The Chief Visionary at ASBC, Guy Timberlake, recently wrote an article regarding the Simplified Acquisition program of the Federal Government in the state of Virginia. The article points out that 1790 funding offices account for the FY12 simplified spending in the state. Over $11 million was spent via Smart Pay Purchase Cards.
The article also notes that the TSA, Federal Prison Systems, Navy, VA and the Army are the top five contracting agencies issuing simplified acquisition payments via the purchase card in Virginia for FY12
How can you benefit? Well, the first step is to accept the GSA SmartPay Card. There are always two main questions when faced with the prospect of accepting the GSA SmartPay Card. How difficult is it to get set up to accept it? And, how much is it going to cost me?
Accepting the card is relatively painless for the merchants. You just need to be sure your merchant services provider has the ability to process level 3 data. Why? It’s explained here in a previous blog. Most contractors choose to accept the GSA SmartPay, one of two ways. They either use a virtual terminal (a third party website to process the transactions) or they integrate into their current software using an Application Programming Interface (API).
For the majority of the merchants, the virtual terminal is the way to go. It’s an inexpensive product that will allow you to processing transactions in an efficient, PCI compliant environment. The virtual terminal also allows you to “pass” level 3 data.
The importance of level 3 is two-fold. It allows the government agency to see invoice-type data of exactly what they purchased. But the more importantly to the merchant, it allows you to accept the GSA SmartPay card at significantly reduced costs when compared to not sending the data. A few clicks and you can be on your way to reaping the benefits o f all the spending.
The details cited above, are for one state. The Simplified Acquisition spending has grown to over $11 billion nationwide.
If you are a contractor selling to the government, you owe it to yourself to look into a level 3 processing option.