to the private group.

 

 

GSA SmartPay 3 Transition Documents

GSA SmartPay 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The current GSA SmartPay® 2 Master Contracts expires on November 29, 2018. The future program is referred to as GSA SmartPay 3 or “SP3”. This document addresses a number of the most common questions program participants may have about the transition to the new contract, including:

  • General Questions,
  • Establishing a New Task Order,
  • Post-Award Transition Activities, and
  • Transition Resources & Support.

If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact a GSA SmartPay Point of Contact (POC)  at gsa_smartpay@gsa.gov

GSA SmartPay Training Forum 2016

GSA SmartPay® 2 Master Contract Basics
GSA SmartPay® 2 Master Contract Basics

Learn about the key terms and conditions of the GSA SmartPay 2 Master Contract. You’ll learn about the roles and responsibilities of key program personnel, the scope of the GSA SmartPay 2 Master Contract, and tools available to A/OPCs to manage your program. Real life examples and solutions will be addressed.

GSA SmartPay® Fleet Management Essentials
GSA SmartPay® Fleet Management Essentials

Want to learn more about managing your fleet card program?  This session will provide an overview of the fleet card under the GSA SmartPay 2 master contract, including roles/responsibilities, appropriate uses of the card and best practices.  New this year, this course will also feature program management information through the use of data and fraud analytics.

GSA SmartPay® Program Review
GSA SmartPay® Program Review

What’s new in 2016 with the GSA SmartPay program? Taught by the program director, this advanced, interactive GSA SmartPay Program Update course provides an overview of significant issues affecting the GSA SmartPay program and its customers. The course discussion encompasses major program trends and challenges, legislative updates, industry developments, new innovative products and services, and a vision for the future. Purchase and travel aspects are the primary focus, with fleet product information included as secondary content.

Purchase Management Essentials
Purchase Management Essentials

This basic level course will provide a discussion of the Purchase Card program under the GSA SmartPay 2 Master Contract. Topics such as roles and responsibilities, cardholder use, detecting fraud and misuse, and policies and procedures associated with daily usage of cards will be performance and best practices.

GSA SmartPay®  Travel Management Essentials
GSA SmartPay® Travel Management Essentials

Did you know that government Travel Cardholders under the GSA SmartPay program are eligible to receive extended benefits coverage? This basic level course provides a broad overview of the GSA SmartPay 2 Travel Card program. Topics covered include roles and responsibilities, appropriate cardholder use, and policies and procedures associated with daily usage of cards, including program management resources. Travel Card best practices and preventive measures to maintain a successful travel charge card program will also be discussed.

GSA SmartPay® Online Tools
GSA SmartPay® Online Tools

Explore GSA SmartPay’s online resources!  Receive a detailed tour of our new GSA SmartPay website and free online training.  In addition, find out how to connect with others through the Discussions with GSA SmartPay private online community, social media, and the Acquisition Gateway.

GSA SmartPay® Saves - Innovative Payment Solutions
GSA SmartPay® Saves - Innovative Payment Solutions

This presentation will provide A/OPCs and cardholders information about the innovative products and service solutions that are either available through the GSA SmartPay Program today, or currently under development by the GSA Office of Charge Card Management.

GSA SmartPay® Program Analytics
GSA SmartPay® Program Analytics

What reports can be used to detect fraud, waste and abuse in a charge card program? What different disciplinary actions and consequences can be used for the misuse of the GSA SmartPay card at your agency? This course provides A/OPCs and other card management personnel with leading approaches on how to effectively manage a GSA SmartPay program. This course also addresses fraud, waste, and abuse issues, and identifies preventive measures to handle the issues through data analytics.  Join this important discussion on how to effectively detect and report misuse and fraud within your charge card program.

Auditing Purchase Cards
Auditing Purchase Cards

This session will provide an overview of audit techniques and various fraud detection methods. To illustrate some of these scenarios, actual case examples that involve the improper, abusive or fraudulent use of government Purchase Cards will be discussed. Corrective actions will also be addressed.

Section 508 Basics – Procurement
Section 508 Basics – Procurement

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is a Federal law that requires all Information Communication Technology (ICT) products and services “developed, procured, maintained, or used” by the Federal Government are accessible to persons with disabilities. This affects everything from websites (Internet/Intranet), video and multimedia products, software applications and operating systems, telecommunications, kiosks, hardware, desktop and portable computers, copiers and fax machines. This session will present an overview of how to develop compliant requirements for your procurements, providing you with tools such as the Buy Accessible Tools, and techniques and resources for conducting market research. Empower yourself to make informed, legal decisions in your purchasing of ICT that conforms with Section 508.  This session is a must for all persons who purchase ICT products and services, to include purchase card holders, federal managers, requiring officials, and contracting officials.  Come and learn how Section 508 impacts the Federal procurement process, as well as your legal responsibilities to comply with the law.

GSA eBuy Overview
GSA eBuy Overview

Looking to obtain better pricing on your procurements? Need to find sources of supply? Trying to increase competition? GSA’s online procurement tool, eBuy, allows buyers to prepare Request for Quotes (RFQs) for millions of products and services offered under GSA MAS contracts. eBuy also provides the opportunity to do research, establish BPAs, and get quotes on big ticket and large quantity procurements. First, find a category and select vendors to personally notify (all vendors are notified if the RFQ/RFP is placed under a GWAC category). All vendors listed under the category selected can also review or quote on your request. Second, enter your requirements and specify the amount of time the RFQ should remain open. Contractors will receive emails about your requirements and submit quotes in return. Learn how eBuy allows buyers to procure services with complex requirements.

Easy Ordering with GSA Global Supply™
Easy Ordering with GSA Global Supply™

Learn how to utilize GSA Global Supply to access thousands of office supplies, tools, furniture and more. GSA Global Supply facilitates compliance with federal procurement regulations (FAR, Ability One, etc.) so that your purchases can be accomplished without soliciting multiple bids or having to reconcile multiple invoices from vendors. Find out how easy your purchase can be when requisitioning via GSA Global Supply using the GSA SmartPay Government Purchase Card.

Ordering Office Supplies from FSSI OS3 Requisition Channel GSA Global Supply™
Ordering Office Supplies from FSSI OS3 Requisition Channel GSA Global Supply™

This presentation will be on overview of the FSSI for Office Supplies. This is the OS3 solution that encompasses both the OS3 Purchasing Channel and the OS3 Requisition Channel.  It will most likely cover the background on the program, current status and current contractors.   It will also discuss ordering under both channels and allow time for questions/discussion.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO)  and Janitorial and Sanitation Supplies (JANSAN)  Federal Strategic Solutions
Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO) and Janitorial and Sanitation Supplies (JANSAN) Federal Strategic Solutions

This course will cover the Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) solution. MRO is a broad category encompassing commonly purchased hardware, tools, and paints supplies. Learn what the solution provides in data, and how the credit card is used within this program.  Discover resources where agencies can learn more in-depth opportunities about this Government Wide solution.

Federal Travel and Ethics
Federal Travel and Ethics

This session will review the most frequent issues relating to travel and travel-related ethics and appropriations. Attendees will benefit from a review of the current regulations and policies related to premium-class travel; use and retention of frequent traveler benefits; voluntary and involuntary denial of a seat on an airline; payment of travel expenses by non-Federal sources; use of the Government travel charge card; the rules relating to the airline City Pairs contract program; use of a rental car for official travel; and routing of travel. This course covers the Federal Travel Regulation, which applies only to civilian Federal travelers.

GSA Advantage!®  for Federal and Military  The Basics
GSA Advantage!® for Federal and Military The Basics

GSA Advantage!® is a reliable and proven one-stop online resource for thousands of federal employees worldwide. GSA Advantage!® offers the most comprehensive selection of approved products and services from GSA contracts. The newest version of GSA Advantage!® simplifies searches, has a services only search feature, includes standardized descriptions and item numbers, and more closely resembles other commercial shopping sites. This course will take attendees step-by- step through the processes of registering, searching products and services, using and storing payment information, creating and forwarding shopping carts, and ordering and obtaining status and history reports.

GSA Fleet & Sustainability
GSA Fleet & Sustainability

Learn about the GSA Fleet vehicle program and solutions as well as how to green and optimize your fleet.

Using Your GSA Fleet Card
Using Your GSA Fleet Card

This session will provide information on how GSA Fleet operates its card program. Topics will include an overview of the GSA Fleet program and how it relates to the GSA SmartPay Fleet Card program; fraud detection and prevention; and some of the unique needs related to Fleet Cards.

Introduction to Sustainable Acquisition
Introduction to Sustainable Acquisition

Federal agencies are required by statute and executive order to purchase certain products with specific environmental or energy attributes. “Green purchasing” or “sustainable acquisition” refers to purchasing products with these attributes, and purchasing services under which these products will be supplied or used. This course will provide an introduction to these requirements and walk through GSA tools and resources available to agencies.

Making Informed  Cost Saving Travel Decisions
Making Informed Cost Saving Travel Decisions

GSA offers integrated services to manage Travel which includes E-Gov Travel Service(ETS), the City Pair Program (CPP), Fedrooms, and Travel Service Solutions (TSS). This training will provide an overview of each solution and will highlight the benefits and utility of using GSA's Travel Programs. The goal is to provide helpful travel tips so agencies and programs can get more and spend less on travel.

Greening Service and Construction Contracts
Greening Service and Construction Contracts

This session will give a brief overview of sustainable procurement requirements and will delve more deeply into how to incorporate sustainability into service contracts.  The speaker will provide details on specification and clauses that should be included in service contracts to meet requirements.  The discussion will include evaluation of nine common service contracts.

Sustainable Acquisition Refresher
Sustainable Acquisition Refresher

There has been a significant expansion of the federal sustainable acquisition program. Designed for purchasers, program managers, and suppliers with familiarity with federal sustainable acquisition requirements, this presentation discusses what's new under Executive Order 13693, what further changes are pending, and what they mean to purchase card holders. A demonstration of the Green Procurement Compilation will be provided.

DoD Fleet Card Overview
DoD Fleet Card Overview

The Department of Defense Fleet Card enables authorized users to buy and pay for fuel, emergency roadside assistance or minor maintenance in support  of official government business. The term “DoD Fleet,” as used herein refers to vehicles that are owned or are under individual "dry" lease by the Component Services and the DoD Agencies. The fleet card may be used to purchase fuel for equipment. The use of the fleet card constitutes a government order for supplies or service in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and is subject to the micro- purchase threshold of $3,500.

Government Travel Charge Card Best Practices
Government Travel Charge Card Best Practices

This session is intended for DoD travel attendees.  Representatives from the DTMO will provide best practices and lesson's learned in managing your GTCC program.  Highlights to include metrics reporting, declined authorizations reporting , DTS reports on travel card profiles, mandatory reporting and datamining, delinquency management and training requirements.  A question and answer session will immediately follow.

Acquisition Gateway

What is the Acquisition Gateway?

Have you ever needed to procure something for your agency or organization using GSA SmartPay and wanted more information to guide your purchasing decision? Good news!  GSA created the Acquisition Gateway to consolidate available product and service information across best-in-class Federal Government providers.  

The Acquisition Gateway offers information, tools, and resources to facilitate acquisition and procurement decision-making.

For first time visitors to the Acquisition Gateway, please take a brief moment to register at OMB Max here.  Click here for a video on the registration process.

 

Vendors

Below is a list of guides, presentations, and publications for vendors.

All

SmartTax: Quick Reference for Vendors cover
SmartTax: Quick Reference for Vendors

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Accepting GSA SmartPay Cards? A Handy, Helpful Reference Guide For Vendors cover
Accepting GSA SmartPay Cards? A Handy, Helpful Reference Guide For Vendors

Accepting GSA SmartPay Cards? A Handy, Helpful Reference Guide For Vendors

SmartTax Vendor Guide
SmarTax Vendor Guide

This brochure is targeted at vendors who accept the SmartPay cards so they will be able to more easily recognize the cards by BIN numbers to know when taxes should not be assessed.

Interact Online Community for Industry

Future Government Payment Solutions

GSA's Office of Charge Card Management (OCCM) wants to ensure the GSA SmartPay program remains on the forefront of payment technologies, flexibility, value, ease of use, security, data and data analytics, fraud detection and numerous other areas in order to best support Federal Government's mission.

This online community is intended for government and industry to share ideas, best practices and innovative solutions, as well as for posting pre-award documents (e.g. RFI, draft RFP) and responding to questions. It will play a significant role in supporting OCCM as it strives to provide the best possible product/service mix in support of customer agencies.

To become a member, please go to: https://interact.gsa.gov/group/future-government-payment-solutions-gsa-smartpay

 

For State/Local

Resources for state and local government commercial payment solutions programs. 

GSA SmartPay Chip and PIN Enabled Charge Cards

State and local government commercial payment solutions programs may face many challenges similar to those experienced by the Federal Government in making the transition to chip charge cards. OCCM prepared  a Primer on GSA SmartPay Charge Card Program EMV "chip" Transition and Other Enhanced Security Considerations to share our lessons learned in dealing with the transition from a card issuance perspective.  

Ordering Guides and Publications

Copies of guides and publications may be ordered by contacting the Centralized Mail List Service (CMLS).  This service is free of charge for agency customers and items can be shipped directly to your office.  

Order Online

Hard copies of publications may be ordered by contacting the Centralized Mail List Service (CMLS). Simply refer to the specific publication by title or document ID.  Both printing and shipping of these publications is free.

Order by Phone:

The call center, available at (817) 334-5215, operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST). This center assists GSA and non-GSA personnel with ordering publications, updating contact information and providing shipment status.

GSA CMLS
501 W FELIX ST STE 1101
WHS 9 SEC F
FORT WORTH TX 76115-3411
CMLS Phone Number: (817) 334-5215
CMLS Fax Number: (817) 334-5561
CMLS E-mail Address: cmls@gsa.gov

Fraud Prevention

Protecting your GSA SmartPay Account

It is important to understand how to protect not only your account, but also yourself from fraud. Identifying and reporting fraud is your responsibility as the account holder. This section discusses some tips to help detect and avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Knowledge and awareness are the best protection.  

Fraud Definition and Types

Fraud

Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced with the motive of securing unfair or unlawful gain. Specific to our topic here, fraud can be an attempt to cheat the Federal Government and corrupt its agents by using GSA SmartPay payment solutions for transactions not part of official government business. Like any deception, fraud has its fair share of victims.

GSA is posting this information to help you, your agency, and the Federal Government avoid being victimized. Fraud can come in many disguises, such as false emails, mail, or phone calls. Likewise, intentional misuse of a GSA SmartPay payment solution by the account holder can result in fraud. In addition, non-account holder fraud involves the use of the payment solution or account holder information by an unauthorized person.

As a GSA SmartPay cardholder, you should be aware and take necessary steps to protect your account and yourself.

Different Types of Fraud

Some of the different types of fraud include:

  • Counterfeit Accounts — To make fake cards, criminals use the newest technology to “skim” information contained on magnetic stripes of cards, and also to pass security features (such as holograms).
  • Lost or Stolen Accounts — Often physical cards are stolen from a workplace, gym or unattended vehicle.
  • Card Not Present (CNP) Fraud — Internet fraud occurs whenever account information is stolen and used to make online purchases. Usually, a merchant will ask for the CVC code (located on the back of the card itself) to help prevent this type of fraud.
  • Phishing — Phishing occurs whenever an account holder receives a fake email directing him or her to enter sensitive personal information on a phony website. The false website enables the criminal to steal information from the account holder.
  • Non-Receipt Fraud — This occurs whenever new or replacement cards are mailed and then stolen while in transit.
  • Identity Theft Fraud — Whenever a criminal applies for an account using another person’s identity and information

Detecting Fraud

One of the first signs that you have been a victim of fraud will be at least one “mystery expense” showing up in your monthly statement. To help detect fraud, you should verify your statement by:

  • Looking for transactions you do not recall making;
  • Checking for unknown vendors; and,
  • Searching for account withdrawals you do not remember making.

Avoiding internal/external Fraud

Avoiding Fraud

Some tips to avoiding fraud are:

  1. Secure account numbers and information.
  2. Safeguard your personal identification number (PIN). Do not write it down — memorize it. Do NOT share your PIN.
  3. Monitor your card during transactions. When the card is returned, check to make sure it is indeed yours.
  4. Make a list of account numbers with key contact information, in case you need to report a lost or stolen account.
  5. Immediately report lost/stolen accounts and/or any questionable charges.
  6. Sign the back of a new card as soon as you receive it. If you do not receive a replacement card before the expiration date of the older card, contact the bank.
  7. Destroy unwanted or expired cards and shred (or secure) monthly statements and receipts.
  8. Always verify charges appearing on your monthly statement. Note that online statements provide a faster, more efficient way to check for fraudulent activities.
  9. Unless you initiated the purchase, NEVER give your account information over the telephone, through the mail, or on the Internet.
  10. Consistently check your account for accuracy of personal and billing information. Notify the bank if your personal information and/or address needs updated.
  11. Never let a telemarketer or salesperson pressure you into agreeing to a deal.
  12. Be aware of common scams. If you are unsure of a situation, please contact your A/OPC or the bank.
  13. Examine your credit report at least once a year.
  14. Update the anti-spyware and anti-virus software on your computer.
Understanding Account Holder Misuse and Fraud

Fraud can be defined as a deception deliberately practiced with the motive of securing unfair or unlawful gain. Specific to our topic here, fraud can be an attempt to cheat the Federal Government and corrupt its agents by using GSA SmartPay accounts for transactions not part of official government business. Fraud can come in many disguises, such as false emails, mail, or phone calls. Likewise, intentional misuse of a GSA SmartPay account by the account holder can result in fraud. The employing agency of an account holder who misuses the account or who participates in fraud may cancel the purchase account and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee.  In the case of account misuse, the employee will be held personally liable to the Federal Government for the amount of any unauthorized transaction.

Depending on the facts involved, an employee may be subject to fine or imprisonment for action relating to purchase account misuse and fraud.  Employees issued an account have a responsibility to use the account to procure supplies and services at the direction of the agency under official purchase authorization.  Examples of misuse include:

  • Purchases that exceed the account holder’s limit,
  • Purchases not authorized by the agency,
  • Purchases for which no funding exists,
  • Purchases for personal consumption,
  • Purchases that do not comply with the FAR and/or other applicable procurement statutes and regulations, and
  • Purchases billed by the merchant but not received by the agency.

There are guidelines and procedures for disciplinary action to be taken against individuals for the improper, fraudulent, or abusive use of the purchase account. Purchase account misuse/ fraud may have the following potential consequences:

  • Counseling,
  • Cancellation of purchase account,
  • Notation in employee performance evaluation,
  • Reprimand,
  • Suspension of employment,
  • Termination of employment, or
  • Criminal prosecution.
Understanding Non-Account Holder Fraud

Non-account holder fraud involves the use of the purchase account or account holder data by an unauthorized person.  Non-account holder fraud is investigated by special units within the banks.  Any information acquired that relates to non-account holder fraud should be reported.  The risk of non-account holder fraud is higher in certain situations including:

  • Account/Card never received – A new or replacement card has been mailed to the account holder but was not received.  This may be due to a third party interception.  In this case, the account should be cancelled and new card issued. 
  • Lost or Stolen Account/Card – If the account holder reports the account as lost or stolen, the account will be cancelled and new one issued.  Reporting the account as lost or stolen does not relieve the Federal Government for payment for any transactions that were made by the account holder prior to losing it.  If transactions not made by the account holder appear on the statement, the account holder has 90 days from the date of the transaction to file a dispute.  If it is not done within 90 days, they may forfeit their rights to dispute.   
  • Altered or counterfeit cards – This occurs when third parties obtain account information and used that information to make purchases with an altered or counterfeit card.  If the banks recognize a fraudulent pattern of use at the time of authorization, the bank will validate the use of the account with the account holder and/or suspend the account.  If transactions not made by the account holder appear on the statement, the account holder has 90 days from the date of the transaction to file a dispute.  If it is not done within 90 days, they may forfeit their rights to dispute.
  • Account takeover/ Identity theft – In this case, the account holder’s identity has been compromised and a third party has requested a new account by providing confidential information about the account holder.  Any account holder who believes that he or she may have been subject to identity theft should contact the bank’s customer-service department.  Once a determination is made that an account has been compromised, investigation is the responsibility of the bank. Unless a government employee is determined to be involved in the fraud, the agency generally does not participate in the investigation.  The account will be closed, and a replacement account opened.

Misuse and Abuse

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. Examples of misuse include:

  • Purchases that exceed the account holder'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 that govern each particular payment solution type.

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

In the case of a centrally billed account (CBA), either purchase or CBA travel account misuse, the employee may be held personally liable to the Federal 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, in certain cases, vendors 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.
Understanding Account Holder Misuse and Fraud

Fraud can be defined as a deception deliberately practiced with the motive of securing unfair or unlawful gain. Specific to our topic here, fraud can be an attempt to cheat the Federal Government and corrupt its agents by using GSA SmartPay accounts for transactions not part of official government business. Fraud can come in many disguises, such as false emails, mail, or phone calls. Likewise, intentional misuse of a GSA SmartPay account by the account holder can result in fraud. The employing agency of an account holder who misuses the account or who participates in fraud may cancel the purchase account and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee.  In the case of account misuse, the employee will be held personally liable to the Federal Government for the amount of any unauthorized transaction.

Depending on the facts involved, an employee may be subject to fine or imprisonment for action relating to purchase account misuse and fraud.  Employees issued an account have a responsibility to use the account to procure supplies and services at the direction of the agency under official purchase authorization.  Examples of misuse include:

  • Purchases that exceed the account holder’s limit,
  • Purchases not authorized by the agency,
  • Purchases for which no funding exists,
  • Purchases for personal consumption,
  • Purchases that do not comply with the FAR and/or other applicable procurement statutes and regulations, and
  • Purchases billed by the merchant but not received by the agency.

There are guidelines and procedures for disciplinary action to be taken against individuals for the improper, fraudulent, or abusive use of the purchase account. Purchase account misuse/ fraud may have the following potential consequences:

  • Counseling,
  • Cancellation of purchase account,
  • Notation in employee performance evaluation,
  • Reprimand,
  • Suspension of employment,
  • Termination of employment, or
  • Criminal prosecution.

If I become a Victim of Fraud

If you discover that someone else has used your account, promptly report the incident to your A/OPC and the bank’s customer service representative. Once your account (or the account holder information) has been reported lost or stolen, the account is immediately blocked. If necessary, the bank will then issue a new card with a new account number. Also, your bank will send you a letter explaining the steps you can take to protect yourself further. Sometimes, unauthorized transactions will appear on the billing statement, even though the account was reported lost or stolen. You should report all unauthorized transactions by calling the bank's customer service telephone number.

If your GSA SmartPay account falls victim to fraud, contact your A/OPC and your agency’s bank immediately.

U.S. Bank
fraud_help@usbank.com
(877) 595-6256

J.P. Morgan
abuse@chase.com
(888) 297-0781

Citibank
emailsproof@citigroup.com
(800) 274-6660

If Fraud has already occurred

If an account holder reports fraud, it is your responsibility to contact the issuing bank for further investigation.  The bank will block/cancel the account and replace it immediately.  If you suspect an account holder is guilty of fraud, you can file a complaint with your agency’s Inspector General.  Investigations are initiated upon receipt of a complaint or other information that gives a reasonable account of the wrongful or fraudulent act.  Many agencies provide fraud hotline numbers to report fraud.  Be as specific as possible when calling or sending a complaint.  The following should be provided:

  • The employee's full name
  • Rank or pay grade
  • Duty station
  • Specific suspected fraudulent act or wrong doing
  • Specific dates and times
  • Specific location of where the suspected fraudulent act occurred
  • How the individual completed the alleged fraudulent act

Based on the findings of the investigation, you may be required to notify an employee’s supervisor and human resources office for further internal administrative action.  Depending on the action you may also need to contact other organizations including:

  • The bank’s fraud unit
  • The Inspector General
  • The Fraud Hotline
  • The DOD Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • The Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS)
  • The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Service (USACIDC)
  • The Air Force Office of Special Investigators (AFOSI)

Reporting/Monitoring Fraud

Program Coordinators should use electronic reports to monitor and track misuse and fraud.  The following reports may be utilized to detect misuse and fraud within your program:

  • Account Activity Report –This report shows all active accounts and spending for each account during a billing cycle.  It provides details on each transaction, including transaction date, transaction type, merchant name, and dollar amount.  It is particularly useful for identifying suspicious merchants, unusually high spending patterns, excessive convenience check usage, and untimely purchases.
  • Declined Authorizations Report – The declined authorization report will identify account holders who have attempted to use an account to buy an item for which they are not authorized, that exceeds their single-purchase limits, that exceeds their monthly purchase limit, or from a merchant that falls under a blocked Merchant Category Code (MCC).
  • Disputes Report – The disputes report identifies date, merchant, reason code, dollar amount, and status of each dispute filed by an account holder.  Approving officials and A/OPC’s should track and follow up on disputes to determine their outcomes.  Account holders should attempt to resolve disputes directly with merchants prior to filing a disputes report.  If a merchant is consistently appearing on the disputes report, the A/OPC should determine whether the merchant may have billing issues, quality issues, or is attempting to commit fraud by submitting false transactions.
  • Unusual Spending Activity Report – The banks offer various reports identifying transactions that may warrant further review.
  • Lost/Stolen Account Report –The lost/stolen account report identifies accounts that are reported lost or stolen.  This may either be an indicator that the account holder needs to secure his/her account or that the account holder is attempting to disguise misuse or fraudulent activity by denying the charges.
  • Master File – The master file should be reviewed periodically to eliminate account holders who are no longer employed in the agency, correct addresses, and verify whether card limits and authorization controls are appropriate.
  • Ad Hoc Reports - Your bank may offer an ad hoc reporting tool that enables you to create customized reports with the data elements you specify.
Taking Action

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, the employee may be held personally liable to the Federal 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, in certain cases, the issuing 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.

Logo & Designs

Glossary

Glossary of the GSA SmartPay Program Terminology

AB | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

1057: Information used to describe merchant demographics (e.g., small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, or women-owned small business concerns).

1099: Information used for reporting income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using a Tax Identification Number (TIN). This could be either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Individuals should provide an SSN.

A:

Abuse: Use of a government charge card to buy authorized items, but at terms (e.g., price, quantity) that are excessive, for a questionable government need, or both.  Examples of such transactions would include purchase of items such as a day planner costing $300 rather than one costing $45; allowable refreshments at an excessive cost; and, year-end or other bulk purchases of computer and electronic equipment for a questionable government need.

Ad Hoc Reporting: Ability to generate custom reports based on program and transaction data.

Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC): The individual serving as the focal point for management, task order administration, establishing and maintaining accounts, and issuance and destruction of cards.  The A/OPC oversees the card program for his or her agency/organization and establishes agency/organization guidelines. The A/OPC helps set-up accounts; serves as liaison between the cardholder and the card Contractor; provides on-going advice; audits card accounts as required; and keeps necessary account information current.  Some agencies also use the term Agency Program Coordinator (APC).

Approving Official (AO): In purchase card programs, the individual (typically a supervisor) responsible for ensuring that the purchase card is used properly by the agency/organization.  The AO also authorizes cardholder purchases (for official use only) and ensures that the statements are reconciled and submitted to the Designated Billing Office in a timely manner.  In travel card programs, the individual (also, typically a supervisor) who is responsible for signing the traveler’s voucher, indicating approval for payment and for its content.

Associations: Organizations that make the rules regarding charge card issuance and acceptance.

Authorization: The process of verifying, at the point of sale, that a purchase being made is allowable given the requirements, prohibitions, and controls established by the agency/organization for that card.

Authorization Controls: A set of rule-based mechanisms that are used to enforce policies governing the allowable use of charge cards for the procurement and payment of products and services (e.g., MCC blocks, daily spending limits, transaction limits).

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B:

Billing Cycle: A specific recurring time period between the time statements of account/invoices are processed.

Billing Cycle Date: The cut-off date for which charges are processed for the billing cycle.

Billing Date: The cut-off date for which charges are process for the billing cycle. For all other applications, the billing date is the date the invoice is received by the agency/organization Designated Billing Office in accordance with the Prompt Payment Act.

Business Line: A group of charge card activities with common functional characteristics (i.e., Purchase, Travel, Fleet, or Integrated).

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C:

Cardholder: An individual to whom a card is issued to buy goods and services in support of official government business travel.  This may include a Contractor under a cost-reimbursable contract for purchase card accounts, fleet card accounts, and centrally billed travel card accounts only.  The cardholder holds the primary responsibility for the card’s proper use.

Cardless Account: An established account without a physical card.

Centrally Billed Account: A card/account established by the Contractor at the request of the agency/organization.  These may be card/cardless accounts.  Payments are made directly to the Contractor by the agency/organization.  All fleet and purchase cards are centrally billed cards/accounts.  Some travel and integrated cards may be centrally billed cards/accounts.

Charge Card: A plastic card, issued to an individual or an entity, with an underlying account that is used for making payments.  A charge card is similar to a credit card, except that generally the balance must be paid in full upon receipt of the statement, usually on a monthly basis.

City Pair Program: GSA’s procurement program for air passenger transportation services.  The GSA travel card is the only form of card payment accepted by the city pair program.

Closing Date (Applicable to Individually Billed Accounts only): For individually billed accounts, the closing date is the cut-off date for which charges are processed for the billing cycle.  May be referred to as the billing date.

Commercial Travel Office (CTO): A Department of Defense (DOD) travel arranger. This office provides a full range of travel services for the DOD traveler. The CTO may be staffed with DOD personnel or may be a commercial travel agency.

Contactless Payment Card: A standard card with the added functionalities of Integrated Circuit Card (ICC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies.  The card includes a magnetic stripe, integrated circuit chip capabilities, and contactless transponder technology.

Convenience Check: Contractor-provided check that is written on a card/account within established dollar limits.

Creditworthiness: An assessment used as an internal control to ensure that charge cardholders are financially responsible (OMB Circular A-123 Appendix B).

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D:

Data Mining: An automated process used to scan databases to detect patterns, trends, and/or anomalies for use in risk management, spend patterns, and other areas of analysis.

Debit Card: Contractor-provided product and service that deducts an account/fund within established dollar limits.  May be on-line or off-line.

Declined Transaction: Transaction where authorization has been refused by the card Contractor’s transaction authorization system.

Defense Travel System (DTS): A system that the Department of Defense (DOD) uses to manage their travel end-to-end through an automated web-based system.

Delinquency/delinquent account: An undisputed charge card account balance that is unpaid for more than 61 days past the statement date.

Designated Billing Office (DBO): The office or third party entity designated by the ordering agency/organization to receive the official invoice and, in some instances, make payment.

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E:

eTravel: See “E-Gov Travel Service”

E-Gov Travel Service (ETS, or eTravel): A federal program that federal travelers use to manage their travel from end-to-end through a common, web-based, government-wide service.

Electronic Access System (EAS): The charge card Contractor’s internet-based system that provides account access and a variety of reports which assist in the effective management of the charge card programs.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): Delivery systems used to transfer payments of funds electronically.  These systems transfer funds faster and more securely than transfers authorized by paper check.

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F:

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): The regulation for use by federal executive agencies for acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds, as set forth in 48 CFR Chapters 1-52. Some agencies/organizations may have additional FAR supplements specific to their purchases (e.g., Department of Defense’s Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS)).

Fiscal Year: October 1 through September 30.

Fiscal Year Quarter: One fourth (or three months) of the federal fiscal year (i.e., first quarter, October 1, through December 31; second quarter, January 1 through March 31; third quarter, April 1 through June 30; and fourth quarter, July 1 through September 30).

Fraud: Any act of corruption or attempt to cheat the Government or corrupt the Government’s agents, including but not limited to, the use of government charge cards to transact business that is not sanctioned, not authorized, not in one’s official government capacity, not for the purpose for which the card was issued, or not as part of official  government business.

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G:

Government Travel Regulation: Regulations governing the travel and relocation allowances and entitlement of federal employees performing official temporary duty travel (TDY) or relocating for the government.  For federal civilian employees, see the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) (41 CFR Chapters 301-304).  For members of the Uniformed Services, see volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR).  For Department of Defense civilian personnel, see volume 2 of the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR).  The FTR, JFTR and JTR are available from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington DC 20402.  For members of the Foreign Service of the United States, see Chapter 100 of Volume 6 of the Foreign Affairs Manual (6 FAM 100).

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I:

Individually Billed Account: A government Contractor-issued charge card used by authorized individuals to pay for official travel and transportation-related expenses for which the Contractor bills the cardholder, and for which the individual is liable to pay.

Integrated Card: Two or more business lines whose processes are integrated on the front-end (e.g., at a minimum, account set-up, account maintenance, customer service) or back-end (e.g., reconciliation, reporting, and invoicing), or both.  May be a single card or a single platform.

Interchange Fee: A fee withheld by the card issuing back for processing the credit card transaction.  This fee is generally a percentage of the total transaction amount, and is passed on to the merchant through the merchant bank’s fees.

Invoice: See “Official Invoice”

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L:

Level 1 Data: Standard commercial transaction data that includes the total purchase amount, the date of purchase, the merchant category code, merchants name, city/state, debit/credit indicator, date charge/credit was processed by the Contractor, Contractor processing/transaction reference number for each charge/credit, and other data elements as defined by the Associations or similar entity.

Level 2 Data: In addition to Level 1 data, includes sales tax amount, company information, and other data elements as defined by the Associations or similar entity.

Level 3 Data: Full line-item detail in addition to the data in Level 1 and Level 2 includes unit cost, quantities, unit of measure, product codes, product descriptions, ship to/from zip cods, freight amount, duty amount, order date, discount amount, order number, and other data elements as defined by the Associations or similar entity.

Local Travel: Travel that is within the vicinity of an employee’s regular duty station where an official government travel authorization is not provided nor necessary.  This sort of travel is generally considered an administrative expense, and as such, the travel card is not an appropriate payment mechanism.  Examples of local travel may include, but are not limited to public transportation passes/tokens, ferry tickets, etc.

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M:

Master File: File maintained by the Contractor that contains all essential account information.

Merchant: The source for agency/organization supplies or services. The merchant may be a required source inside or outside the government, another government agency, or a private sector merchant of supplies or services.

Merchant Category Code (MCC): A four-digit code used to identify the type of business a merchant conducts (e.g., gas stations, restaurants, airlines).  The merchant selects its MCC with their bank based on their primary business.  The code helps agencies control where purchases are allowable and may determine if the item is centrally or individually billed.

Micropurchase: An acquisition of supplies or services, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the threshold as defined in FAR 2.101.  The threshold is currently $3000 for most purchase types.

Misuse: Use of a federal charge card by an authorized user for other than the official government purpose(s) for which it is intended.

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N:

Net Billing: The process of ensuring that merchant discounts or rebates offered are deducted at the point of sale and guaranteeing such discount arrangements.

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O:

Official Invoice: A proper invoice, as defined by the FAR, and containing the data required by, and formatted in accordance with, contract and task order specifications requesting payment be made to the Contractor.

Official Travel: Travel performed at the direction of a federal agency under an official travel authorization.  A cardholder performing local travel and not in official travel status, is not traveling under an official travel authorization and therefore is prohibited from using the travel card.

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P:

Personal Identification Number (PIN): A code assigned by the Contractor that the card/account holder possesses for verification of identity when using a card.

Pre-paid card: A card that is programmed with a monetary value, and has the capability to be reloaded.  Systems operate in two ways.  One is the “closed–loop” system, which may be used only for limited purposes.  The other is the open-loop” system, which offers the ability to utilize the cards for multiple purposes and at multiple points of sale, such as making deposists on the card, withdrawing cash, and/or paying bills.  They may be either rechargeable (value can be added to them) or disposable.

Pooling: A partnership between two or more agencies/organizations that work together to define requirements and choose a Contractor for their jointly awarded task order.

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Q:

Quarter: See fiscal year quarter.

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R:

Rebate:  A term used in prior government charge card guidance – is synonymous with a “refund.” Notably, Congress has used the term “refund” and “rebate” interchangeably.

Restricted Card: A travel card issued to applicants with a low credit score that contains more stringent restrictions defined by the agency/organization, which may require the Contractor to:

  • Reduce the overall dollar limit for the card;
  • Reduce the limit on individual transaction amounts;
  • Limit the types of transactions allowed;
  • Issue a pre-paid card that automatically restricts dollar amount and transaction types;
  • Limit the dollar amount of transactions that can be applied to the card within a particular time period;
  • Limit the length of time a card remains active, such as for the length of time in travel status only; and/or
  • Restrict use at ATMs.

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S:

Salary Offset: The collection of an undisputed, delinquent charge card amount via a direct deduction from an employee’s payroll disbursement or retirement annuity on behalf of the charge card Contractor.  Salary offset applies to individually billed accounts only.

Section 508: (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 USC Chapter 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220), August 7, 1998): Section 508 is a U.S. law that was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.  It identifies specific standards for internet and web accessibility, which are often used as a basis for evaluating whether or not websites meet accessibility requirements.

Signature: Discrete, verifiable symbol of an individual affixed to a document, with the knowledge and consent of the individual.  This may include electronic signatures.

Simplified Acquisition Threshold: As defined in FAR 2.101, currently $100,000 (except that in the case of any contract to be awarded and performed, or purcase to be made, outside the United States in support of a contingency operation as defined in 10 USC Chapter 101(a)(13)).

Split Disbursement: The process of dividing a travel voucher reimbursement between the Contractor and traveler.  The balance designated to go to each is sent directly to the appropriate party.

Statement of Account: Official document of all transactions (debits and credits) at the cardholder level posted during the billing cycle.  The statement of account is not the official invoice for Centrally Billed Accounts.  For Individually billed accounts, this is sent to the individually billed cardholder.

Strategic Sourcing: The process of continually analyzing the way agencies/organizations spend funds through contracts, delivery orders, and through the Government card program in order to ensure agencies/organizations are making efficient and effective purchases by:

  • Leveraging their sourcing power by seeking opportunities to achieve discounts on commonly purchased goods and services; and
  • Applying discounts to all charge card transactions, as appropriate.

Summary Level Data: Transaction data that is grouped or categorized into high levels and is not detailed.

Suspension: The process by which a particular charge card account is deactivated due to delinquency or multiple pre-suspension actions.

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T:

Tagging-Along: Joining another agency/organization’s established task order in order to receive the same services that are provided to the primary agency/organization.

Task Order: An order for services placed against an established contract or with government sources.

Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN): A unique set of digits used to identify a business or person for the purpose of federal income tax reporting (i.e., a social security number (SSN) or employer identification number (EIN)).

Transaction Dispute Office (TDO): The office designated by the ordering agency/organization to assist the agency/organization and the Contractor in tracking and resolving disputed purchases or transactions.

Travel Management Center (TMC): A commercial travel firm authorized by, or under contract to, civilian agencies/organizations to provide reservations, ticketing, and related travel management services for official travelers.

Travelers Check: A Contractor issued check, issued for a preset amount that may be cashed by countersigning in the presence of a payee, and is accepted domestically and internationally by financial and commercial firms.

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U:

Unauthorized Use: The use of a charge card by a person, other than the cardholder, who does not have actual or implied authority for such use, and from which the cardholder receives no benefit.

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V:

Value Added Product and Service Offerings: Products and services of the GSA SmartPay® Program that may be offered at the master contract level and are referred to as “Tier 2.”

Virtual Cards: One time use account numbers that may be used during a limited time period (e.g., within a 30 day window), for a limited amount (specific or not to exceed), and possibly for a specific vendor.

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W:

Waste: Any activity taken with respect to a government charge card that fosters, or results in, unnecessary costs or other program inefficiencies.

Write-Off: A canceled account with an unpaid balance determined to be uncollectible by the Contractor.  At the Contractor’s discretion, collection action may continue on these accounts.

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