1 GSA SmartPay : Innovation, Integration and Information at Work
2 Are You Ready for GSA SmartPay 2? The U.S. General Services Administration s (GSA) SmartPay is a successful government payment card program, generating taxpayer savings and increasing transparency in managing public funds. MasterCard has been an active participant in GSA SmartPay since the start of the program, and we hope to continue that participation as the General Services Administration prepares for the next generation of payment services under GSA SmartPay 2. MasterCard understands how and why commerce is conducted around the world and is creating more advanced methods of payment that fuel economic connections and drive real business value for its customers. This paper describes the transformational and economic impact of payment cards on federal government spending and looks at the technologies and practices that we expect GSA SmartPay 2 to bring, including financial controls and risk management tools along with a heightened level of transparency, accountability and reporting requirements. MasterCard is advancing commerce globally making it faster, more efficient, more secure, more intelligent and more valuable. Our public sector team is committed to helping our financial institution customers make GSA SmartPay 2 even more successful than the current government payment card program. We encourage your feedback about the subjects raised in the paper and look forward to the next steps in the development of GSA SmartPay. MasterCard understands that results are best delivered locally and its unified global structure enables the development of customized business solutions that work for customers wherever and however they do business. Eva Robinson U.S. Executive Public Sector Development MasterCard Worldwide Table of Contents Are You Ready for GSA SmartPay 2? 1 The Power of GSA SmartPay 2 The Future of Payments 4 Taking Charge: Enhanced Safeguards Planned for GSA SmartPay 2 7 Making Size Matter With Federal Payment Cards: Q&A 9
3 The Power of GSA SmartPay How payment cards have transformed federal government procurement Since its inception in 1998, the GSA SmartPay purchasing card program has transformed the way the federal government makes small and medium-sized purchases, trimming an estimated $1.3 billion a year in administrative costs and streamlining traditional procurement processes. 1 The pioneering work of the General Services Administration (GSA) has established an advanced payment system satisfying complex requirements of the federal government. GSA SmartPay introduced innovative technologies and practices that did not previously exist within the federal government and has had a profound impact on state and local governments as well as the private sector. As the March 2004 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states, The introduction of government purchasing cards fundamentally changed the way agencies make small, routine purchases of goods and services. 2 By automating payments, GSA SmartPay has introduced a new approach to federal governments purchases under $3,000 so-called micropurchases. These purchases constitute the majority of acquisitions made by the federal government. Results from a study taken 1 The General Services Administration. GSA SmartPay Frequently Asked Questions. Online: Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?faq=yes&pageTypeId=819 9&contentId=10141&contentType=GSA_OVERVIEW 2 Timberlake, Guy. Will That Be VISA or MasterCard? The American Small Business Coalition. June 5, Digital Harbor Online: com/columns/archive79.html between October 2005 and March 2006 show federal agencies have procured more than $5 billion in goods and services, with over half of those purchases at or below the $3,000 micro-purchase threshold. 3 Saving Taxpayer Money This rapid growth of GSA SmartPay is driven by both the conveniences offered by the program and the savings the program generated for the federal agencies and, ultimately, American taxpayers. From the savings perspective, the GSA reported about 92 million transactions through GSA SmartPay in FY 2005, with estimated administrative savings of $54 per transaction when compared with traditional paper-based purchasing. These savings add up quickly, saving the federal government nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2005 alone on transactions and another $118 million in refunds. 4 Doing More With Less In addition, freed from the additional paperwork associated with purchase orders, GSA SmartPay cardholders can make purchases of what they need, when they need it faster and more efficiently. In fact, purchasing cards enabled organizations to reduce the time it takes to complete small to 3 Timberlake, Will That Be VISA or MasterCard? 4 What s New With GSA SmartPay? General Services Administration. June Online: SmartPay.ppt#286,1,What s New with GSA SmartPay?
4 medium-sized transactions by 74 percent, the number of petty cash accounts by 57 percent, and the number of suppliers by 42 percent, according to a 2005 benchmark study by professors Richard J. Palmer of Eastern Illinois University and Mahendra Gupta of Washington University. 5 to increase. 7 Moreover, a study on the subject shows that organizations that have reduced card distribution among their work force have not performed as well in procurement as those that maintained or increased card distribution. Through the automation of payments, the program essentially shifts responsibility and authority to make small purchases from centralized procurement offices to individual cardholders, which allows federal agencies to dramatically improve the order to pay cycle time while reducing associated time and administrative costs. As the volume of acquisitions increased, GSA SmartPay s role in efficient and effective government procurement grows. Growing Numbers Federal agencies increasingly use the GSA SmartPay program to replace traditional paper-based processes, as it almost doubled in size from handling less than $10 billion in purchases in 1999 to over $25 billion in As a result, GSA SmartPay purchasing cards have become the standard method for making small and medium-sized purchases throughout more than 350 federal agencies, organizations and Native American tribes. In FY 2005, more than 300,000 authorized cardholders used GSA SmartPay cards, and they remain optimistic about the program, with 87 percent of users expecting the use of cards 5 English, Jessica. Use of Purchasing Cards Growing as Costs Decline. MiBiz Network. Oct. 4, Online: asp?articleid=4965&zoneid=33 6 What s New With GSA SmartPay? General Services Administration The Smartest Payers: Top 10 Federal Agencies, based on number of transactions in FY 2005 (data from General Services Administration) GSA SmartPay is emulated by governments around the world and held up as a model of how card programs can be integral to achieving fully automated processes in accordance with e-government directives, said Eva Robinson, U.S. Executive, Public Sector Development for MasterCard Worldwide. 7 What s New With GSA SmartPay? General Services Administration
5 The Future of Payments GSA SmartPay 2 promises new conveniences, innovations when it debuts in 2008 GSA SmartPay 2 is designed to build on the success of the GSA SmartPay program by capitalizing on its strengths and introducing new tools and practices, foreseeing technologies that are not even in existence today. We re looking to take the card program up to the next level, David Shea, director of the GSA SmartPay program, told FederalTimes. com. The GSA is deciding what s meaningful and what isn t for the future. It s an exciting challenge. 8 What should federal employees expect when GSA SmartPay 2 debuts in 2007? Increased security, better customer service, new ways to reduce fraud and waste, and more options for tracking and managing the data generated by the cards, according to the GSA bid requirements. Our program in the future will emphasize customer service, using new technology to fulfill unique government purchasing and funds management requirements more effectively and efficiently, said Lurita Doan, administrator, U.S. General Services Administration. 9 Below is a brief overview of some of the key improvements expected from GSA SmartPay 2 and the new products offered by MasterCard to address the needs of government agencies: 8 GSA SmartPay Director Envisions Charge Card of the Future. Federal Times. Feb. 3, Online: federaltimes.com/index.php?s= Doan, Lurita. Doan Addresses 8th Annual GSA Smart- Pay Conference. General Services Administration. Aug. 1, Online: View.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelId=-18821&P=XAE &contentid=21408&contenttype=gsa_basic Enhanced customer service. To remain in tune with government needs, GSA SmartPay 2 providers will need to offer increasingly effective customer service available around the clock and in multiple languages worldwide. MasterCard provides an implementation process that offers agencies and issuers a single point of contact during the transition to a new brand or issuer. Since the implementation process is consistent across all MasterCard products, agencies and issuers will know exactly what to expect during transition and can minimize the time and effort spent to get a MasterCard program up and running. Another example of our service-focused culture is our Accelerated Development We re looking to take the card program up to the next level, David Shea, director of the SmartPay program, told FederalTimes.com. The GSA is divining what s meaningful and what isn t for the future. It s an exciting challenge. Sessions, which enable agencies to be intimately involved in creating innovative solutions tailored to government needs. Reduced fraud and abuse. Spending taxpayer dollars in the most responsible way is of paramount importance to government agencies. That s why cuttingedge technologies such as MasterCard s turnkey, rules-based transaction monitoring systems that include Expert
6 Monitoring System (EMS) can help to minimize fraud, waste and abuse in the government sector. Security of systems and data. Given the concern among individuals and organizations surrounding the security of sensitive private and financial information, improvements in data security will play an important part in the success of GSA SmartPay 2. Solutions such as MasterCard SecureCode, mobile and all-in-one authentication devices, and the MasterCard Site Data Protection Program all help ensure that all government and employee data is protected from security breaches. Enhanced data capture. Accurate and detailed data will play a critical role in enhancing business intelligence tools serving federal agencies, and MasterCard has embarked on several initiatives to ensure the government is provided with the most comprehensive, detailed transaction information available. These range from an aggressive Level III upgrade program for the GSA s top suppliers consisting of both internal efforts and agreements with outside parties to help capture point-of-sale transaction data to ongoing negotiations with merchants in the travel space, which have already resulted in MasterCard getting direct data feeds from the leading global distribution systems and travel management companies in the world, as well as 11,000 hotel properties. It is important to note that MasterCard has developed a seamless process for integrating the merchant POS data we receive with our transaction clearing data so that government agencies can benefit from consistent, detailed MasterCard transaction reporting information and analysis, regardless of where on the globe the transaction took place. Tax reclamation. Another key area for ensuring efficient use of taxpayer funds, tax reclamation will be a central component of GSA SmartPay 2. MasterCard is expanding its highly successful and tax-saving Government Fleet Tax Reclamation Services, which has recovered dollars for federal agencies through a net-billing process that accelerates recovery for cardholders, to ensure that agencies experience the maximum benefit of tax reclamation through the transmission of enhanced purchasing card data as well as hotel folio data from over 11,000 properties to our tax partners. With GSA SmartPay 2, we expect that new approaches and technologies will be introduced to help serve these and other key government needs. Introducing radio frequency (RF) technology is one example of such innovation. MasterCard introduced a payment solution in December 2002 called MasterCard PayPass that incorporates RF technology into the payment card. In this way, payment information is transmitted with a simple tap to a specially equipped terminal without the card leaving the cardholder hand. This kind of convenient and secure payment solution is ideal for small-ticket transactions within closed purchasing environments, such as camps, posts or stations, and PayPass reduces the time it takes to make purchases.
7 The federal government already uses RFID technology to track shipments and materials. So, it s not much of a stretch to imagine that some day a federal agency may want to adapt RF for payments, said Robinson. The combination of these and other future improvements will result in a next-generation program that will serve the needs of tomorrow s government and be the model of innovation for other industries. GSA SmartPay 2 will be much more than a simple plastic card, Robinson said. The banks or other companies chosen to deliver the next-generation service must deliver creative solutions and technologies, maybe even some that do not yet exist. Issuers will need to view themselves as partners in a quest toward business transformation. Taking Charge: Enhanced Safeguards Planned for GSA SmartPay 2 Advanced reporting tools and standards proposed Since the inception of GSA SmartPay, GSA has been remarkably successful in reducing misuse of taxpayer dollars through the program. For every $100 in transactions, less than two cents are used ineffectively, according to Professor Richard Palmer of Eastern Illinois University, an authority on purchasing card studies. 10 Similarly, a 2005 report by the National Association of Purchasing 10 The Federal Purchase Card: Use, Policy and Best Practice. AGA Corporate Partner Advisory Group Research. No. 4, April Online: Card Professionals found one instance of misuse for every 10,000 transactions, making federal government the leader in managing card (The) federal government (is) the leader in managing card fraud and abuse compared with other industries in both the private and nonprofit sectors. as found in a 2005 report by the National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals. fraud and abuse compared with other industries in both the private and nonprofit sectors. 11 Federal agencies can expect the instances of misuse to become even less frequent when GSA SmartPay 2 debuts in The GSA has outlined a variety of new features to limit fraud and misuse everything from protections built into the new generation of cards to creditworthiness evaluations for potential travel cardholders. The message is clear to companies providing services under GSA SmartPay 2. No amount of fraud is OK when you are managing taxpayer dollars, Robinson said. The key security and fraud-detection features GSA has recommended include the following: New security levels and standards for cards that align with the industry s security standards for purchasing cards 11 Palmer, Richard, and Mahendra Gupta. The 2005 Purchasing Card Benchmark Survey Results. National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals. Online: Palmer05?OpenDocument
8 New reporting features, such as automatic to a supervisor when a purchasing No amount of fraud is OK when you are managing taxpayer dollars, Robinson, U.S. Executive, Public Sector Development, MasterCard said. card is used and summary reports for supervisors who oversee a large number of cardholders Online controls that allow supervisors to activate and deactivate cards Ensuring transparency and accountability of government purchasing and financial control over payment programs, including the provision of features listed above, are to be achieved by GSA SmartPay 2 through a combination of industry best practices, training opportunities for law enforcement, exchange of ideas between government agencies and GSA SmartPay vendors, and innovative technologies. Risk management controls, policies, and practices are a critical tool for ensuring the efficiency and integrity of charge card programs by eliminating payment delinquencies, charge card misuse, fraud, and other forms of waste and abuse, said Clay Johnson III, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. 12 MasterCard is taking steps to enable collaboration with government agencies and equip them with effective tools and practices: Best practices. MasterCard provides educational materials that identify best practices for issuers and acquirers and provides industry-proven methods of combating fraud in traditional and online business payment settings. Law enforcement training seminars. MasterCard engages in law enforcement training seminars around the world. It provides critical training in areas often overlooked by law enforcement agencies. For example, in the United States, MasterCard holds fraud seminars for Secret Service, postal and other law enforcement agents to inform new agents about payment-card fraud trends. Ideas exchange. MasterCard organizes annual government forums in Washington, D.C., to bring together government users of GSA SmartPay and their peers from state and local Technology Spotlight Expert Monitoring System allows payment card administrators to establish and enforce rules for acceptable card use. Rules can, for instance, limit the use of specific cards for specific items, such as office supplies, or specific suppliers. If a cardholder uses the card to purchase something else, Expert Monitoring System highlights the transaction for an administrator s review. 12 Johnson, Clay III. Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs Office of Management and Budget. April 28, Online:
9 governments as well as other countries to share experiences and best practices for card program management. Innovative technologies. MasterCard is among the companies that have worked with the federal government to develop and introduce advanced business intelligence tools and technologies to monitor purchasing behaviors and enforce rules for payment card use. MasterCard offerings for GSA SmartPay 2 will include the Expert Monitoring System with its tracking, profiling and communications capabilities, and a suite of prepaid products to address the unique payment needs of government agencies. More information about the latest MasterCard products is available at business/en/gov/index.html. Making Size Matter With Federal Payment Cards Q&A on the current state of strategic sourcing and what s ahead with GSA SmartPay 2 In addition to saving U.S. taxpayers an estimated $1.4 billion a year in administrative costs, 13 GSA SmartPay enables government agencies to generate additional savings through strategic sourcing. Q: Can you define strategic sourcing? A: It s a combination of purchasing power and making the procurement process smarter. In terms of buying power, the federal 13 What s New With GSA SmartPay? General Services Administration government has tremendous leverage when it goes to purchase everything from paper clips to pickup trucks. Q: How much could the federal government save through strategic sourcing of GSA SmartPay purchases? A: A 2004 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that if the six federal agencies it audited obtained discounts of only 10 percent from their major purchase card vendors those vendors with which the government spends more than $1 million a year they would realize an annual savings of as much as $300 million. 14 Agencies that took advantage of the government s buying power realize notable savings. They saved between 8 percent and 35 percent more than the discounts available through the General Services Administration s (GSA) supply schedule. 15 However, the study found that agencies generally did not take advantage of these discounts. Q: How will GSA SmartPay 2 help government agencies increase strategic sourcing? A: The GSA is asking banks and payment companies participating in GSA SmartPay 2 to build several advanced features into the new program to simplify strategic sourcing. Most notably, we want to support giving agencies more and better data about card purchases. This 14 Kutz, Gregory, David Cooper, and John Ryan. Purchase Cards: Increased Management Oversight and Control Could Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars. Testimony, United States General Accounting Office before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate. April 28, Online: 15 Kutz, Cooper, and Ryan. Purchase Cards: Increased Management Oversight and Control Could Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
10 10 includes detailed information about vendors and purchases, such as quantities, product codes (where applicable) and descriptions. With this level of transactional data, agencies can detect trends in their purchasing to negotiate better prices by standardizing vendors and products. Under the current GSA SmartPay contracts, banks are required to pass to agencies all the data they receive from merchants. Banks bidding on GSA SmartPay 2 contracts will receive evaluation points for proposing a plan to increase the number of merchants providing Level 3 data. Q: Is there more to strategic sourcing than volume pricing? A: MasterCard is working with the government to ensure and enable better data integration in order to help the government organize, consolidate, analyze and manage financial data across transactions. Q: What are the challenges to strategic sourcing? A: Agency officials worry that they will undermine the program s intent to streamline acquisitions if they impose too many requirements on cardholders. Others worry that pursuing discount agreements with large suppliers will limit their ability to provide opportunities for small businesses. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
11 Notes: 11
12 For more information about our best-in-class payment solutions, visit mastercard.com/gov or call MC-PUBLIC Public Sector Payment Solutions 2000 Purchase Street Purchase, NY 10577
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