Cardholder Guide & F.A.Q.'s
- Purchasing Card Procedures (PDF)
Bank of America (BOA) Commercial Card Program
Cardholder Guide and Frequently Asked Questions
BOA Commercial Card Services Center
The BOA Commercial Card Services staff will support you in regards to questions with your account. Specialists are able to provide a high level of service to cardholders; ongoing product specific training; and quality control imbedded in daily processes:
- Call monitoring
- Call scoring and individual rep coaching
- Call recording
Where do I call the Commercial Card Services Center, and how is it staffed?
Your Commercial Card Services Center provides customer service 24 hours a day/7 days a week for cardholder inquiries and issues. Our service operation consists of representatives trained to respond to the specific needs of commercial cardholders. Call:
- For card activation services, 888-571-1000 (also provided on the back of the card).
- For assistance with questions or issues related to the use of The Works program, 888-589-3473, Option 4.
- For assistance with day-to-day card program questions such as lost/stolen cards, disputed items, payments, and CVV security codes, 800-822-5985.
- For release of a card from fraud watch, 866-500-8262.
- You should call the Purchasing Department at 871-4181 when you experience:
- Declined Charge due to CREDIT LINE INCREASES/EXCEEDING THE CREDIT LIMITS.
- Declined Charge and you need the VENDOR-TYPE BLOCKING (MCC Code) reviewed by the Purchasing Department.
- Account closure/Activation/Replacement.
What should I do if a charge I didn't authorize appears on my statement?
Contact the Commercial Card Services Center immediately. If there is a chance of fraudulent activity, the account will be closed, and a new account number will be issued to you immediately.
YOU ARE REQUIRED to safeguard your P-card against theft and unauthorized usage. That means protecting your account number as well as your P-card.
**Remember that the account number can be found on receipts, charge slips, faxes, invoices and can be recorded by camera cell phones. If you use the P-card to make telephone purchases, be aware that your card number may be overheard.
If you suspect that your account number has been stolen, contact the bank immediately to have the account closed.
Disputing a Charge (this is different from fraudulent charge, see above)
If a cardholder believes that an item on a billing statement is incorrect, or if more information about a purchase is needed for reconciliation, the charge may be disputed.
What process do we follow to dispute a charge?
- You should try to resolve the issue with the merchant. If successful, make sure to get a written confirmation of the credit from the merchant.
- If you can't resolve the issue or if the credit does not appear on the next statement, the cardholder notifies BOA of the disputed charge through The Works.
- BOA will investigate all reported disputes received and will notify the cardholder in writing about the results. You will be credited the disputed amount if the transaction is found to be invalid. If, during the investigation, it is determine that the transaction is indeed valid, the charge will be re-applied to the statement and must be paid.
How long does it take to resolve a dispute?
The average time required for billing dispute resolution after the receipt of a cardholder notice is 45-60 days. It can, however, take longer.
The Commercial Card Services Center is committed to the team approach of preventing fraud. When you and BOA work towards the common goal of fraud prevention, the risks are significantly reduced.
How can I help reduce the risk of fraud?
The following guidelines will help you prevent fraud:
- Examine your monthly statements for unauthorized charges. Notify our Chargeback Department if there are charges on your statement that you do not recognize.
- Watch sales clerks to make sure your card is not being used to imprint more than one transaction slip. Be sure the card is returned and that the card you are handed is yours.
- Do not leave cards lying around the house, a hotel room, in an unlocked desk, or in the car.
- Beware of callers seeking your account number. The telephone is a favorite tool for criminals seeking valid account numbers or information
- Destroy expired cards by cutting them in half.
- If the card is lost/stolen/missing please notify Commercial Card Services immediately.
How does the Commercial Card Services Center help reduce the risk of fraud?
The MU Purchase card program is designed to allow us to specify transaction and spending limits for certain types of charges. These limits are applied to businesses that are identified by specific Merchant Category Codes (MCCs).
Personal Spending on the Commercial Card
The Commercial Card is intended for business use only. Personal spending on the Commercial Card is strictly prohibited. The Commercial Card Services Center and Purchasing reserve the right to take adverse action on accounts that are clearly violating the "Business Use Only" intent of the card. Any action taken will be in the best interest of the university and BOA.
What kind of supporting documents do I need to document a transaction?
This document must be an itemized, original invoice or receipt, sent by the supplier.
Each supporting document must contain detailed information regarding a transaction. This documentation should always include:
- Merchant name and address
- Transaction total and date
- Transaction detail including item descriptions, quantities, and unit prices.
- ALL documentation should include a notation of the business purpose for the transaction. This will serve as a justification for the transaction. Please be as brief but thorough when including a full description of the business purpose of all purchases.
Proper supporting documentation - in detail - is critical to your use of the P-card. Without it, your transactions become unauthorized purchases that may lead to the suspension or cancellation of your card.
What is a Procurement Card (P-card)?
A P-card is a Visa credit card that can be used to make purchases necessary to conduct University business. This is a "corporate liability" card; the University pays the monthly bill.
**IMPORTANT: P-cards are assigned by the University to specific individuals and may be used ONLY by that individual.
Who Can Obtain a P-card?
Any MU employee is eligible to apply for a P-card with the written approval of their department head. Temporary employees, student workers, and volunteers are not eligible to have a P-card.
P-cardholders should be those people that actually make purchases (i.e., the person that walks to the store, keys in an order online, etc.). Departments may have as many P-cardholders as needed. We encourage individuals who make frequent purchases to obtain a P-Card.
What are the Cardholder Benefits?
How will it help me?
- Using a P-card gives you greater control over your purchases for the University
- You eliminate the need to complete the traditional procurement and payment methods (Purchase Requisitions, Reimbursement Requests, Petty Cash forms, etc.).
- You avoid the need to spend your own money and then seek reimbursement.
- Added bonus to MU: The Purchasing department no longer needs to process low dollar purchases and invoices and can devote its efforts to higher dollar transactions where our expertise can mean significant dollar savings to MU.
What are the Prohibited P-card purchases?
Prohibited purchases include, but not limited to:
- Personal services vendors, such as:
- Temporary agencies
- Honoraria recipients
- Recipients of prizes and awards
- Medical services
- Goods or services for personal use.
- The Commercial Card is intended for business use only.
- Personal spending on the Commercial Card is strictly prohibited.
- The University and/or Commercial Card Services Center and reserve the right to take adverse action on accounts that are clearly violating the "Business Use Only" intent of the card.
- Any order that exceeds $1,000 (unless previously approved by the Purchasing Dept).
- Orders over $1,000 must go through the Purchasing Department, regardless of the unit price, for fixed asset tracking requirements.
- Splitting a large order into multiple transactions each less than $1,000 is NOT allowed.
- The $1,000 limit includes ALL fees (shipping, handling, or set-up).
- Prizes, awards gifts, and gift certificates prohibited elsewhere in the MU purchasing policy.
- Leases or other contractual agreements regardless of the cost.
- Special occasion items (flowers, fruit baskets, candy, balloons, etc. to celebrate staff events such as births, deaths, retirements, etc. are specifically prohibited purchases under MU policy.)
- Any purchase prohibited by another MU policy.
- Any item within an MCC code which is not included in one of the card's authorized categories.
Why did I get declined and now what do I do?
Your transaction will be declined at the point-of-sale for the following reasons:
- If the transaction exceeds your single transaction limit electronically encoded into your P-card.
- Splitting an order that exceeds your single transaction limit into multiple charges to avoid this limit is a violation of policy and transgressors are subject to disciplinary action.
- If the transaction causes you to exceed your Monthly Transaction limit.
- Or if the supplier's Merchant Category Code (MCC) is blocked*.
- Every merchant that accepts a credit card has an assigned four-digit Merchant Category Codes that identifies the type of goods/services provided. MU has decided to "turn off" MCC codes of vendors who sell items that are never allowed under the P-card Program. If an MCC code is turned off, your P-card will be declined. If you believe you have been declined in error, call the P-card Program Manager.
*Please note: MCC blocking may not automatically prevent you from making a purchase that is not authorized. You must always adhere to the P-card purchasing policies and not depend on MCC blocking to decide whether or not a purchase is authorized.
If your P-card is declined, contact the P-card manager at 871-4181. Be prepared to provide details about the transaction. These declines can often be corrected.
Note: Although not technically declined, some transactions are blocked by the vendor due to an error in the Billing Address. When asked for a Billing Address, you should always provide the address that appears on your P-card statement. If that address is incorrect, contact the P-card Program Manager.
What and when do I submit my statements to Accounts Payable?
You do not have to submit your statements to Accounts Payable. However, you MUST reconcile your transactions online with BOA through The Works program. This must be completed by the 7th of the month following the transaction (example: a purchase made on October 31st but be reconciled by November 7th). Please see the process for reconciliation in the P-Card procedures booklet.
What controls are in place to ensure proper use of P-cards?
The Purchasing staff are responsible for ensuring that the program complies with University policies and procedures. P-card documentation submissions are regularly reviewed for accuracy, completeness, and propriety of expenditures. Transactions are chosen at random by PASSHE for review as well. Exceptions to policies are pursued with the cardholder for resolution. When resolution cannot be attained, the issues are escalated to a higher level which may result in disciplinary action.
Who can have a Purchase card?
- It is the financial manager that determines who will be allowed to use a P-Card within his/her organization.
- The responsible person must monitor the usage of the P-card to ensure that all policies and procedures are being followed.
- The responsible person is required to sign off on receipts for the staff.
- Responsible persons are responsible to their Vice President or Dean for the proper operation of the P-card program within their assigned organizations.
How do I determine which staff members should have a P-card?
Any MU employee is eligible to apply for a P-card. In determining need, you should ask yourself:
- Is this person regularly required to make purchases on behalf of the University?
- Will this person be responsible for adhering to policies and procedures?
- Are there already other P-cardholders within the department who could make purchases for this person?
Remember: These are NOT "departmental" P-cards and may not be shared among coworkers. The only person authorized to use a P-card is the person whose name is embossed on the P-card. Departments may have as many P-Cardholders as they require.
Be sure to tell your vendor that MU is Tax Exempt.