FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About the Purchasing Card
Shawnee State University's Visa credit card purchasing program has been developed in coordination with the issuing bank, JPMorgan Chase. It is intended to provide a more efficient and cost-effective method for departments to make small dollar purchases.
The following is a list of questions and corresponding answers that may help to further explain the purchasing card program. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.
If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact the Purchasing Department at (740) 351-3314.
- Budget Manager Responsibilities
- Canceling a Purchasing Card
- Cardholder Limits
- Cardholder Personal Information
- Cardholder Responsibilities
- Changing Departments or Leaving the University
- Declines on the PCard
- Disputed Items
- Expiration of Cards
- Forms & Manuals
- Lost or Stolen Cards
- Merchant Information
- Monthly Statements and Bills
- Purchasing Card Program
- Refunding an Item Placed on the PCard
- Replacement cards
- Restricted and Blocked Purchases
- Reviewer Responsibilities
- Sales tax issues
- Stored Value Cards
- Supervision of the card
- Supplier acceptance
- Travel & Entertainment
- Use of the card
Budget Manager Responsibilities
Q: What are the budget manager's responsibilities?
A: The department's budget manager has access to the accounts of all cardholders within the department and is responsible for assuring that purchases are appropriate according to university policies and procedures and that PCard transactions are posted to the correct account. The budget manager may perform the reallocation function, himself, or may choose to review the reallocations done by cardholders or the department's reviewer. A budget manager gains access to cardholder accounts in PaymentNet by contacting the PCard administrator at 351.3536 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canceling a Purchasing Card
Q: How do I cancel a purchasing card?
A: The department head should retrieve cards from employees who leave Shawnee State, change departments, or move to a job where they will no longer require a purchasing card. Send an e-mail to PCard@shawnee.edu, requesting the account be closed. Destroy the old card by cutting it into at least four pieces, and return it to the PCard Administrator.
Q: Can a cardholder cancel their card?
A: Yes. The cardholder may request their card be cancelled. Follow the same steps given to the department administrator to cancel a card.
Q: Is there a maximum amount I may spend?
A: Yes. Your card has a daily limit and a monthly limit, which you may not exceed without prior written approval or your card will decline. You also have a departmental budget, which determines the amount of spending authorized. It is the cardholder's responsibility to determine whether their department authorizes a purchase. Furthermore, the cardholder must ensure the purchase does not break any department policy as well as Shawnee State's policies and procedures.
The default limit for most accounts is $2,500 per swipe, 12 swipes per day, $10,000 per month.
Q: What if I need a higher credit limit for my purchases?
A: A PCard Addendum form must be completed by your department head and sent to Michelle Finch, PCard administrator. This form is used to communicate all changes to purchasing cards. Your budget manager must also provide documentation of your spending history that supports an increase in your credit limit.
Q: I would like to purchase an item that costs more than my single transaction limit. Is it acceptable to split the charge to stay within my limit?
A: No. A cardholder should never split charges to avoid exceeding transaction limits. This is considered "pyramiding," which is prohibited. The cardholder should request a temporary increase to his/her limit. See previous question if you need your limit increased.
Q: How do I determine if I have sufficient funds available on my card?
A: You may do this by calling the Customer Service number on the back of your card. This will ensure, before the merchant swipes the card, that the card does not decline due to insufficient funds .
Cardholder Personal Information
Q: How can I view personal information tied to my card: phone number, monthly and single limits, expiration date, etc.?
A: In PaymentNet, under the Main Menu, click Employee Profile, then Profile for XXXX (the last four digits of your PCard account.
Budget managers may click on Employee/User List to see a list of every cardholder account for which they are responsible. this screen does not show the cardholder's date of birth or the last four digits of their social security number. This information is used for security purposes only.
Note: The cardholder screen is a good way to verify the active cards for your department. Once a card is closed by the PCard administrator, it should no longer be reflected on the cardholder screen. Contact the PCard Administrator atPCard@shawnee.edu if any information found on these screens requires an update or to close a card that is no longer active.
Q: How do I change information tied to the card: address, phone number, default account number, department name?
A: Complete a PCard Addendum form and submit it to the PCard Administrator, Administration Bldg., room 197.
Q: Why do I have to give my birth date on the application?
A: This information is requested for your security. You will use this information to activate your purchasing card when it is received.
Q: Will my personal credit history be checked when I apply for a Purchasing Card?
A: No. Your personal credit history will not be checked or affected when applying for or using the Purchasing Card.
Q. What are the cardholders' responsibilities?
A: The cardholder is responsible for:
- Making authorized purchases only
- Obtaining a detailed receipt for each purchase
- Completing the transaction log with a brief description justifying the purchase
- Reconciling the monthly Visa statement
- Resolving any discrepancies
- Ensuring credits are received
- Documenting purchases as required
- Passing the paperwork to the assigned reviewer for approval
NOTE: Reallocation of charges may be the responsibility of the cardholder but this decision is made at the department level.
Changing Departments or Leaving the University
Q: What happens if I leave the University?
A: Near your last day of work, return your card and current Purchasing Card Transaction Log to your reviewer. Your reviewer will cut the card in no less than four pieces and forward it to the PCard administrator after all transactions have posted to the account. The PCard administrator will cancel your account.
Q. What do I do if I change departments?
A. You still need to cancel your card. (See the answer to the question above.) You will need to complete a new cardholder agreement and obtain approval from your new budget manager to obtain a card within the new department.
Declines on the PCard
Q: Under what circumstances might my card be declined?
A: Your card may be declined because:
- You may have failed to activate the card by calling the toll-free number listed on the sticker placed on the front of the card.
- You may have exceeded your single purchase or monthly credit limit.
- The vendor you are using is restricted from use by its Merchant Category Code* (MCC). Should you need to make a purchase from a vendor and believe that the MCC has been incorrectly applied, you may ask the PCard administrator for assistance.
- The bank has a security concern due to a use pattern (i.e., you haven't used the card in a long time). A "fraud alert" may be placed on your card and cannot be removed until the bank is satisfied that you are the cardholder and all transactions are authorized.
* When vendors apply to accept Visa, they are given an MCC that identifies their type of business. The MCCs are grouped so that all gasoline stations fall under one code, restaurants under one code, etc.
Q: What should I do if my card is declined at the point of sale?
A: Have the merchant contact the bank using the toll free number listed on the back of your PCard to determine if the card was truly declined or the machine malfunctioned. If the merchant's machine malfunctioned, the bank will be able to walk the merchant through the proper steps to obtain an authorization for the card.
If it is determined that the card was declined, the merchant can hand the telephone to you, and the Bank will tell you why the charge was not accepted. If the card has not been activated, the cardholder can request activation at that time.
You may also request assistance from the PCard Administrator at (740) 351-3536.
Q: What if I have a disputed charge?
A: First, try to resolve it with the vendor on your own. It generally should take no more than 7 to 10 days for a merchant to issue a refund. When seeking a refund from a merchant, ask the merchant to fax a copy of the refund/credit receipt to you. Receiving a copy of the credit receipt will help ensure a refund will be received. Do not allow a merchant to drag the process out past 60 days of the post date.
If the merchant refuses to issue a credit, you will need to file a dispute with the Bank. Online disputes, via PaymentNet, must be filed within 60 days of the post date (see the PaymentNet Manual for details). After 60 days the dispute must be filed by calling the Customer Service phone number on the back of your PCard.
Expiration of Cards
Q: My card is expiring next month. How do I get a replacement card? Do all purchasing cards expire at the same time?
A: The expiration date of PCards is determined by the date the card was initially issued. The Bank automatically sends replacement cards to the PCard administrator 2 to 6 weeks prior to the expiration date.
Your expiration date is actually the last day of the expiration month embossed on the front of the card. You may use your old card until that day (i.e., if it says 03/08, you may use it until 03/31/08).
Once the new card is received, you will need to call the Bank to activate it. The old card is no longer functional once the new card is activated. You should destroy the old card after receiving and activating the new card.
For a Stored Value Card, the expiration date is preset by the department requesting the card. Once the card expires or the funds are depleted, the card is no longer functional. To obtain a new card, a cardholder would need to reapply.
Q: What happens when my card expires?
A: Cards are active for three years from the date of creation. Each card has an expiration date identified by month and year (03/08 for March 2008) printed on the card. The card expires at the end of the month. Two to six weeks prior to the expiration date the Bank will issue a new card and send it to the PCard administrator who will in turn notify you that your new card is available. The cardholder isn't required to do anything to generate the new card; it's an automatic process.
Forms & Manuals
Q: How do I obtain PCard forms or a PaymentNet or PCard Manual?
A: Refer to the Purchasing Department's website. Select the Forms and Manuals link to download the most current version of forms and manuals.
Lost or Stolen Cards
Q: What do I do if my purchasing card is lost or stolen?
A: Contact the PCard administrator immediately to report the card as lost or stolen if during business hours. Assistance will be provided through each step of the process. If after hours, please contact the Bank at1.800.270.7760. This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Then, contact the PCard administrator and your department head the following business day to file a report.
Q: What should I do if one of my suppliers does not accept Visa?
A: Have the supplier contact the PCard administrator, or pass the merchant's contact information on to the Purchasing Department.
Monthly Statements and Bills
Q: Who pays the monthly Visa bill and how will it be paid?
A: Shawnee State University pays the Visa bill monthly, according to a regular billing cycle. The charges are distributed electronically to the individual departments by the Controllers Office and reflected on the CARS account after posting.
Q: Will I receive a monthly Visa statement?
A: You will receive a statement in the mail and you may view and print an electronic statement from the PaymentNet website. Statements are available every month, except those months in which no charges occurred. If no charges occurred during a given month, place a note in the file that no transactions posted during this month so your records will be complete.
Q: Will I receive a Visa statement if I don't have transactions during a billing period?
A: No. An electronic statement will only be available for the billing periods in which you make purchases. Put a note in the file that no transactions posted during this month so your records are complete.
Q: What is PaymentNet?
A: PaymentNet is a website provided free of charge by the Bank to all cardholders. It may be accessed here from any web browser with an Internet connection. No additional software is required.
A cardholder may view his or her last 12 months' transactions posted against their card, dispute an item online with the Bank, verify their monthly limit, and view or their PCard information. The Bank continually attempts to improve and enhance this site to provide convenience to cardholders.
Q. What do I do if I don't recognize a charge made on my card?
A. You may contact the Bank's customer service department to get more information about the vendor who charged your account. Often the bank will have a phone number for the vendor that does not appear in PaymentNet. If you still do not recognize the charge, you will initiate a dispute in PaymentNet.
Q. Who do I contact if I'm having problems reallocating charges in PaymentNet?
A. You may contact Michelle Finch, PCard administrator, at 351.3536.
Q: Can I view my transactions prior to receiving the monthly Visa statement?
A: Yes. The PaymentNet system is web-based and allows cardholders to view transactions daily, reallocate charges, record descriptions, and print transaction logs.
Q: What should I do with my statement?
A: You should reconcile your statement by reviewing each item and matching it with receipts, then:
- Attach the itemized receipt or invoice for each item. It is recommended that the receipts be put in order as they appear on the statement. You may number each line of the statement and then number the receipts. This will help you to later locate a specific receipt quickly, if you generally have numerous receipts.
- Sign and date the statement, verifying that it has been reconciled.
- Forward the statement, with receipts attached, to your budget manager.
- When the monthly statement has been approved, it should be given to the department reviewer for filing.
Q: Where do we file our statements once reconciliation is completed?
A: File the statement in your department, until further notification.
Q: Should I receive a statement every month?
A: You will only receive a statement if there is activity on your card.
Purchasing Card Program
Q: What is the purpose of the purchasing card program?
A: To improve the purchasing process by streamlining small dollar purchases and increasing efficiency in order to get the best value for the University. The largest benefit is to the cardholder in time savings and flexibility.
Q: Who is involved in the purchasing card process at the department level?
A: There are several roles at the department level. The department head (budget manager) approves cardholder applications and any transactions made by the cardholder and is responsible for assuring the charges are posted to the correct account. The cardholder is responsible for making purchases and completing required documentation. The reviewer is responsible for reviewing the appropriateness of the charges and ensuring proper documentation is received from the cardholder. The department contact serves as liaison between the department and the PCard administrator.
Q: Will my personal credit history be reviewed if I apply for a purchasing card?
A: No. your personal credit will not be reviewed, nor will it be affected.
Q: Can someone other than the cardholder make purchases on the purchasing card?
A: No. Shawnee State's PCards are individually held, centrally billed. Use of the PCard is prohibited by anyone other than the cardholder. The cardholder is responsible for all charges on his or her card.
Q: What reviews/controls are in place to protect the University from fraudulent charges?
A: Several controls are in place for this purpose. Cardholders sign a cardholder agreement, approved by the department head, and attend a comprehensive training session prior to receiving a purchasing card. Transactions are posted to the PaymentNet system daily for review by the cardholder, reviewer (where appropriate), and budget manager. The reviewer is selected by the budget manager and is responsible for ensuring that charges are authorized and policies and procedures are followed. The PCard administrator and the Controller's Office are also able to review transactions daily, via the PaymentNet website. This review process is critical in the prevention of fraud.
Q: Can the purchasing card be used for travel?
A: Yes. The purchasing card can be used for travel. Refer to the travel section of the policies and procedures manual or the PCard website for details.
Q. Can I use the purchasing card to make Internet purchases?
A. Yes, but make sure you are on a secured site. One indication that a site is secured is that an "s" appears after http in the vendor's URL (i.e., https:/www). Another is that a "lock" symbol appears in the bottom bar of your web browser. Most secured sites also place an announcement on their site.
Q: What should I do if I lose a receipt?
A: Contact the vendor and request a copy of the receipt. They can send it via mail or fax. If you are unsuccessful in getting a copy from the vendor, you will need to complete a Missing Receipt Affidavit. Be aware, though, that this should be done very infrequently. Too frequent use of the form could result in PCard sanctions and loss of card privileges.
Q: What should I do if I am unable to obtain a receipt?
A: Follow the same process described in the previous answer.
Q: How do I update a transaction if I do not have the receipt?
A: All PCard transactions must be updated in PaymentNet prior to the charge posting to CARS. If a receipt has not been received, obtain the transaction information from the cardholder and make the necessary updates. If the cardholder does not recognize the transaction, handle it as a disputed item. (See Disputed Items.) Once the receipt is received, you may then recheck to ensure the transaction was updated appropriately, based on the cardholder's information.
Refunding an Item Placed on the PCard
Q: How do I deposit a rebate or refund for the merchant that was received by cash or check from the merchant?
A: Refunds should always be credited to the card. If a refund is sent by check or cash, or a rebate is received by check or cash, complete a Deposit Transmittal Form and hand-carry it, along with the check or cash, to the Bursar's Office. Attach the original receipt issued by the Bursar's Office and the pink copy of the Deposit Transmittal Form to the PCard documentation.
Q: How do I get a replacement card if the magnetic strip is bad?
A: Contact the PCard Administrator at (740) 351-3314 or call the toll-free number located on the back of your card.
Q: How do I obtain a new card if my name is changed?
A: Complete a PCard Addendum form. In the comments section list: Replacement card requested. For security purposes, a block will be placed on your account until your new card is received (7 to 10 business days). You will need to call the Bank to activate your new card.
Restricted and Blocked Purchases
Q: Are there restrictions associated with the purchasing card?
A: Yes. These restrictions are detailed in the Purchasing Card Policies and Procedures Manual and highlighted during the purchasing card training session. Restrictions are categorized as 1) blocked at point of sale and 2) restricted at other than point of sale.
Blocked Transactions will not go through; they will be declined. Examples include purchases that exceed the single purchase limit and monthly limit, liquor stores, cash advances, and personal services.
Restricted Transactions may go through but they require special approval prior to the purchase being made or they violate law, policy, or procedures and should therefore not be made at all. Examples include transactions that will be charged to lab supply or carry forward accounts; purchases delivered to non-University addresses; purchases that involve signing of an agreement, license, or contract; gifts of sentiment (examples: flowers for Professional Administrative Assistant's Day, retirements, birthdays); pyramiding of purchases to avoid the single purchase limit; and personal purchases.
Q: How do we prevent charges that are not allowed by a particular grant or agency?
A: It is the cardholder's responsibility to ensure that regulations and guidelines are followed. Questions concerning the types of expenses allowed on sponsored accounts should be directed to the grant accountant, grant administrator, or the Controller's Office.
Q: What do I do if I accidentally make a restricted charge on my card?
A: Contact the PCard administrator for advice as this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Can personal purchases be made with the card?
A: No. Personal purchases cannot be made with this card. Keep your personal credit card purchases and the purchasing card completely separate.
Q: What do I do if I accidentally make a personal charge on my card?
A: Notify your reviewer of the mistake immediately. Attempt to have the charge reversed (credited) to the PCard account. If the vendor will not cooperate, write a check made payable to Shawnee State University, submit it to your budget manager for deposit with Bursar's Office via a Deposit Transmittal Form, and attach the pink copy of the form (along with a copy of your check) to your purchasing card documentation. Indicate that you will not make such a mistake in the future.
Q: What are the reviewer's responsibilities?
A: Reviewers ensure that charges are appropriate, within Shawnee State's PCard policies and procedures, and appropriately documented. After monthly cardholder statements are signed by the budget manager, the reviewer (or the department contact) then files the records, in chronological order, in the department's central office.
Sales Tax Issues
Q: Is Shawnee State University considered exempt from paying Ohio Sales Tax to suppliers?
A: Yes. Shawnee State University is exempt from paying Ohio Sales Tax to suppliers for purchases in Ohio, per the "Certificate of Exemption." The exempt number is printed on the Shawnee State University PCard and copies of the certificate are available on the Purchasing Department's website. Click on the Forms and Manuals link
Cardholders must request the sales tax exemption when making any purchase. Usually the exemption is not automatically given. Some states reciprocate, and it is a good business practice to request the exemption where/when you make a purchase. The vendor may require a copy of the exemption certificate, so keep one with your card.
Q: The supplier charged Ohio state sales tax on my purchase. What should I do?
A: The cardholder should contact the merchant and request a credit be issued for the tax and applied to the card. A copy of the credit receipt is needed and should be faxed or given to the cardholder to attach to their monthly statement.
If the vendor refuses to credit the card for Ohio Sales Tax, treat the charge as a disputed item.
Q: What if I am charged sales tax by another state?
On the Transaction Notes screen, in PaymentNet, indicate the state in which the purchase was made. The exemption is only for Ohio sales tax.
Q: What is our Sales Tax Exemption number?
A: 31-0864917. The Exemption Certificate must be supplied initially to all merchants as proof of the exemption. Without a copy of the certificate, the merchant is not obligated to give the exemption. Keep a copy of the Exemption Certificate with you at all times.
Stored Value Cards
Q: What is a stored value (SV) card?
A: The SVCard is a declining balance card. EXAMPLE: Professor Smith has a $500 budget for office supplies in FY05. He is issued a card at the beginning of FY05 (in July 04) that expires at the end of FY05 (June 30 05). The card has an overall, life-of-the-card, $500 limit.
Q: Can the overall dollar limit or expiration date be changed after the fact?
A: The expiration date of the card cannot be changed, but the dollar amount can be changed, if needed, during the life of the card. Once a card expires, an applicant would need to reapply to receive a new card.
Q: What is the minimum time period? What is the minimum dollar amount?
A: Minimum time period is three months. Minimum dollar amount is $150.
Q: This card might be useful for students who are traveling on university business or have received an award. Can the card be given to students?
A: Because of the special risks and issues involved, this card is not available to students.
Q: How are transactions handled?
A: Transactions come through PaymentNet just as they do with a regular PCard. The same provisions apply.
Q: Will it look like a regular PCard?
Q: Will cardholders have to attend training and will card use be subject to all other usual PCard requirements & restrictions?
A: Yes. The training is mandatory before receiving the card. All policies and provisions governing the PCard apply to the Stored Value Card, as well.
Q: How will the cardholder know what his or her balance is?
A: A cardholder may verify available funds by contacting JPMC at the toll-free number on the back of the PCard.
Q: Do merchants accept this card just as they would any PCard?
A: Yes, as long as the purchase does not take the cardholder over his or her remaining balance and the merchant accepts Visa credit cards.
Q: Do we have to deposit the dollar amount up front?
A: No. Charges accumulate as they are made.
Q: Can a cardholder have both a regular PCard and an SVCard?
A: No. Current cardholders are not eligible for the SVCard, and current cards will not be canceled solely to allow a switch. Why not? Such a switch will require the cancellation of the current card, and reapplication for a new card, for each cardholder involved. The SVCard does not have the flexibility of the regular PCard, and administrative costs are considerably higher.
Q: Can transaction limits be placed on the SVCard?
Q: Can someone be issued more than one SVCard at the same time?
A: No. Only one active SVCard per cardholder is permitted.
Q: Can someone be issued more than one SVCard in the same year?
A: Generally, no, though exceptions will be made for unforeseen circumstances. Since the card can be recharged with more dollars anytime before its expiration date, a cardholder expecting multiple needs should request a lengthy expiration date and recharge as needed, rather than apply for a new card.
Supervision of the Card
Q: Does the Purchasing Card require someone at a higher level to review the transactions to ensure appropriate use of the card?
A: Yes. The PCard policy requires that a higher level of approval must be administered for each cardholder and their transactions. Use one of the following methods:
- Approving the transaction in PaymentNet.
- Sign off on the monthly statement for the cardholder.
- Sign off on a monthly Transaction Line Item Detail Report. This report can be generated in PaymentNet.
Q: How do I run the report the budget manager needs to view and approve, if they are not reviewing my charges in PaymentNet or the cardholder statement?
A: In PaymentNet, go to All Reporting, click on Transaction, and select Transaction Detail from the alphabetical list of reports. On the Report Criteria for Transaction Detail screen, select your accounting cycle and click Process Criteria. On the next screen, you may establish other parameters or simply click Proceed with Report. Choose the format in which you'd like the report to appear by clicking the green arrow to its right. Click the Refresh button until your report appears. (This could take a minute or two, depending on the size of the report.)
Q: I am responsible for many PaymentNet reviewers. How do I ensure that transactions are being updated timely and appropriately?
A: By selecting Transaction List in PaymentNet, you will be able to view the transactions of every cardholder that reports to you. Beside every transaction is a box that shows you whether or not a transaction has been reviewed. You can click on the transaction to review the details.
Q: Who holds the responsibility for ensuring cards are obtained from cardholders before they leave the department or Shawnee State University?
A: The budget manager is responsible for notifying the PCard Administrator of the need to cancel a card. The card must be obtained from the cardholder prior to their departure from the department or Shawnee State University. (See topic on Canceling Cards.)
Q: What should I do if the supplier does not accept Visa?
A: If a supplier does not accept the PCard (Visa), the cardholder should complete a Supplier Non-Acceptance Form and submit it to the PCard Administrator, who will work with the supplier to encourage them to accept the card in the future.
Q: How do I register for PCard or PaymentNet training?
A: You may call the Purchasing Department at 351.3287 or send an e-mail to PCard@shawnee.edu.
Q: May I return for a refresher course?
A: Yes. Register as many times as desired.
Q: Do you offer on-line tutorials?
A: Online training tutorials for PCard policy and procedure and PaymentNet are not currently available online; however, we do plan to make them available in the future.
Travel & Entertainment
Q: Who should I contact for questions about travel policy or whether a particular travel expense is allowable?
A: Contact the PCard administrator at 351.3536 or by e-mail at PCard@shawnee.edu.
Use of the Card
Q: May I allow someone else to use my purchasing card?
A: No. For security reasons, the card is not transferable; however, you may call ahead and pay in advance with the PCard and then allow someone else to pick up your order.
Q: May I use my card for cash or cash advances or in ATM machines?
A: No. The card is not set up for cash or cash machines. The card will decline.
Need more information?
If you have a question that was not addressed here, please contact Michelle Finch at (740) 351-3536 or Debbie Schwamberger at (740) 351-3314 or send an e-mail to Pcard@shawnee.edu.