Actions to increase card payments.

Another Olympics has wrapped up, but everyone, including organizations, can benefit from modeling the athletes’ commitment to continuously improve and be their best. While there are no gold medals for Commercial Card program excellence, there are numerous benefits. Every organization has room to grow. One of the most disheartening statistics I saw this year pertains to card usage. AP Now’s 2016 Payment Survey asked, “What does your organization do (or plan to do) to increase card usage?” Those who selected “nothing” represent 62% of the respondents.

What You Can Do

Do not be among the “nothing” organizations. Consider the following actions, but also go beyond this list to do what will reap the greatest reward for your organization.

  1. Grow or implement electronic payables (ePayables) 
  2. Expand allowable purchases for traditional Purchasing Cards and change your policy accordingly
  3. Increase cardholders’ limits and/or allowable MCCs
  4. Identify additional employees who could benefit from having a card
  5. Mandate card usage for targeted purchases
  6. Improve or expand training
  7. Meet with departments one-on-one to discuss their opportunity
  8. Publish more metrics to demonstrate the value of card payments
  9. Initiate a supplier campaign to increase card acceptance
  10. Engage with your card issuer to determine your opportunity and how they can assist
  11. Promote the program
  12. Make Purchasing Cards easier to use

Eight of these actions were included in the AP Now survey question about increasing card usage. After the majority who said “nothing,” the second highest response, representing only 19%, is “improve or expand training.” Not Olympics worthy to say the least.   

While there are no gold medals for Commercial Card programs, numerous rewards are possible through program improvements.

While there are no gold medals for Commercial Card programs, numerous rewards are possible through program improvements.

Where Does Your Organization Stand?

How has your organization already excelled? What are your future plans? In reality, a multi-faceted approach is ideal and often necessary. For example, mandating usage and/or expanding allowable purchases might also require issuing more cards and/or raising limits. What is stopping your organization from pursuing program improvements and taking a victory lap? If you have a story to share, please contact me.


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About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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