Spotlight – GSA SmartPay 3

Spotlight – GSA SmartPay 3


>>David Shay is the
Director of the Center for Charge Card Management
with GSA and under the Federal
Acquisition Service. As a Director, he’s responsible
for the direction and operation of the GSA SmartPay program, the largest government
based charge card program in the world. It supports approximately
$28 billion in customer agency
administrative purchases annually. Mr. Shay has led the
highly successful transition of three million accounts to the
current GSA SmartPay 2 program. Under his leadership,
but the GSA SmartPay 2 and the upcoming SmartPay
3 programs have earned best in class designations from the
Office of Management and Budget. Just a few facts about SmartPay. They say SmartPay is the world
largest government charge card program with 3.4
million accounts across 560 customer
agencies, organizations, and Native American
tribal governments. Since the program’s
inception in 1998, the GSA SmartPay has enabled
$488 billion in total spend through 1.6 billion, 1.67,
excuse me, billion transactions and generated over 3.6
billion in agency refunds. In today’s briefing, David
Shay will present an overview of the GSA SmartPay program, the detailed current
SmartPay statistics, and provide an overview of the newly awarded
GSA SmartPay 3 contract and its new products
and service offerings. He will also share some
best practices for card use for contract payments and
professional services. And, he’ll address
some myth busting facts about the SmartPay
program and card use. So, with that, I will
turn it over to David.>>Hi. Good morning, good
afternoon, or good day, wherever you happen
to be in the country. I know on the east coast,
mid-Atlantic where I am, it’s a dreary afternoon. But, delightful that you
could be with us today. I can’t quite see on
the screen right now, but we had over 100
participants. So, very grateful for that,
and I don’t know John, can you put the breakdown
of people who are here back on the screen, or is
that too hard to do? The man is a wizard
at the keyboard here. So, we’ve got 6% our
program managers. I’m looking in the
lower left here. Almost 30% are CORs, 15%
contracting specialists, 17% contracting officer, and is always the case wherever
you have an other category, it always seems to
be the biggest. So, you can see we’ve
got some budget folks and A/OPCs joining us. Head of a contracting activity. Wow. Excellent. Some administrative officers
and so on and so forth. Quite a community here,
and very, very grateful that you could take
the time to be here. For those of you that don’t
know me, I am an 1102. I’ve been for 33 years in
the Federal government. I have experience in
everything from buying ships with the Naval Sea
Systems Command up through information
systems and agriculture and being the chief
of procurement policy at agriculture for 11 years. And then, having the honor of leading the SmartPay
program here at TSA for over a dozen years. The program is approaching
its 20th anniversary of handling transactions
in the government that will occur in November. And, as I say, I’ve had the
honor of leading the program and working with excellent
people in the agencies and on my team for more than
half of the program’s life. And, Stephanie stole some of the
content from a couple of slides, and she did an excellent
job presenting them. So, I’m very happy with that. She’s made my job a little
easier, but we’ll hit on some of those statistics again. I don’t know that we’ll take
all the time that’s allotted for the briefing. It really depends on if
we get a lot of questions, but we’ll go ahead and start
and see where things lead. Again, if you could hold
the questions until the end, I’d appreciate it, but please
don’t forget your questions. So, put it in the chat screen,
and our staff will keep track of it or write it down,
whatever works best for you. I just don’t want you to
forget those good questions. I want to make sure we cover all
the slides, so those that are into this for the CLP credit get
the full content so that we get that locked in before
we get into questions. Because depending on how
many we get, things could, things could go on for a while. So, I’ve also in charge of
flipping my own slides here which I typically mess up, so
we’ll see how well I do today. It looks very simple,
but nonetheless, I know my capability,
so, bear with me. Hopefully all will work. Murphy is a lifetime
companion of mine, so whatever can go
wrong will go wrong. And, I think that’ll probably
keep John on his toes. So, we’ll see. In any event, Stephanie
already captured the size of the program. We were honored that, and I was,
I actually made the presentation to the agencies for SmartPay to
be considered as best in class. And, both SmartPay 2 and
SmartPay 3, and there were, it was unanimous
from the agencies that the programs be selected
or nominated for best in class. And, we were deeply
honored by that. OMB subsequently approved that. So, even with the
SmartPay 3 program not yet handling transactions, the way the program was put
together, the process we went through to design the contract. And, as you’ll see in
a subsequent slide, if you’re not familiar with it, the SmartPay program is
not a schedule program. It uses a fairly conventional
approach, contracting wise, from a GSA perspective,
but in some unique ways. It’s a multiple award,
indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity fixed
price type contract. And, this is a formula that we
have used from the beginning in SmartPay 1 in the late 1990s. Many of you are probably aware
of the benefits of the program. You know that we have purchase
travel fleet integrated cards and some variance on that
cardless payment system, ghost carts, things like that. We’ll get into that
further in the discussion. But, the big thrusts
in the program, and this has played a large part in being designated
as best in class. It is, the card felt
streamlined, transaction processing
and payment. We’ve got strong internal
controls that have evolved over the almost 20
years of the program. In fact, if you’re
familiar with the results of the last GAO government-wide
audit on the card program, I think that was
a real milestone to show how well the
controls have evolved and how well the
agencies are doing. Because each agency is
ultimately responsible for selecting its card holders, establishing their
spending limits, because every account comes
with several spending limits. And, managing those cardholders. And, the agencies are really
doing a good job in that, and that has resulted in
some very interesting things happening recently that
I hope you’re aware of. And, if you’re not, I’m
going to tell you about them. If you are, I’m probably going to tell you some
additional information that you may not know. But, this all stems, I believe,
as an observer of the program and having led it for so
many years is a result of the fine work that many
of you who have been involved in the program or your
colleagues in your agency that are involved in card
management have been doing to bring us to where
we are today and to what I think is a
bright future for the program. Cost savings are, of course,
a big part of the picture. SmartPay is one of the few
programs in the government that pays the government back. There’s no upfront cost to
agencies to use the program. The cards are provided
by the banks under our contracts
at no upfront costs. So, just a tremendous
value story in terms of streamlining business,
providing flexibility, admissions support, and getting
cash back to the agencies that they can reinvest
back into mission delivery. And so, you know, in terms
of the cards themselves, we’re basically leveraging
a commercial card platform. So, the government didn’t
put really any money into infrastructure. We came and we leveraged this
tremendous existing commercial infrastructure, and
we influenced it. And, I know in some cases
people look at the government as maybe not an innovator, but the government
actually was the innovator in the corporate card space. In the 1980s, it was the federal
government that basically led to the development and
expansion of the use of the corporate cards
that subsequently spread to the commercial sector. To accept the cards, you know, there’s a few bullets
on slide eight here. Many of you probably
already know this. GSA schedule contractors
are required to accept the cards
for micro purchases. Above micro purchases,
it’s optional. For most vendors, for
vendors to accept the card, they already accept them in
their commercial business. There’s nothing additional or
special that they have to do to accept the GSA SmartPay card. And, some of the
solutions that we offer under the current
SmartPay 2 program, we talk about what are
called brands, right? So, there’s not only cards
offered by currently JP Morgan, US Bank, and Citibank,
but within that, you have brands on
the card, right? So, depending on which
agency you are with and which brand they selected,
you may have a Visa card or a MasterCard, and then, we get into what are
called closed network cards, and these are in the fleet
area, Voyager and Ride Express. So, if you’re with
postal service or DOD for nontactical vehicles or your
agency uses GSA fleet vehicles, every one of those
vehicles comes with a SmartPay fleet card, and
chances are, it’s either one of those brands, closed
brands, Voyager or Ride Express, or it could also be a Visa or a MasterCard fleet
product as well. So, a broad range of products. The diagram on the side there of slide eight just basically
depicts how commercial cards work. And, in our case, what
GSA does is we contract with what are called
issuing banks that’s one side of the card payment business. And, they’re called
issuers quite simply because they’re the ones
that issue the plastic or the virtual account
or whatever it might be. And, you can see the other
parts of the ecosystem. I won’t go into those now, but
if there are any questions, I’ll be happy to answer
that a little later. Stephanie had mentioned
spend under the program which is really remarkable, and these numbers are
just slightly updated from what Stephanie
indicated because, of course, we’re continuing to have
spend occur under the program. I don’t have the
numbers published yet because we hold them back
for certain security reasons, but in total, I can say that
spend last month compared to the month the
previous fiscal, same month in the
previous fiscal year that spend is up substantially. On average, we run about
$2 billion a month, and you can see the
total refunds. Just a staggering
number, almost $4 billion. And, we’re talking about
almost half a trillion dollars in transactions. That’s a lot of agency
business over almost 20 years. And, again, I want
to say thank you to everybody who’s done that. And, while these are staggering
numbers, I also believe as the program manager
for the program, that there’s still a lot
of opportunity for agencies to get benefit out of
further use of card and cardless processes. Further rebates, further
business process streamlining, and we’re going to
talk some about that, and that’s really what
SmartPay 3 is designed around. So, I want to step back a
second before I go further in the slides and talk about
three major themes or takeaways that I’d like you to take
from today’s presentation. And, the first is that the
SmartPay transition is coming, and it’s, in fact,
already underway. It’s less than seven
months from now that the SmartPay 3
program will start actually handling transactions. As many of you who have been
involved in the process know, my office in the Center
for Charge Card Management at GSA started working on the
transition process with agencies about two, two and
a half years ago. So, it is a huge undertaking to transition the entire federal
government, and I will tell you that when we did this ten
years ago for our SmartPay 1 to SmartPay 2, you didn’t read
anything about it in the press. And, the reason, or the media,
and the reason you didn’t was because it was successful. We had over three million
accounts transition on the weekend after
Thanksgiving back in 2009, and it wasn’t that there
weren’t some challenges. There were, but we hand
contingency plans to cover them. Agencies had continuous
card services. There was no disruption, and
I intend, with the good help from the agencies working with
us, to have that same level of transition performance going
from SmartPay 2 to SmartPay 3. We’re looking for it to be
seamless for card support to always be there and
reliableness of a light switch for you and your agency mission. You know, it’s very
important that people know that they’re able to
count on the cards and the other payment
services that we offer. So, the first takeaway is
that SmartPay 3 is coming, and within that,
two major points. One is your SmartPay 2
card, if you have one, whether you have a purchase
card, travel card, both, or you work in the fleet world, all of the SmartPay 2 cards
are going to become unusable after November 29th
of this year. So, new cards are coming, and all new account
numbers will be issued. And, the reason this is done is to provide a clean financial
break between the obligations under SmartPay 2 and the
obligations under SmartPay 3 on top of all the other closeout
activities that we have to do that many of you are familiar
with in the acquisition world. So, there’s got to
be that clean break. So, the basic approach
to the transition, along with many other
things that are going on. But, from a card perspective,
is that the new cards are going to be provided to people
sufficiently in advance that they’ll have
that ready so that when the existing cards expire,
they’ll be ready to go ahead and use the new cards. So, if you’re worried about
plastic, that’s the way that that’s intended to work. So, all of that is
the first theme. The second theme is that
the cards are not just for micro purchases anymore. And, in fact, they
haven’t been for some time. As recently as last year,
over 51% of the transactions under the program have been over
the micro purchase threshold, and I use $3500 for the
purposes of that statistic. And, we’ll talk about why
that’s important in my next and final sort of major point
that I’d like you to take away from today’s presentation. And, that is there isn’t just
one micro purchase anymore. I don’t know if many of you remember the old
Oldsmobile commercial where they would say this
isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile. Well, this isn’t the same
old micro purchase threshold that we started out with from the Federal Acquisition
Streamlining Act of 1994. There’s a lot more to it now, and I think a lot more
flexibility for agencies that we want to make
sure you’re aware of. But, with this flexibility, often comes some
layer of complexity. So, again, the three
major themes, right, the transition is
coming to SmartPay 3. Going to start handling
transactions at the end of November this year. Not next year. The second thing is the cards and cardless payment
processes are not just for micro purchases,
and they haven’t been. I think there’s more opportunity to use them beyond micro
purchases and in conjunction with what is going on in the
sort of micro purchase realm. And, the third thing
is knowledge of these new micro
purchase thresholds in the future direction
of the program. So, with that, we’ll talk
a little it about spend and where the program has
been for the past couple of fiscal years is the spend has
been solid but fairly steady. And, it’s right in the range
of $28 to $30 billion a year. A majority of the spend,
approximately 2/3 of it tends to be purchase card activity. You’ll see somewhere in
the neighborhood of $18 to $20 billion in purchase
card spend every year. They’re about 300,000 purchase
cards under the program in the United States
and around the world. In the travel card program,
we’ve got on the order of almost 2.6 million travel
cards around the world. And, the spend in travel
will range generally between seven and nine billion. And then, fleet, you can see
is just over 600,000 cards or accounts, and
in the neighborhood of almost 30 million
transactions because you’ve got a lot of
fueling transactions going on. And, the fleet spend, and
I’m talking about annualized, is generally in the neighborhood
of $1 to $2 billion dollars, but it’s highly, it’s
highly correlated with the cost of fuel. Even though the cards also cover
maintenance and other things. Fuel overwhelmingly affects the
spend under the fleet program. So, that gives you
some sense of the scope for the government-wide program. That along with the fact that
we generally run between 80 and 100 million transactions
a year. So, a lot of government
business. A lot of mission support coming
out of the use of the program. It’s not just a small
activity anymore. SmartPay is an important
enabler to the agencies in supporting the mission
delivery, and we’re honored to be playing that role. So, let’s get into, on slide
11, the micro purchase changes. So, in fiscal ’17, and
I’ll talk about the. Well, actually, the way
this slide is set up, let me step back a sec. So, in fiscal ’18’s National
Defense Authorization Act, the micro purchase threshold for
civilian agencies was increased to $10,000 from $3500. So, even though it’s the NDAA, the National Defense
Authorization Act, this affected only
civilian agencies. And, we’ll talk about the DOD
threshold and where that is. I know it says in the law it
was amended by striking $3000. But, the micro purchase
threshold was actually $3500 at that time and then
increased to ten. And, I also point
out under FAR 13.301, it states that the
government-wide commercial purchase card be used not
only to make micro purchases, but to place task or delivery
orders under contracts and also to make payments when
the contractor agrees to accept the payment
by the card. And, these points are the nexus
of the argument for further use of the card or cardless payment
processes from where we are now. Yes, the additional
micro purchase threshold, so the higher thresholds will
help in increasing, I think, agency flexibility
spend and the rebates that they earn or the refunds. That they are, but that, in
and of itself, I don’t think, is going to result in a
significant an opportunity as continuing to take a look
at where we have contracts and payments under those
contracts and other kinds of invoices that we might be
paying out of payment offices and agencies, how
we can make the use of what I’ll call
strategic payments. And, this is where an
agency takes a step back and basically looks at
how it’s paying its bills. And, says, hey, much like you
might do in your personal life if you have a credit card. You might get miles
or points or something on your personal credit card. And, there are probably cases
where you think about, well, I’m going to pay for this
product or service on my card because I want to earn
those points or miles. Well, the government shouldn’t
be any different, right? If there’s an opportunity
for us, assuming there isn’t some
other reason like security or the vendor just absolutely
won’t accept a carded payment, and there are some varying
approaches to that, by the way, if you run into that issue because we know that’s
real world. But, in any event, there’s
a lot of payments going out of the government, a lot of
contract payments that aren’t on the card or cardless process, and while it’s not
a [inaudible], we still believe there’s great
opportunity for the government to get additional
benefit out of this. I mean, when you look at total
government annual purchase procurement spend alone,
you look at an [inaudible], you know, it’s in excess
of $400 billion a year. And, right now, purchase
card spend is running in the neighborhood
of 18 or 19 billion. So, there’s got to be some
additional opportunity, and we’d certainly like to see
the agencies take advantage of that. We’d like you to
consider when, you know, if you’re in the
procurement area, if you’re in the payment
area in your agency, take a look at potentially
additional advantages. And, in many cases vendors who
you might have a contractor, so you might think wouldn’t be
interested in accepting payment by card or cardless payment
process, actually are, particular when you talk
about small businesses. With the card process,
the vendor gets paid within one to three days. So, I know with small
businesses, sometimes we talk about fast payment processes, under triple contract
terms in the government. We’re usually talking NET30. Although, some agencies are
able to pay earlier than that. Some not so much. Some have problems
paying within 30 days. The cards can help with that because it’s the bank
paying that vendor, right? The government, subsequently,
ends up getting an invoice that reflects all these
payments and charges on it. So, instead of having
to deal with, maybe, hundreds of invoices, it’s
dealing with those hundreds of invoices coming in under one
invoice from the contractor bag. So, there are some interesting
workflow, workload benefits to mention to further
use of the program. Having said that, I
realize that in some cases, the administrative process
that’s surrounding using a card can be somewhat complicated
or labor intensive. And, that’s something I think
we have to dialog about further. Some of that relates to
requirements that we have out of, for example, OMB
circular A123 Appendix b which governs card use. Some of the agencies have
done to themselves in terms of internal policies that
they’ve placed upon themselves. So, I think together
as we journey forward, we need to look at, you know,
what are the things that we need to do to make sure this process
of taking advantage of cards and cardless payment processes
is properly established and doesn’t include overly
burdensome requirements. You know, reasonable,
internal controls, reasonable risk management,
and so on and so forth. So, let’s look at
where we’ve come, talking about micro purchases. And, I think it’s an
absolutely incredible story. As I mentioned, the first
micro purchase threshold was established in 1994 through the
Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, and I thought it would
be interesting to take sort of a little trip back as
well as a look forward at where the micro
purchase threshold has been. So, in ’94, as you see, we had a
single micro purchase threshold of $2500. And then, in fiscal ’98,
you had the Stafford Act, and these contingency,
either preparation or response thresholds. They don’t affect construction. $20,000 within the U.S. and
$30,000 outside the U.S. Then, as many of you know, under our
existing statute with the FAR, the FAR can adjust procurement
thresholds based on procurement, it’s based on economic
factors every five years. So, what you see happening in
2010 and 2015 with the movement of the threshold to $3000 and
then $3500, that was based on the operation of that
existing economic adjustment statutory authority. Then, in ’17, the DOD micro
purchase threshold increased to $5000 for what I’ll call
routine procurement [inaudible]. And, the reason I’m making that
distinction is on the next line, it talks about the
fiscal ’17 NDAA and institutions of
higher education. And, if you’ve already go the
slide deck or you’ve managed to print it out, you might
want to annotate on there that that also included
R&D within DOD. So, what’s interesting
about this particular aspect of the micro purchase thresholds
now is that the institutions of higher education micro
purchase threshold is not for DOD only. That $10,000 would also
extend to civilian agencies who have qualifying
institutions, and in fact, the statutory language
is even more interesting because it says the heads of those institutions can set a
higher micro purchase threshold if they determine to do so. Now, a couple things
I want to add here. The first is, and I’ll use the
old names for these labor acts. I know we have new names, but I’ve been doing
this a long time. So, forgive me for
being, I guess, maybe, retrogressive on this. But, Davis-Bacon
for construction and Service Contract Act. Neither of those
thresholds has changed. So, $2000 for Davis-Bacon, $4500
for Service Contract, right? So, these additional thresholds
are really more benefit on the supply side where
you’re buying items as opposed to buying services. But, you know, and also, the
FAR has not yet been modified which I’m sure more
than a number of people on this call are thinking
about I understand, and I’m not working that
side of the business, but that the FAR will likely
be modified, I believe, this summer to reflect
these new thresholds. Both the DOD thresholds and,
as we started out earlier in the conversation, the fiscal
2018 NDAA section 806 which had that increase to $10,000. Now, I know that some
of your agencies, your procurement executive
and ours here at GSA. Jeff Costas did this for GSA. Issued a FAR deviation or waiver
within the agency’s authority to take advantage of the increased micro
purchase threshold or to allow card holders who
are properly delegated authority within the agency
to take advantage of these higher thresholds prior to the FAR coverage
being issued. I know that some other
agencies have decided not to avail themselves of this
higher threshold, and then, you’ve got agencies who
are kind of in between. They’ve done deviation or waiver
but only within certain agencies or components have they
decided to actually deploy or issue the authority. So, not unlike any other
big change in government, I takes several years
for it to actually roll out across the organization
and people starting to take advantage of it. And then, kind of a forward
looking thing, and I underscore that this is not statutory. So, it’s not something that
we know is actually going to happen. But, another aspect of the
fiscal ’18 NDAA required GSA to develop an ecommerce
eportal, right? These are the so
called Amazon provisions of the fiscal ’18 NDAA. And, one of the first
deliverables under that statutory requirement
was for GSA to put out a plan as to how it was going to approach these
ecommerce portals issued. And, within that proposal,
which was published in March of this year, GSA had proposed, so keep in mind,
this is proposed. It’s not statutory. That for the approved
commodities that are going to be included in
those ecommerce portals that the micro purchase
threshold would increase to $25,000. So, you know, when you
stand back and you look at what’s happening here, you
know, there’s a couple of things that I think are going on or
a couple themes that I see. And, one of them is that the
government is seeking additional agility, additional flexibility to more rapidly meet
mission needs, and that’s why you’re seeing
the micro purchase thresholds evolving like they are. The other is that over the past
20 years, the agencies working with GSA and OMB and their
IGs have evolved the controls and the management
practices under the program such that there is a high
level of integrity and trust that the program is operating
well and that the expenses, the charges that people
are doing with these cards, the transactions, as they
always have been, the majority of them are appropriate
and are done for, you know, the correct purposes. Things like that. And, it really is a
tremendous coming together of a variety of different
factors. Really a spectacular
result, I think, in terms of just the scope
of the program when you talk about the number of
transactions, the spend, and the number of people
involved for it to reach or evolve to this level. And, you see that the
faith in the process. And, while I say that, you
know, the flip side to this, what was the line from
the old Spiderman movie? With great power comes
great responsibly. We’ve all worked so hard,
and even if you’re new to the program or you’re
thinking about using the program and become a participant, you’re
involved in this, and we’ve got to continue to maintain a
high level of common sense, internal controls,
on the program because where we have seen
program failures almost always, there are two common
threads to it. One is that the agency wasn’t
watching the transaction activity, and there are a lot
of tools under the program that your card management
officials have to monitor card transactions. You know, when you hear
about criminals on the run, there’s generally one of three
ways they get caught, right? They use a cell phone,
they use an ATM, or they use, yep, a credit card. You know, one of the, and I
know this really isn’t a word, but one of the, I’ll say,
least intelligent, the dumbest, I think dumbest is
more impactful. But, one of the stupidest
things you can do as a civil servant is
abuse the charge card because if anybody’s
looking, believe me, they can see that data. And so, where we’ve seen some
break downs is the agency wasn’t watching. That’s one common thread. The second common thread when things go wrong is the
agency knew something happened, but no management
action was taken. And, almost every case where
we see an audit finding and there is a problem wasn’t because the controls
weren’t there, wasn’t because the
data wasn’t available, wasn’t because the
structure wasn’t there, wasn’t because the
policy was lacking. It was because the
procedures weren’t followed or the tools weren’t used,
and the necessary follow through didn’t happen. So, it’s very important,
I think, for all of us who play a role in this process, whether you’re a
procurement official, a card management official,
a COR, somebody working on the financial, you’re
an HCA, it’s very important that those internal
controls, reports, and tools are uniformly
applied and consistently applied to make sure that we continue
to ensure a high level of integrity to the program. Because there is an astounding
amount of trust being put in all of us who work for this
program and participate in it with these higher
levels of spend. So, let’s talk a little bit more about the SmartPay
3 master contract. I mentioned the contract type. It’s a MAC. We have two banks,
and they’re both banks with long term experience. They’ve been with the SmartPay
program since SmartPay 1. They know what they’re doing. They’re Citibank and US Bank. JP Morgan, who we currently have under SmartPay 2 will
be dropping away. And, you can see the
periods of performance here with the option periods for
the master contracts the GSA has awarded. So, good news here in
terms of having to deal with transition is SmartPay
3 is three years longer from a transactional
period than SmartPay 2. So, we’ve got 13 years
of performance here. Total period performance
is actually 15 years, but two of those
years are consumed with preparation activities
and transition prep leading up to what we call the
transactional period of performance when the
cards actually start to handle agency business. So, at least we got you
three more years out of it. I had tried for 20,
but I didn’t get it. Some GSA schedule contracts,
for example, will run as long as 20 years, and
we have a variety of access lanes to the program. And, that’s that last
bullet there that talks about types of task orders. So, we’ve got tailored
task orders. Many larger agencies have
specific requirements that are unique to them that
affect the program which are within the general scope
of the master contract. And so, they’re able to
tailor their requirements to meet their needs. Then, there’s a standard
task order where the agency
basically accepts what’s under the master contract
the GSA has awarded without any tailoring
or modification. And then, there are other
approaches to the program, generally for smaller agencies that may not have the
contracting wherewithal to do things on their own or their requirements just
aren’t different enough that they’d rather use
someone else’s task order to get what they need. So, by that, we mean certain
agencies allow other agencies to tag under their task order. And then, we have
something called the GSA pool that we award here in GSA that
smaller entities can join, and we have a range of,
like, boards and commissions, smaller agencies, and even
the Native American tribal governments who have certain
type of funding authority by federal law are allowed to
use GSA as a source of supply. So, those activities often
join the pool as well. So, a whole variety of access
lanes to get to the program, and those have been used highly
successfully in the past. So, what’s different between
SmartPay 3 and SmartPay 2? A lot of it is evolutionary. Some of the things that
you’ll see under SmartPay 3, some of you in your private
lives may use, like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, whatever
the current name is for Google Wallet or
Google Pay or Android Pay. Those kinds of things
will become available under SmartPay 3. I think we’ll probably
see the use start with the travel card area. Government employees on
official travel might be using a payment app. If you try to load a GSA or what
the industry term is tokenized GSA SmartPay 2 card on
one of these payment apps, you’ll find it won’t tokenize. It won’t load. But, the SmartPay 3 cards
will be able to do that. We also have, on the cardless. You may wonder when I refer
to cardless, I’m referring to payment processes that
don’t actually involve a piece of plastic. So, I know sometimes,
when we think about cards, we think about somebody actually
holding a piece of plastic and doing an individual
transaction. Well, when I’m talking about
opportunities for growth in the program, there are
actually cardless processes that can be integrated with
your agency’s accounts payable process that your CFO
organization to automatically and without plastic, electronically process
payment transactions, and they would allow your agency
to earn a refund on those. So, that’s one of
those significant additional opportunities. Now, we did have
epayables in SmartPay 2. There wasn’t a lot
of use of that, but there is a much
stronger content and focus on epayables in SmartPay 3. And so, there’s things called
buyer initiated payments and supplier initiated
payments and so on and so forth. I won’t go into the details
here, but suffice it to say, these payment methods
involve a layer of integration with the agency’s
accounts payable process. That’s what they’re keyed into. It’s not, you know, somebody
with a green eye shade and a piece of plastic doing
individual transactions. That’s still part of the program
that we offer, of course, but there are also these
epayable capabilities. There’s also a new travel card
called the tax advantage card, and this helps agencies
with tax compliance. One of the most popular reasons for visiting our
GSA SmartPay website at smartpay.gsa.gov is
government travelers checking on the tax policy, mainly for
lodging taxes before they go on travel to a particular state. Because with the individually
built cards that most of you have for travel, those
individually built cards by law, the tax policy is driven by
state law, not federal law. So, as you know, I think there’s
somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 states, and I think
there’s a couple of territories that don’t assess lodging taxes
on individually billed accounts. Then, there are others that do. And, in fact, it’s evolved into a rather complicated
patchwork quilt of tax policy, so you may go to a
state, you may be exempt from lodging taxes, but then,
there are other taxes and, potentially, fees
like conference center or municipal fees that
you have to pay anyway. So, the old days of
when I started at Navy and you had your tax exempt
letter from DOD and you got, you know, didn’t get
assessed any taxes. Those days are long gone. But, the tax advantage
card is a hybrid card. It’s a combination
of a centrally billed and an individually billed
in such a way that we will, we believe it will help agencies
with the lodging tax issue. Mobile payments, I
already talked about. And then, in some cases,
agencies are buying things from other agencies, and
we have a new product in SmartPay 3 that’s
noninterchange based government to government transactions. So, what does that mean? Well, if your agency’s
buying licenses or training or materials, whatever it
might be, from another agency, regardless of the dollar amount, these transactions are generally
based on a fixed cost, right? So, it might be, and
I’m making this up, $2.25 to process a transaction to pay another agency
for those services. Typically, charge
card transactions, the cost of having
them processed is borne by the merchant. You know, it’s not something that the cardholder
sees, at least directly. And, it’s a percentage. So, one of the challenges that
you get into where, you know, you’re moving money from one
agency to another or things like that is a percentage, you get into larger
dollar value transactions. A percentage cost for
processing that transaction gets to be an inhibitor to use of these kinds of
payment solutions. So, instead, in SmartPay
3, and this is one of those evolutionary things,
we try to provide some products in certain cases that have
a fixed per transaction cost regardless of the
dollar amount involved. Especially where a
government activity is acting as the merchant. So, we have a web link there,
the last line of the last bullet on slide 14 there, and that’ll
take you to more information that we’ve put together
on SmartPay 3, these quick update sheets, FAQs,
and information about epayables and the tax advantage card. So, we’re hoping as agencies go
through this transition process to SmartPay 3, you know, we
know the first thought is boy, we got to get these
cards replaced. We got to make sure
everybody has cards. We don’t want to lose
capability, and we get that, but at the same time, we’re also
trying to make agencies aware of these additional
opportunities to add value that are available
to them and ask them to take them into account. Now, depending on your
role in your agency, you may not have
anything to do with this, and I just mention this
to make you aware of this, and in some cases, given
payments that you’re involved with or transactions you’re
involved with, it may, hopefully, spur some
questions that you might raise in your agency about
these opportunities. But, there is a card management
team in your headquarters who, generally in the headquarters of
an agency, that’s been working on these issues or will be
working on these issues. So, if you’re not directly
involved in card management, you know, I’m not saying
that you need to go off and do card management things. But, making you aware of
the process that’s going on to facilitate the
transition to SmartPay 3. But, again, my purpose is
also to build awareness of what we’re going
to have out there. So, if it’s something
that even if you’re not in the card management
world, that as a user, maybe it’s something
that would be of interest to you
in the future. So, a little bit
more on products, and this is the artwork
for the SmartPay 3 cards. We’re building off what we did
with SmartPay 2 in the sense that the cards are color coded. Red card continues to
be a purchase card. A blue card is a travel
card, and green card fleet. We still offer an
integrated product as well. Some agencies will
not use this artwork. Generally, you see some of
the agencies that have, maybe, more sensitive kind of role. Their plastic may
not look like this. So, if you’re looking at
this, and you’re saying gee, my card doesn’t look
anything like this, there may be a reason for that. But, SmartPay is still with you, supporting your agency’s
activity. So, you can see down the left
hand column, some of the things that we’ve already covered, and
by the way, you may have noticed under SmartPay 2, we
changed the type of card from just a mag stripe
card, that magnetic strip on the back, to a chip card. And, that shows how flexible
our master contracts were. We were able to make that change at no additional cost
to the government. And, when these chip cards
started, we were asked by the White House, at the
time, to try to set the example for the country and move into
this technology very early. And, at that time, there
wasn’t a cost for chip cards, but we were able to
successfully get these cards at no additional cost
for the government. And, the chip and pin
or chip and signature, depending on which bank
and which product you have. But, regardless, both
cards have chips. That’s the de facto
standard for SmartPay 3. We will be starting with
chip cards to begin with, and as you’ve seen, most
vendors now have terminals to be able to handle the chips. You know, there was a time
when very few vendors did. But, it really has
spread significantly in the United States, and the
United states is really the last major industrialized country
to move to chip technology, and there were a number
of reasons for that. But, the chip technology
only plays a role in what’s called card
present transactions. So, that’s where you’re
actually at the merchant, and you’re inserting the card
into a terminal and physically, in person, making
the payment, right? Well, as a result
of the deployment of chip card technology,
the rate of in person fraud, card present fraud in
the United States has dropped significantly. So far, the fraudsters
have not figured out a way to counterfeit the chip. So, not going to go
much more into what’s on the left hand column there. A lot of that, I think
we’ve already talked about. Under purchase, we will continue
to have convenience checks. We will have foreign
currency cards. I know for agencies like
Department of State, that’s been an ongoing
issue of interest. There are cards like
declining balance cards, and these are cards that
operate somewhat like gift cards in the commercial world or the
consumer world in the sense that you load a value into
the account, and then, the card gets used, it
decreases or debits. Some of them are reloadable. Some of them are not, depending
on the type that is required. Travel will continue with
the things listed there. We already covered the
tax advantage card. The big thing in fleet, it says
no additional business line specific, but one thing I would
add is we now have vehicle telematics as part of the
payment process here in terms of keeping track of vehicle use. So, that’s a new
addition in SmartPay 3. And, I’ve been saying
a lot here, sorry. I just want to pause for a
second, and I think I’ll pick on Stephanie, if
she’s still there. I just want to make sure
people could still hear me.>>I can, and we haven’t
received any complaints in the complaint
department about not being about to hear you, so
I think you’re good. And, you’re almost
at the end, right?>>Well, you know, almost. There’s just so much
goodness here. You know me. I could talk all day
about charge cards.>>Keep on going. We have a few questions, but we can tackle
those towards the end. Not very many, so you’re good.>>Okay. No problem. So, here’s the notional
timeline, and so, ideally, your agency should have
placed its task order, again, this is something
that generally occurs at the agency headquarter level. If you were to field activity,
you know, you don’t need to be doing anything with this. Hopefully, your headquarters
is communicating with you about what’s going to be
happening as we come into the, as we approach the
transactional period of performance with SmartPay 3. You know, I, just as a,
sort of a quick recap, and I won’t get all of
them here, but to mention to you defense travel has
awarded their task order. NASA has awarded
their task order for both purchase travel
and, I believe, fleet. Department of the Interior
has awarded their task order. DHS just recently
awarded their task order. Department of State has
awarded their task order. There are a number that
are still in process. We’re expecting a
bunch to drop in June. So, more to come on that,
but a lot of activity going on to get these task
orders in place because once the task
orders are placed, that’s when the bank
work really begins. Because, and I won’t take you
down this rabbit hole either on all the details, but once
the task order is awarded, that’s when that
contractor bank gets with your agency card
management leadership, and they’re into processes like making sure they got all
the cardholder names right, addresses, spending limits. They produce the plastic. If you’re switching banks from
the bank you currently have, and again, if you currently
with, if you’re like an HHS or a DHS, and you
have a JP Morgan, JP Morgan’s not in SmartPay 3. So, you know you’re going
to be changing banks, right? So, different financial
interfaces. The general ledger system
has to be built and tested. There may be new training for cardholders that
have to be done. I have a slide, just a
couple of pages away if that, that talks about some of the
responsibilities and duties, functions, operations that
are going on right now with all the work to get ready for the transactional
period of performance. So, hopefully, what we’re
going to see is most of the task orders, if not
all, are going to be placed by the end of next month. And then, all this work will
continue up through November to get these other pieces
that I’ve described in sort of a high level in place
so that come November 30th, you all have your cards. Everything’s good to go, right? And, what’ll happen is is
just the plastic just to focus on plastic for a minute,
will actually get issued in advance at a November date. The plastic will probably
get issued somewhere in the neighborhood of at least
a month in advance, and then, that way, you know, your agency
will issue policy or guidance to the cardholder saying, okay. You’ve got this card. This is what you
do to activate it. This is what card you
use up to this point. Then, you use the
SmartPay 3 card. And, I know somebody’s
going to mess that up because sometimes people just
don’t read what you tell them, but that’s what we’re going
to be facing is there’s going to be two cards that most people
have as we get into the fall, and you just got
to pay attention to which card you use when. So, here are these,
oh, here we go. It’s the next slide. These are the list of
some of the activities that are going on now. I won’t spend a lot of
time on this, but, again, you know, please pay attention. You use a purchase card. If you set a purchase card
up to do recurring payments with a particular
vendor, keep in mind that account number’s going
to be changing under SP3. So, you may have some work to do
there if you’ve set up some kind of automatic payments
to a particular vendor. Much of this that’s
described here, though, is work that your card
management folks are going to be doing within your agency. But, for your awareness, wanted
to make sure you’re, you know, had some knowledge of what’s
going on in the background. We touched on the eportal issue, section 846 of the
fiscal ’18 NDAA. This just gives you a
little bit more granularity on what I talked about earlier. I think this $25,000
micro purchase threshold for commodities that are
approved and included on the marketplace is a,
just an incredible idea. I don’t know, again,
it’s not statutory. Don’t know that it’s
actually going to happen, but I think it’s just
a fascinating approach to the issue. And, of course, what was behind
this is trying to, again, streamline the process and
be more commercial-like in how we buy for
selected commodities. Couple other things I just
wanted to fill you in on. The OMB circular that
I mentioned yesterday, or excuse me, earlier
in the presentation, OMB circular A123 Appendix
B. This is really the government-wide touchstone
on managing cards in the federal government,
and we, for the, at least the second
time had the honor of leading a government-wide
working group and revising that circular. It’s going to have a new title. It was called improving
the management of federal government
charge cards. It’s now going to
be called, actually, it’s going to be managing risk
in federal charge card programs. I just found that out within
the past, I think, 48 hours. That might be the new title. It’s being considered right now. But, in any event, regardless
of the title, it’s an overhaul and an updating of this
touchstone guidance on charge card management
across the government. So, that’s in OMB for
clearance right now, and that’s been the result
of three years of work with the agencies
and GSA and OMB. So, we’re hoping
to see that soon. Section 1634 of the fiscal
’18 NDAA, if you’re not aware of this, and this one has
an interesting twist to it. Kaspersky Labs. It’s not a buy prohibition. It’s a use prohibition. So, there is a use prohibition
effective October 1st of this year for
Kaspersky products, and the way the language
is written, it’s not just Kaspersky itself,
it’s companies controlled by Kaspersky and
so on and so forth. So, you might want to check this
out if you’re not aware of it. We did do a look in the
GSA SmartPay data warehouse and looked for actually
the name Kaspersky in the transaction data. We didn’t see using that method of searching very
many transactions in the agencies with Kaspersky. But then, again, Kaspersky
software could come embedded with a laptop, for example,
as the antivirus package. So, from a procurement
standpoint, just want the COs and the contract specialists
just to be aware there are a lot of nuggets in the FY ’18
NDAA that don’t just apply to defense, and this is
another one of them here. So, wanted to make you aware of the Kaspersky
labs use prohibition that becomes effective in,
at the beginning of October. And, the last thing that I’ll
mention is there’s Title XVIII to the NDAA, and Title XVIII
of the fiscal ’18 NDAA, what the Hill basically
did was drop in, in its entirety what was a
separate piece of legislation that was known as the
Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of
Government Purchase and Travel Cards Act of 2017. The title just rolls
off the tongue. But, there’s a lot of
requirements in that. It has to do with data analytics
and sharing information between agencies on fraud
trends and taking action to reduce erroneous payments
and so on and so forth. And, on that point, I
would throw this out there. One of the unique, one of
the other unique things about a card program or
commercial card program is that many of you know this. Is that if you see a transaction
that you don’t recognize, unlike other payment processes,
you have dispute rights under the commercial
charge card program. And so, much in your, like
in your personal capacity with your personal card, if you see a transaction
you don’t recognize, you can call the bank, and you
can dispute that transaction. And, the bank will research that
transaction, and if they find that it’s not a proper charge,
then they’ll issue a credit. Now, when you call, they issue
an immediate provisional credit, right? But, after they look into it
further with the merchant, that credit is either going
to become a permanent credit or they’re going to put the
transaction back on the account because they found
it to be legitimate from their standpoint. And, I hasten to add that
[inaudible] the banks look at this is solely related to did you actually
do that transaction. Was that transaction
actually yours, and was it properly charged? As opposed to someone going
out and buying a flat screen TV who shouldn’t have been. You know, that’s not something
that the banks look into. That’s more of an IG
type thing, right? But, nonetheless, it’s
a very unique feature. So, when we talk about
erroneous payments on the card, I think the rates are
actually quite low because assuming you’re
paying the right party, you have these dispute
rights if you’re not, right? If you see something you don’t
recognize, you have an ability to get that corrected. And, that process
actually works fairly well. And, that’s not something
you necessarily see with a government
payment process. One of the other
provisions of fiscal ’18 was with the general requirement
of, excuse me, of Title XVIII, the agencies are required
to submit a report. And, this is something your
agency card management folks will do. They’re required to submit
a report to the Director of OMB this coming December on
what they’ve done as a result of Title XVIII in
terms of data analytics and reducing erroneous payments
and further leveraging use of the card program, increasing
refunds, things like that. So, we’re working with your
agency card management officials on this. We’re going to put
out a template to help them put
together their report. But, I just want to
make you aware that one of the things the
Hill is interested in is what are we really
doing with this stuff? You know, are we really
looking at opportunities and taking action on expanding
card and cardless payment use. Are we using the
tools, and again, these are card management
tools, to reduce erroneous or improper payments
and things like that. So, there’s actually a report
that has to be submitted to OMB, and then, OMB, in turn, will report to Congress
on this issue. Also, one of the other salient
points of Title XVIII is that OMB is co-chairing what’s
called the data management group that we run out of
my organization with the participating agencies. And so, you know, Congress
wanted additional emphasis, wanted OMB involved in these
discussions with the agencies. So, with that, the last
thing I’d like to mention, and this for all of you that
even though you may work in the procurement field, you
probably have a travel card and periodically go on
travel for the government. We worked with a small,
veteran owned business, and developed our first
app, kind of putting our, dipping our toe in the
water, if you will. The app is going
to further evolve. It’s available on Google
Play and the Apple app store, and this includes a lot of
good information for travelers. So, if you wanted to look up the
tax policy for a given state, it’s on there, and that’s
what’s kind of shown in the right most image
on the phone there. It provides information on the SmartPay program,
basic dos and don’ts. It’s has entry fields where you
can put your A/OPC information if you can’t remember, oh, if I
have a problem who my A/OPC is and their phone number,
email address. It also includes the 800
numbers for the banks because if you lose your card, you probably don’t have
the 800 number on you. So, you could just
look in this app. It also, if you turn it on,
has geolocation services. So, once you land in
your TDY location, it’ll advise you whether or not
you’re subject to lodging taxes in that location or not. So, keep in mind, it’s a start. I’m not going to tell you
it’s the be all end all app, but it’s got some
cool aspects to it. We’re pretty proud of it as
our first attempt at this, and we’re already working
on plans to upgrade it. We’re going to include some
other cool functionality from different government
agency apps and include it all
on this single app. So, would encourage you
to take a look at it and give us some feedback,
let us know what you think. And, with that, I
congratulate you, especially if you’re
still awake, for making it through the slide presentation. And, we can, I know
we’ve got some questions that have been provided by chat. So, I would ask somebody to
help me out with that and kind of walk me through the questions
and I’ll try and answer them. And then, we’ll see
where we go from there.>>Sounds great. Thank you, David. Lots of great information,
really appreciate that. We have a couple of
questions, but not too many. One of them is what
is a ghost card? You mentioned that earlier
during your remarks.>>Okay, a ghost card
is, or ghost account, actually doesn’t
exist in plastic. And, I’ll give you an example. We have one program where they
use a particular type of card for vehicle maintenance, but
not all maintenance facilities accept that card. So, behind that card,
they have another card, and it’s a ghost card. So, there’s no actual
plastic issued. So, what happens is if that
merchant doesn’t accept the normal card, that merchant can
be instructed to call a number, basically call the bank and get
issued a ghost account number on the spot to be able to,
to enable the government to pay for that transaction. So, it’s like a virtual
card, if you will. It’s not a hard piece
of plastic issued. There are other uses for ghost
cards, but that’s probably one of the best examples
I can give you. So, I hope I, did that
answer the question? Anybody want to put in the chat? Did that explain what it was? I want to make sure I’m
helping people out there.>>Okay [inaudible]. Yeah, I’ll keep an eye and see if there’s any further
comment on that question. There’s another questions.>>Okay. Great.>>In the meantime,
David, that said, “Who will be doing the
reconciling for these?” and Denise asked this question. Denise, I’ve unmuted you in case
you want to ask this out loud because I’m not exactly sure
what you’re referring to.>>I’m unmuted?>>Yes, we can hear you. Go ahead, Denise.>>Oh, crap. I just put, minimized my slides. One of the earlier slides,
he was discussing being able to use the new SmartPay 3 card
for, like, delivery orders and the automatic billing
and stuff like that and having one big bill
come in versus the way that they were coming
in once before. And, that’s where I
kind of got confused. It was kind of like if you’re
getting one big bill, now, who’s reconciling them?>>Okay. And, you know, we had, are you a purchase
cardholder today?>>Yep. I’m a credit, yeah. I’m a contracting officer
and a credit cardholder.>>Fabulous. So, you know how the
reconciliation works with an individual card.>>Yes, I do.>>Right. So, we would continue
to have that model, and then, what we’re talking about
with payment offices is, and I don’t want to take you all
into a lot of technical detail, but the concept is
that if an agency out of its payment
office decided to pay with a cardless product,
there are ways that certain data
would have to be. For example, you know
what a PID is, right?>>Um-hmm.>>Okay. Procurement
Incident Identifier, like a contract number, a
MOD number, a task order, delivery order number. Right. So, the idea would be a
concept, if an agency decided, well, we’re going
to pay this invoice with the cardless product, that when they sent the
payment information, they would also send the PID. And, that PID would be
repeated back by the bank after it processed the payment, fed back to the agency’s
accounting system, and the accounting system would
automatically reconcile using that information from the
bank including the PID.>>Okay. All right. That makes sense now.>>Does that make sense?>>It makes sense now.>>I made sense? Well, doggone it. My job is to bamboozle people.>>Well, better luck next time.>>Thank you.>>Thank you.>>Yeah, well, I’ll try next. I’ll see what the
next question is. Maybe I can make
up for it there.>>One more question, David,
it says, “How will the gov to gov payments work, and will
all gov agencies have access or use to this feature?”>>Okay, and this is where the
issue of agency policy comes into effect, and I also
want to make this point about the micro purchase
authority. And, I kind of touched
on it tangentially, but I want to make sure it’s
crystal clear is your agency’s use of a higher micro purchase
threshold and your agency’s use of some of the products and
services that I’ve talked about with SmartPay 3 is really up to what your agency’s
management decides to make available to you. And, depending upon your
mission and other factors, agencies will choose to deploy
these things in different ways or perhaps not use them at all. It really depends on
that particular agency’s, you know, operating situation. So, in terms of g to g, if your
agency allows you to use a card for g to g, it operates
just like it does with any other merchant. You know, for example,
and I’m making this up because FCC might
not accept cards for, maybe there’s somebody
from FCC on the line who would like to comment. But, let’s say your
agency buys radio licenses, radio frequency licenses from
FCC and FCC accepts charge cards for the purchase
of those licenses. You would, you know, you
would go to their site, assuming they have a website
to buy those licenses, and you would put the card
information and the CVV number, that little three digit thing
on the back, just like you would with any other vendor. So, one of the beauties
of using the card or either a cardless
process if it can be used for this purpose as well. And, this is why we hear
from agencies about why they, you know, might use one of our
products for intergovernmental as opposed to other payment
methods is it’s simple. Right? And, it can be
deployed to people, you know, across the footprint
of the organization where it’s appropriate to do so. So, there’s no real change to
how it gets used for g to g, and that’s kind of
the beauty of it. But, again, your agency has
decided to use that tool, and when your agency is
placing its task order, generally speaking, it
has to tell, you know, our contractor bank, yes, you
know, if you’re in agriculture, for example, you have to
select that you’re going to want these services unless
they’re standard services under what we call tier one. And, again, we’re talking
with your card managers about the structure
of all our contracts and what’s available under them. There are, there are
tier one offerings which are standard
offerings, and those are things like the typical cards
that we’ve been talking about and these epayables. And then, there are two tier
two offerings which are almost like optional offerings
based on what that particular contractor bank
chooses to offer in addition to the tier one products. And, some of those things
are pretty cool things that are worth agencies
looking at, in my opinion. But, fundamentally, for g to
g, if your agency allowed you to use it or will allow you
to use it, and that’s part of why we’re having this
discussion is I wanted to make you aware of these tools because if your agency’s
currently not using them, or say, you weren’t using
g to g for, using SmartPay under SmartPay 2 because of the
interchange rates and the costs, now, all of a sudden,
with SmartPay 3, we don’t have interchange rates. We have a fixed per
transaction cost regardless of the dollar amount. So, it’s kind of a different,
you know, kettle of fish. You might want to revisit this
issue within your agency and see if this is a product
that would help you in meeting your mission
requirements. But, bottom line, it should
operate just like it does for any other transaction. Next question.>>Okay. One more. Regarding the PID numbers,
will numbers be generated in the correct agency
PID numbering sequence. If so, what system is in place
to prevent duplicate PIDs and buyer generating
an award in prism? Is there a potential
for a duplicate PID used for the purchase card buy?>>You know, there’s a
commercial on television for some eyeglass company,
and there’s a cable guy on a cherry picker up
on a telephone pole. And, this owl is speaking
to him, talking to him about glasses, and the
guy’s like, well, yeah, I’m going to go check this out. That sounds like a great deal. And then, the owl
says, by the way, you charge too much for cable. And, the guy says, “Not
my department, dude.” And, the owl says, “Really?” Well, PIDs aren’t my department,
but I would say this is that my understanding is there’s
a requirement in the data act for agency financial
systems to include the PID. And so, the idea in concept,
and I want to be careful here because your agency may
not be doing this yet. Those of you that are involved
in these kind of things know that these issues aren’t
as simple as they sound. Even getting the
entire government to issue contract numbers in a
standard format was a huge deal, and so this kind of thing
isn’t a small matter. But, in concept at the 100,000
foot level, the idea is the, I believe, that the
procurement systems are going to feed the PID to
the financial system. So, you’re asking a really,
really interesting question, and since I am not the Wizard of
PIDs in the federal government, I really can’t give
you the final answer. But, the idea is that
if the PID, in fact, is in the agency
financial system for that payment
transaction, but that, then, would support use
of a SmartPay card with cardless payment
process because, in theory, you could use that PID to support auto reconciliation
of the transaction. Does that make sense? Yes, no? Hello, is
this thing working?>>It’s working. We will see if the individual who asked the question
has any further comments. Just stay tuned on the.>>Right. I mean,
I, yeah, I can’t.>>Peggy said, “Yes, thank you.”>>Yeah, I can’t speak to
preventing duplicate PIDs, as wonderful of a
topic as that is. I’m hoping in these
other systems, they’ll do something
to deal with that. So, any other questions?>>Yep. One more. Sorry. I keep saying
that, but I’m going to just keep saying that.>>No, bring it. Hey, folks. Bring it. Don’t be shy.>>Like your personal trainer. One more. Come on,
just one more. One more.>>Hey, I’m up for
it, Stephanie. Bring it. Come on,
let’s go folks. Go ahead.>>This one’s an easy, this
is an easy [inaudible]. Will Citibank and US bank
both have purchase, travel, and fleet cards, or will
one bank be offering travel and the other be
offering purchase cards?>>No, both banks are required
by our master contracts, which by the way, have
been awarded, to offer, it was mandatory for
them to offer purchase, travel, and fleet products. So, both banks offer a
full range of products. So, you know, keep in mind
what we’re really doing here is when GSA goes through the
work to award the master con, you’re sitting there going,
oh, well, what does GSA do? Well, we worked for
two years, you know, developing requirements, having
meetings with stakeholders, doing market research, talking
with customer agencies about, hey, what worked well under
SmartPay 2, what didn’t work that well, what are
you looking for, what are the things that we do? Because, remember, on this
program, we get no appropriation to manage this program for you. We get funded out of
agencies using us. So, if you don’t use the
program, we don’t exist, right? So, we have a very, very
strong incentive to provide you with the best range of innovative commercial
payment products that generate revenue
that we can. In fact, some of you may know
this, GSA, and I know some of you may feel GSA
surveys you to death. And, the reason we do that
is because we love you, but of the programs
that GSA surveys under what’s called a
customer loyalty survey that our Chief Customer Service
Officer organization puts out every year, GSA is, GSA
SmartPay is included in that. And, we’re the top rated
program for customer loyalty and in the top three
for customer service of the program survey as
recently as last year. And, we’ve been within
the top three for like the past
five years or so. So, we’re really, really
dedicated to making sure that we provide your agency the
best possible service, and so, with these banks, after
we do all that work and award these master
contracts, it’s basically like giving them
hunting licenses, right? And, unlike a normal
contract where, when you’re buying something,
you’re trying to get them to bid the price down and/or
negotiate a lower price, the way SmartPay works is most of the pricing is
based on refunds. And so, what happens is say
you’re at Navy, for example. These two banks, you’re going
to have the second layer of competition, right? We had the first
layer of competition to award the master contracts. We awarded to Citi and US Bank. Now, we turn them loose to
pursue agency business, right? And so, they’re now
competing or have competed for your agency business,
and the pricing is in terms of refunds, cash back to your
agency, not in terms of outflows of cash to pay the
banks for services. Right? It’s a lot like
the cell phone business in the sense the cell phone
carriers make the money off use of a service, right? I mean, the model for buying
devices has changed recently, and I get that. But, fundamentally, the money
they make is off the service. Well, it’s the same with
these banks and SmartPay, and you know, again,
the way that we operate, we have great incentives to
provide you with the best and latest commercial pools because otherwise,
we close the doors. Right? If you don’t use us,
we have no appropriation. We’re not there. So, full range of
products from both banks. They are very aggressive
competitors for your agency business, and I
think you’re going to be pleased with the way you see your
agency’s SmartPay 3 task order turn out. And, I’m, I’ll boast
a minute here. I’m especially proud of my
team here in CCCM at GSA. The contracting people
who support us. Tiffany Hickson, our Assistant
Commissioner, Sherry Medina, the Director of Program
Operations, Stephanie’s help in communication and
Maureen Duckworth in setting up this session. And, we’re really
pulling together to do the very best
we can for all of you because you’re the reason we
exist, and we’re very grateful, again, that you’re here
today on this call. So.>>You don’t get to go yet. Hold on.>>With that, I’ll.>>No, more questions
keep coming.>>Okay. I don’t mind. I don’t mind.>>You up for it? We got a few more minutes,
so we’ll try to get through these quickly.>>Well, I don’t, no, I was
going to shampoo the cat, but I guess I’ll put
that on hold for now. Go ahead.>>Okay. All right. When will the contract award
announcement be forwarded to cardholders and others?>>Okay. And, by this, I think
the person asking the question actually means the task
group for that agency and the information about,
within that person’s agency about new cards being issued and
training and things like that. We have developed templates and
tools for the card managers. Now, keep in mind, within
an agency, you know, we have these people called
A/OPCs, some of whom are on our call with us today. So, A/OPC stands for Agency or Organization Program
Coordinator, and there’s what we
call a level one A/OPC at your agency headquarters
in most cases. If you’re in DOD, within the
services, it may be a level two. The level one would
be at the DOD level. And then, you’ve got A/OPCs
down into the field structure of your organization, if
you have a field structure. So, for example, if you’re in
the National Business Center at the, in the Department of
Interior in Denver or you’re in the National Interagency
Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, you know, with either, you
know, PLM or Forest Service or whatever, chances are,
you’ve got an A/OPC somewhere, either there with you or
assigned to your component. And, that A/OPC will
probably be part of the communication network in
getting the word out in terms of what’s coming down the pike. Those A/OPC’s will also be
answering your questions. Now, we have templates
and guides on our website for the card managers that
they can use in starting to push the word out,
and I think with a lot of the task orders, you
know, we started to see some of the earliest ones be
awarded in January of this year. It was a trickle. The master contracts that
the GSA awarded were awarded last August. And then, we saw more task
orders start to drop as you get into March April and now,
leading up through June. So, as the agencies are getting
their task orders in place, you’re, then, going to
see them pivot and start to do these internal
agency communications about what’s going to be
happening with new cards and all these other
issues that I listed. So, we at GSA are
also going to push out centrally some
communications about the changes in the cards that are coming. It’s not like the good old days. Some of you might have been around for SmartPay
1 to SmartPay 2. We had actually been
able to pay for ads in certain government
publications. I remember one of my
favorite ads was a gentleman with a briefcase or a
small suitcase running. And, the caption
underneath said something about GSA SmartPay 2 is coming. And so, we were putting
out this messaging to alert agency cardholders,
hey, be aware. This big change is coming. But, unfortunately, you
know, the whole world of print media has,
or fortunately or unfortunately depending
on your perspective, has changed a lot
since ten years ago. So, I think you’re
going to see electronic, more electronic communications
from us, but ultimately, it is up to your agency card
managers to get that information out because they’re the ones
that are going to be able to tell you what bank that
you’re agency went with, what the timeline’s going to be,
what the procedures are going to be for getting
things in place with, for the new cards
under SmartPay 3. Other questions?>>All right. Thank you, there are a
couple of other questions, but in the essence of time,
David, I think we’ll pause here and we’ll close today’s webinar. We will, those of you
that have asked questions, we will get back to you individually
with those questions. We do capture them through
this meeting space here, and we will be able to get
back to you individually. So, thank you. Just a couple last minute
housekeeping things. On the screen there are
some surveys and polls if you have input for us
on improving these webinars or future topics,
we’d appreciate it. If you have not yet put your
email address into the CLP pod on the lower right hand
corner, make sure you do that so you can get the
credits for participating today. And then, in the upper left,
we’ve listed a few links to participate in
future spotlight webinars or also our professional
services monthly office hours. So, we encourage you to
participate there, and go ahead and put those, mark
those on your calendar. We will be sending out an email
with a presentation and follow up to everybody, so for
now, I will wrap it up. Thank you, David, for your time,
an hour and a half of talking. Good job. I really
appreciate that. Any last words of wisdom?>>I just want to say
thank you to everybody. I hope it was an
informative presentation. Appreciate your continued
use of SmartPay products, and we hope that SmartPay 3 is
going to get another evolution and an excellent
support to your agency. Thank you very much, and have
a great remainder of the day.>>Okay, great.>>Thank you. Job well done.>>Thank you.>>Thanks, everybody.>>Bye-bye.>>Bye.

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