Purchase Card Programs

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_3910-1



The purchase (or Purchasing) cards are a bank-provided commercial card technology product designed to increase the efficiency of the low-dollar procure-to-pay process by enabling employee-cardholders to charge purchases, which the organization agrees to pay in full each billing cycle. Cardholders are assigned a monthly credit limit and typically provided with a plastic card. Unlike personal credit cards, the government agency is obligated to pay one bill that summarizes monthly purchases made by all agency cardholders.

A derivative of the purchase card is the “virtual card.” Virtual cards (also known as electronic accounts payable) are nonplastic card accounts used to pay for goods and services after an invoice has been received. The essence of the virtual card is a dynamically-adjustable account, meaning the available credit on the account is adjusted to match a specific transaction to...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Olin School of BusinessWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA