The APSRC is now offering a members-only benefit with its Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program. This program is designed to help member districts overcome purchasing challenges via the use of P-Cards. These cards are similar to credit cards but are of no value until the district authorizes a purchase. They originate with a zero-credit limit, which is only increased upon approval of purchase by the district. Once the purchase is complete, the card can be reverted back to a zero-credit limit, therefore eliminating the ability of the card to be used again, until the next purchase approval. The district approves when, how, and where the cards are able to be used. Districts that participate in the program will earn an annual cashback rebate on all purchases.
Why use a P-Card?
Districts may use P-Cards in a variety of ways. Below are a few examples of appropriate uses.
- Teacher Supply MoneyThe cards have a declining balance feature that allows for the $500 teacher supply money to be added to the cards, as purchases are made, the available balance decreases. Once the $500 limit is expended, the cards revert to a $0 credit limit.
- TravelAnother popular use for P-Cards is travel, especially when taking students to athletic events. If the baseball championship is delayed a day and team has to stay an extra night in the hotel, the card’s limit can be increased by the authorized person from any computer.
- Purchasing Where POs are not AcceptedTeachers love to purchase from places like Hobby Lobby, but they do not accept POs, so using P-Cards will allow them to make such purchases.
- RebatesThe cards are widely accepted and many districts use them for utilities, construction, and many large purchases to increase the cash rebate.
Security is Significant
The cards have a number of security features. Districts are protected – just like regular credit card users – from fraudulent transactions. This is not the case with debit cards, which is why we do not recommend them. P-Cards have no value until they are assigned funds. Each card is specifically assigned to a person with both their name and the district’s name on it. Each district will have a unique design, including the district’s logo, which will differentiate them from the user’s personal cards. Districts can limit places where the card is used, such as liquor stores, gas stations, etc.
Why APSRC’s P-Card Program?
P-Cards have been around for a long time, so why use APRSC’s program? What sets our program apart is having access to a support team. We know that everyone has plenty to do, and you do not need to add one more thing to your business office functions. We have done all the setup work. Budget units can be pre-loaded into the system. We provide you with sample policies and forms. We train your business office staff. We offer step-by-step directions for districts who want to upload payment entries into eFinance. We have done the RFP, negotiated the rebates, designed the program and can help you customize it to your needs. We understand school business and have worked closely with ARVEST to design a program just for schools.