Welcome to Winthrop's Purchasing Card Program. As an agency of the State
of South Carolina, Winthrop University
participates in a program designed to help you better
manage low-dollar supply purchases and bring many benefits to you, the University, and our
The University refers and defers
State of South Carolina Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures where
The success of the Purchasing Card Program and its continued use depends
on your participation and cooperation. Please be sure to read and follow the program
guidelines as specified within this manual.
What is the Purchasing Card?
The Purchasing Card is a Visa credit card issued by Bank of America. It is
a fast, flexible purchasing tool which offers an alternative to the existing
University purchasing processes and provides an extremely efficient and effective
method for purchasing and paying for supplies not to
The Visa Purchasing Card will enable you to purchase non-restricted
commodities, by telephone or in person, directly from the vendors. It will eventually
eliminate the need for issuing many low dollar purchase orders and departmental orders.
The Visa Purchasing Card will be issued in the employee's name with the
State of South Carolina emblem, the wording "For Official Use Only" and
"Winthrop University" clearly indicated on the card.
The Purchasing Card program brings many benefits to...
Winthrop University - The Purchasing Card program
provides a cost-efficient, alternative method for purchasing low-dollar supplies. Built-in
card features make the program easy to control and manage and reduces processing costs at
all levels by reducing the number of departmental orders, requisitions, purchase orders,
invoices and checks. The Purchasing Card enables all departments to focus on higher yield
value added activities.
Vendors - The Purchasing Card will be welcomed by vendors who
accept VISA. When they accept the card for business purchases, vendors need not send
invoices to the University, and they will receive payment directly from Bank of America
within 48 hours.
Agency - Winthrop University, who arranges with the card issuer,
Bank of America, for the issuance of Purchasing Cards to approved University employees and
agrees to accept departmental liability for the employees' use of the cards.
Cardholder - an employee of the University who is approved by
his/her department head to use the Purchasing Card to execute purchase transactions on
behalf of Winthrop University.
Card Issuer - Bank of America's services were contracted for by the
State of South Carolina to issue Visa Purchasing Cards to University employees, to bill
the University for all purchases made on the cards, and to collect payment from the
University on behalf of the vendors.
Department Head - Winthrop University official who must approve
employee's request for a Purchasing Card, assign Departmental Liaison, designate default
account number for purchases on the Purchasing Card, and submit application to the
University Purchasing Card Coordinator. Department Head approval delegates transaction
authority to the Cardholder.
Departmental Liaison - an employee in each department responsible
for proper use of the Purchasing Card within that department. Each Cardholder will be
assigned a Departmental Liaison, and the liaison will be responsible for reviewing
transactions of individual Cardholders to make sure the transactions are classified as an
appropriate University expense.
Purchasing Card Coordinator - the central coordinator located in
Procurement Services who coordinates the Purchasing Card program for the University and
acts as the University's intermediary in correspondence with the card issuer.
Vendor - the merchant from whom a Cardholder is making a purchase.
Criteria to receive a University Purchasing Card is as follows:
- Applicant must be an employee of the University.
- Applicant's request for a Purchasing Card must be approved by his/her Department Head.
- Department Head will provide the name of the Departmental Liaison to whom Cardholder
will be assigned and the default University account number for the Purchasing Card.
- Approved request is sent to University Purchasing Card Coordinator.
- Cardholder must attend training session before he/she may be issued a Purchasing Card.
- Each individual Cardholder must sign a Cardholder agreement in the presence of the
University Purchasing Card Coordinator so indicating that he/she has
read this manual.
Key Cardholder Responsibilities
The following are several key areas that require on going Cardholder
support. A Cardholder must:
- Ensure the Purchasing Card is used only for legitimate business purposes. Misuse of the
card will subject Cardholder to disciplinary action in accordance with University Policies
and Procedures relating to disciplinary action and termination for cause.
- Adhere to the purchase limits and restrictions of the Purchasing Card and ensure that
the total transaction amount of any single transaction does not exceed $2,500 unless
approved by the Director of Procurement or the appropriate designee. Furthermore, the
Cardholder must ensure that all purchases are within all other spending and vendor
guidelines established by the University.
- The Purchasing Card may NOT be
used to reserve or pay for hotel accommodations that pertain to
employee travel unless otherwise justified on an
exception basis and then authorized by the University Controller and
the appropriate procurement official.
Purchasing Card may NOT be used to purchase computers, including
laptops and tablets.
Card may not be used to initiate cell phone plans, changes, or
upgrades without authorization from the
University's cell phone
Card may not be used to purchase gift cards, stored value cards,
calling cards, pre-paid cards, or similar products.
- Ensure that the Purchasing Card is only used by the approved Cardholder. Use by anyone
other than the approved Cardholder is strictly prohibited. The Purchasing Card is not
transferable between Cardholders.
- Obtain all
original detailed sales slips, register receipts, and/or Purchasing Card slips and provide to
Departmental Liaison for reconciliation, approval and allocation of transactions.
If receipt has been lost and a duplicate cannot
be obtained, it is the cardholder's responsibility to document the
purchase via a "missing receipt form" and cardholder's supervisor
must sign. Use of this "missing receipt form" more than three
times in one fiscal year will result in suspension of card
Cardholder must provide written justification for
each receipt. A
Cardholder must also notify the Departmental Liaison if the default account number should
be changed on an individual transaction.
- Attempt to first resolve a dispute or billing error directly with the vendor and notify
Bank of America if the dispute or billing error is not satisfactorily resolved. A
Cardholder must also ensure that an appropriate credit for the reported disputed
or billing error appears on a subsequent Cardholder Memo Statement. Under no circumstances
should a Cardholder accept cash in lieu of a credit to the Purchasing Card account.
- Call Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273 immediately (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) to
report a Purchasing Card lost or stolen. A Cardholder must also notify the University
Purchasing Card Coordinator about a lost or stolen Purchasing Card at the first
opportunity during business hours.
- Verify charges on the monthly VISA statement, sign,
forward VISA statement to immediate supervisor
for review and signature, and provide same to liaison.
- Return Purchasing Card to Departmental Liaison upon terminating employment with the
University or transferring Departments within the University.
Key Departmental Liaison Responsibilities
Each Department Head must designate one or more Departmental Liaisons for
his/her department. The Department Head will assign a Departmental Liaison for each
Purchasing Card application approved for his/her employees. A Departmental Liaison may
also be liaison for his/her own card. The Departmental Liaison must receive training on
the use of the Purchasing Card before any individuals in the department may receive a
Purchasing Card. Responsibilities include:
- Collecting vendor receipts and purchasing card receipts from Cardholders and reconciling
to Bank of America billing statements.
- Retaining all charge slips and receipts for audit by internal and external auditors.
- Approving and/or updating default account number on the purchasing Card System of
individual Cardholder account in advance of the monthly default cut-off date for approvals
established by the University Purchasing Card Coordinator.
- Identifying transactions which require the submission of use tax to the South Carolina
Department of Revenue.
- Attempting to resolve any disputes with vendor and/or Bank of America not resolved by
Cardholder. Notifying University Purchasing Card Coordinator in 3 to 5 days of any
unresolved disputes, noting the reason for dispute.
- Requesting the University Purchasing Card Coordinator to change default account for
individual cards as needed and approved by Department Head.
- Notifying University Purchasing Card Coordinator of lost or stolen cards.
- Requesting University Purchasing Card Coordinator to cancel a Cardholder's card
e.g. (terminated employees, transferring departments, loss of purchasing card privileges)
as approved by Department Head.
- Collecting canceled cards from Cardholders and forwarding to University Purchasing Card
University Purchasing Card Coordinator Responsibilities
The Director of Procurement Services will designate a Purchasing Card
Administrator, who is responsible for the over-all Purchasing Card program.
- University liaison with Bank of America.
- Utilizing all software from Bank of America.
- Reviewing Department approved applications for completeness of required information.
- Submitting completed application to Bank of America and receiving Purchasing Cards from
Bank of America.
- Training Departmental Liaisons before releasing Purchasing Cards.
- Training Cardholder before releasing Purchasing Card.
- Having Cardholder sign Cardholder agreement, signifying agreement with the terms of the
Purchasing Card program.
- Handling disputed charges/ discrepancies not resolved by Cardholder or Departmental
- Initiating change of Purchasing Card default account number upon request of Department
Liaison as approved by Department Head.
- Securing revoked Purchasing Cards and submitting information to Bank of America.
- Receiving Bank of America bill and electronically distributing to Department Liaisons.
- Electronically notifying Department Liaisons of Bank of America billing distribution and
advising Liaison of cut-off date for approvals.
- Processing upload of bill to accounting for charging individual departments.
- Reviewing usage of Purchasing Card data for appropriateness.
- Providing ad hoc reports for management.
1. Requirements For Receiving a Purchasing Card
Before receiving a Purchasing Card, you are required to sign Winthrop
University's Purchasing Card Cardholder Agreement. By signing this agreement, you indicate
that you understand the intent of the program, and will comply with all guidelines of this
Manual as well as University Policies and Procedures relating to the expenditure of
2. Purchasing Card Maintenance and Closure
All contact with Bank of America for card set up, maintenance and closure
(except for reporting lost or stolen cards) will be handled by the University Purchasing
Card Coordinator who is located in Procurement Services.
The University Purchasing Card Coordinator is required to close an account
if a Cardholder: (a) transfers to a different University department, (b) moves to a new
job where a Purchasing Card is not required; (c) terminates University employment or (d)
for any of the following reasons which will also subject Cardholder to disciplinary action
in accordance with University Policies and Procedures relating to disciplinary action and
termination for cause:
- The card is used for personal or unauthorized purposes.
- The card is used to purchase alcoholic beverages or any substance, material, or service
which violates policy, law or regulation pertaining to the University.
- The Cardholder allows the card to be used by another individual.
- The Cardholder splits a purchase to circumvent the limitations of the South Carolina
Consolidated Procurement Code.
- The Cardholder uses another Cardholder's card to circumvent the purchase limit assigned
to either Cardholder or the limitations of the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement
- The Cardholder fails to provide Departmental Liaison with required receipts.
- The Cardholder fails to provide, when requested, information about any specific
- The Cardholder does not adhere to all of the Purchasing Card policy and procedures.
A request for closing a Cardholder account will be submitted to Bank of
America by the University Purchasing Card Coordinator. If a plastic card exists for the
Purchasing Card account being closed, you should return it to your Departmental Liaison
3. Purchasing Card Use
The card works just like your personal credit card, except all charges are
paid in full by the University. It is to be used only for the purchase of supplies and
certain services. Winthrop University's spending parameters for each Purchasing Card
issued are set at $1,500 and up to $2,500 per transaction with a maximum of $10,000* per month per card.
Winthrop University will adjust limits as determined by demonstrated need.
approved by appropriate procurement official.
The State of South Carolina and Winthrop University require that certain
types of vendors be blocked from Purchasing Card use. Among these are restaurants,
entertainment, and cash transactions.
4. Purchasing Card/Account Number Security and Storage
Cardholders should always treat the University Purchasing Card with at
least the same level of care as one does their own personal credit cards. The card should
be maintained in a secure location and the card account number should be carefully
guarded. The only person entitled to use the card is the person whose name appears on the
face of the card. The card may not be lent to another person for any reason.
The Departmental Liaison assigned to each Purchasing Card will maintain
the Cardholder's vendor receipts/packing slips/charge slips. All other documentation
concerning the Purchasing Card program will be maintained by the University Purchasing
Card Coordinator located in Procurement Services. This documentation includes, but is not
limited to, applications, Cardholder agreements, agency billing statements, reconciliation
of accounting statements, and copies of transmittals and correspondence with Bank of
5. Cardholder Liability
The Purchasing Card is a corporate charge card and will not affect your
personal credit. It is your responsibility to ensure that the card is used within stated
guidelines of this Manual as well as University Policies and Procedures relating to the
expenditure of University Funds. Failure to comply with program guidelines may result in
permanent revocation of the card, notification of the situation to management, and
disciplinary action in accordance with University Policies and Procedures relating to
disciplinary action and termination for cause.
6. Lost, Misplaced or Stolen Purchasing Cards
Report any lost or stolen Purchasing Card immediately to Bank of America
toll-free at 1-888-449-2273. Bank of America representatives are available to assist you
24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Be sure to notify your Department Liaison and/or the
University Purchasing Card Coordinator about the lost or stolen card at the first
opportunity during normal business hours.
7. Completing a Purchasing Card Transaction
Follow these general guidelines when using your card or account number to
make a purchase:
- Determine if the intended supply purchase is within spending and vendor guidelines.
- For face to face transactions provide the vendor with your Purchasing Card plastic or
for telephone orders give the vendor your account number and expiration date.
- Obtain a copy of the charge slip, sales receipt and/or packing slips.
- Provide all receipts to Departmental
Liaison with appropriate justification for the
purchase documented on the receipt by the cardholder.
- If order is by telephone or fax, provide Departmental Liaison with a copy of the order
blank or description of the order.
- Notify Departmental Liaison of alternate account number for purchase to be charged if
different than the default University account number assigned to the Purchasing Card.
8. Erroneous Declines
There may be certain situations when a vendor receives a decline message
when processing your Purchasing Card transaction. If you do not know the reason for the
decline, contact Bank of America at 1- 888-449-2273 for an explanation. If the decline was
in error, the Cardholder should immediately contact the University Purchasing Card
Coordinator for assistance. If purchase is being made outside of normal University
business hours, the employee must find an alternate payment method or terminate the
purchase and contact the University Purchasing Card Coordinator during normal University
9. Emergency Transactions
Emergency transactions over $2,500 may not be handled with the Purchasing
Card due to State procurement regulations. For any transaction which does not meet the
spending controls assigned to the card, the Cardholder must contact Procurement Services
The vendor should issue a credit to your card account for any item they
have agreed to accept for return. This credit will appear on a subsequent statement. Under
no circumstances should you accept cash in lieu of a credit to the Purchasing Card
11. Disputes & Billing Errors
You should always attempt to resolve any disputes or billing errors
directly with the vendor. In most cases, the vendor will issue a credit to the card
account. If an agreement cannot be reached with the vendor, you should contact Bank of
America at 1-888-449-2273. Bank of America may request you to mail or fax to
1-602-597-2980 a signed "Dispute Form" to document the reason for the dispute. A
"Dispute Form" is included as an attachment to this manual.
Nearly all issues can be resolved using this process. If you are unable to
obtain an acceptable resolution, the Cardholder or Departmental Liaison must contact the
University Purchasing Card Coordinator for assistance. The total amount billed by Bank of
America will be charged to the individual departmental accounts and credits for disputed
transactions will be posted to departmental accounts when credit appears on the Bank of
12. Sales and Use Tax
Purchases From Vendors Located In South Carolina - The vendor is
responsible for collecting retail sales tax at the point of sale. The amount of sales tax
should be indicated on the receipt provided by the vendor.
Purchases From Vendors Located Outside South Carolina - If sales
tax is paid in another state, a use tax credit is allowed for the University, therefore,
no South Carolina tax is due. The individual receipt provided by the vendor should
indicate whether any out-of-state sales tax has been collected at the point of sale.
13. Vendor Participation
If a vendor frequently used by University employees does not accept the
Visa card, the University will assist in recruiting the vendor to take the necessary steps
to begin acceptance of the card. Cardholders should contact the Departmental Liaison or
University Purchasing Card Coordinator when encountering vendors who do not accept the
14. Verification Assistance
Your Department Liaison and the University Purchasing Card Coordinator
will assist the University and The State of South Carolina in periodic verification of
your compliance with the guidelines of the Purchasing Card program, University policies
and procedures relating to the expenditure of University funds as well as Cardholder Memo
Statements and other required documentation.
15. Customer Service
Bank of America Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year at 1-888-449-2273 for:
- Reporting a lost or stolen card
- Disputes or billing errors
- Account information
For all other questions or issues, please contact the University
Purchasing Card Coordinator located in Procurement Services, telephone 323-2143.
16. Vendor Blocking
The State of South Carolina requires that certain types of vendors be
blocked from Purchasing Card use and transactions will be blocked at the
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