Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Learn More
NAPCP Search
Purchasing Card Program Implementation

Program Implementation Overview

The success of a Purchasing Card (P‑Card) program begins with thorough planning long before an organization conducts a request for proposal (RFP) process to select a card issuer.


Getting Started

 A P-Card initiative typically begins with senior management, whose support is critical from the start. A team approach to researching the P‑Card opportunity, followed by the creation of a business case that offers an appropriate level of detail and data, should lead management to a decision concerning a P‑Card program. The team should include representatives from key stakeholder departments, such as purchasing, accounts payable (A/P), audit, tax, treasury, etc.

The research phase addresses questions such as:

  • What procure-to-pay processes are used today?
  • What are the inefficiencies?
  • What is the average process cost for the traditional process? What might it be for P-Card?
  • What percentage of A/P payments are less than $2,500 (as an example) and well-suited for P-Card?
  • How many infrequently used suppliers are in the master supplier file?
  • If x% of payments move to P-Card, what is the impact (e.g., workload reduction) to A/P and purchasing?

To reap the greatest benefits from a P-Card program, an organization must re-engineer its procure-to-pay processes rather than simply add P‑Card processing to existing procedures.

The Business Case

Based on the team’s research, the business case should illustrate the anticipated savings and benefits; outline potential challenges, risks and mitigating controls; identify the required resources; propose a recommendation; and so on.


Developing the P-Card Model

 At a high level, this involves tasks such as: creating program goals and metrics; identifying targeted transactions; defining program roles and responsibilities; documenting program requirements, especially those related to information technology (IT) and interfaces to the general ledger; and designing the control environment.


When determining how and when P-Cards should be used, an organization should evaluate its overall purchasing activity first. This would be followed by determining the best procure-to-pay process for different expense/purchase types, ensuring a "win-win" for the organization and its suppliers.


Similar to an end-user organization, suppliers need to re-engineer processes to maximize the benefits of card acceptance by:

  • gaining an understanding of the Purchasing Card process and its opportunities
  • selecting an acquiring partner with expertise in business-to-business (B2B) payments
  • implementing appropriate processes and technology
  • working closely with their customers to establish standard policies and procedures  

Piloting the Program 

A pilot program that effectively tests the P-Card model will provide the foundation from which to build a long-term program, revealing gaps and issues that must be addressed prior to full program rollout. In addition to the recommendations described above, it is important to have a strong, internal communications strategy plus a dedicated resource to manage and support the program.  

 Become an NAPCP member or complimentary subscriber to gain greater access to educational resources, including more on program implementation; participate in polls and surveys; and receive P-Card news and event notifications.

Visit the P-Card Introduction page for more resources

Sign In

Featured Items
Event Calendar

RESCHEDULED DUE TO HURRICANE FLORENCE TO 10/9/18: NAPCP Commercial Card Regional Forum - Raleigh, NC

10/23/2018 » 10/24/2018
Canadian Workshop: Commercial Card Program Management—Beyond the Basics

Compliance Monitoring: Safeguarding Your Program and Reducing Organizational Risk

NAPCP Commercial Card Regional Forum - Tampa, FL

Oversight Systems Virtual: Mitigate Financial Risk in Your P-Card Program with AI-Powered Analytics

Copyright © 1999 - 2018 NAPCP - Advancing Commercial Card & Payment Practices Worldwide
Certified Purchasing Card Professional Credential 
The next application due date is Feb. 28, 2019 to take the
exam at the 2019 NAPCP Annual Commercial Card and Payment Conference in Miami, on April 15, 2019.

Complimentary resource for all website visitors.
$199 for Members; $259 for non-members. 
Join today and save!
NAPCP's dedicated IP address for e-mail is Please add this IP address, and to approved/"safe sender" list to ensure you receive NAPCP news & event notifications. 
You MUST log in to your profile to choose your preferences: Unsubscribe | Choose Email Preferences | Request Removal