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Commercial Cards


American businesses process more than $300 billion in small, business-to-business purchases, which range from office supplies to computers to business services. For many companies and government agencies, the majority of these purchases require the purchasing department to follow labor-intensive procedures that are not cost-effective for small-ticket items.

To help companies more effectively control their business-to-business purchases, several programs comprised of various commercial cards have been created to provide select payment options.


Types of Commercial Cards

The followng are serveral types of commercial cards that currently exists:

  • Purchasing card
  • Corporate card
  • Business card
  • Fleet card
  • Multi card
  Purchasing Card  

A purchasing card is a credit card issued to government and corporation employees to purchase supplies and services. A purchasing card provides the corporation with
additional information, such as sales tax, customer codes, 1099 data and universal
product codes (UPCs), which are all transmitted electronically.

Purchasing cards help corporations and government reduce the administrative costs associated with authorizing, tracking, paying and reconciling small purchases, while allowing them to maintain control over the purchase process. A corporation may place restrictions or limitations on purchasing cards, such as:

  • Purchasing authorization limits by department or employee
  • Dollar limits per transaction
  • Restriction on the number of transactions per day or business period
  • Restrictions on the merchant or supplier type

How Does a Purchasing Card Work?

An employee purchases materials and/or services from a supplier or vendor using the corporate purchasing card. As with most credit card transactions, the supplier is paid within 48 hours. The issuing financial institution may elect to charge the business on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In addition, a purchasing card program can provide
merchant and merchant category coding, which generates immediate and detailed data on supplier activity and dollar volume.

Federal, state and local governments are the most significant purchasing card users and require that suppliers accept their purchasing cards or risk losing their government business.

  Corporate Card  

A corporate card is a commercial bankcard issued to employees of large corporations, and it is used for procurement of everything from raw materials, facility maintenance, office supplies as well as travel and entertainment purposes

  Business Card  

A business card is a commercial bankcard issued to employees or owners of small to mid-size companies. The card is used for a wide range of purchases, from restaurant meals to all types of supplies and services.

Customers can reduce costs: As much as 70% of internal purchasing costs, along with direct costs associated with invoices and check issuance can be eliminated with a commercial card program.

Commercial card customers can simplify business processes:
Requisitions and purchase orders are reduced, simplifying the
matching process.

  User Benefits  

User benefits include:

  • Cost Reduction
  • Control and accountability improvement and maintenance
  • Administrative overhead and procedure streamlining
  • Paperwork replacement with an electronic system
  • Employee productivity increases
  • Acceleration of time to market
  Supplier/Vendor (Merchant) Benefits  

Merchant benefits include:

  • Accounts receivable improvement (cash flow); buyer average pay is more than 30 days
  • Value-added service to the user
  • Client retention control
  • Paperwork and invoice reduction
  • Elevation to preferred supplier status

Most non qualified charges can be eliminated if association rules for processing commercial cards are followed.

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Services by Cardservice International.
The FIRST DATA name, trademark and logo are owned by First Data Corporation. All other trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners. The First Data Independent Sales Agent Program is operated by Cardservice International, Inc. Cardservice International, doing business as First Data Independent Sales (FDIS), is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA. American Express requires separate approval. FDIS Cincinnati is an independent agent for Cardservice International.