Purchasing Card Procedures (Specialised Status)

All University Purchasing Cards are issued as “specialist status” and should only be used for purchases of non-restricted commodities from a supplier that accept MasterCard as a form of payment. Specialist status enables User Departments to:

  • Provide users with an efficient means of ordering
  • Enables ‘specialist’ areas to be self-sufficient
  • Eliminates “no value added” processes

Corporate cards: these are similar to Purchase Cards and are generally only issued to Senior Officers, these can be taken off Campus and money can be cashed from them. The breakdown of the Card Creditor account (96788) features all the ledger entries of all the purchases as credits, and all the payments made to the bank as debit, leaving a residual credit of the outstanding balance.

Primary examples

  1. Specialist on-line publications or input of personalised data requiring a Card payment transaction
  2. Non-standard requirements, such as materials used for one-off projects where permissible
  3. Equipment, parts and emergency repairs – Estates usage only
  4. Printing, Design and Film/Media – Creative Media usage only
  5. CAS Payments – HR usage only
  6. Journals – Library Services only
  7. Catering – Fresh Thinking only

Cards should not be used for requirements that already have suppliers or contracts in place, please note that under Oracle, card purchasing activity is monitored and cards will be withdrawn or closed for use outside the specialist remit.

Restricted items

The Purchasing Card cannot be used for the following items

  • ALL items intended for personal use
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fuel or water services
  • Capital Equipment
  • Computer Hardware, Software and Peripherals
  • Software Licensing Agreements
  • Construction, Renovation and Installation Services
  • Radioactive and Hazardous Material
  • Leases/Rentals requiring a signed agreement
  • Maintenance/Service Agreements requiring a signed agreement
  • Printers and Toner Cartridges and Window Cleaning
  • Cash Advances
  • Charitable Donations
  • Professional and Consulting services
  • Chemicals
  • Furniture and Furniture Related Items
  • Gift Cards
  • Laboratory consumables
  • Entertainment (including meals)
  • Prescription drugs or other controlled substances
  • White goods
  • Temp Agencies
  • Travel and entertainment related expenses (including airline tickets)

For any questions about whether or not a Purchasing Card can be used please contact the Buying Team.  Please refer to HE Contracts for a list of approved suppliers.

Key consideration

Purchasing Card functionality is available through the University Buying Team, therefore requisitions can be raised in Oracle for Card orders to be placed on your behalf. When considering your requirements for Card use, please consider the following;

  1. Confirm that the purchase is appropriate for the Purchasing Card by referring to the list of restricted items.
  2. Does a University contract already exist for this requirement? Check if the product or service is available from the University’s Preferred/Approved Supplier list by referring to HE Contracts. 
  3. If your requirement is “ongoing” can a; contract, supplier and call-off order be set up for you?       
  4. Is this requirement necessary?
  5. Check the total costs including handling charges will not exceed transaction limits.
  6. Make sure that you are obtaining best possible price.
  7. Update the Purchase Card Transaction Log straight away.
  8. Reconcile transactions on SDOL at least fortnightly.

Card use with Oracle

All Card transactions must be accompanied by a “requisition” placed in Oracle, the supplier must be named as “RBS”. The requisition should match the RBS “Standard Data on-Line” (SDOL) upload to ensure budgets are charged correctly and items in “query” are diminished.

Returns, Damaged Goods and Refunds

If goods are purchased using a Purchasing Card and need to be returned, the Purchase Card Holder or Requisitioner should contact the supplier to arrange a return and refund.

  • Advise End User to contact you as soon as they find a fault with the item/delivery.
  • End User must retain original packaging as some suppliers will not accept a return without the goods in its original packaging.
  • Keep original goods receipt note or packing slip which may contain details or instructions for returning an item.
  • Some suppliers require you to obtain a returns reference number before they will accept a return.  Always check this with the supplier.
  • There may be a re-stocking fee. Check you are not responsible for this if the supplier is responsible for the error
  • Make sure that the refund for the returned items do not appear on SDOL or is credited properly.

Documentation and Record Keeping

Purchase Card Holders must retain original receipts for all their transactions.  This documentation is subject to audit checks and therefore must be maintained and easily accessible.

Cardholders are responsible for obtaining documentation necessary to support the business purchase.  This documentation must be supported in one of the following methods:

  • Actual credit card receipt/slip
  • Registration / Order Form / Renewal notice
  • Supplier Invoice
  • Email or scanned receipt
  • Goods Receipt Note / Packing Slip / Delivery Note
  • Online order confirmation (screen print out or email).

Procurement Purchase Card Review

Additional checks will be conducted periodically by the Buying Manager to review

  • Purchases of restricted items
  • Potentially fraudulent charges
  • Properly maintained documentation and Transactions log.

Always keep your card in a secure place. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to report lost or stolen cards or fraudulent transactions immediately.

Validation with RBS

When a Purchase Order for the Supplier RBS is generated by processing Requisitions, two fields have to be updated before the Purchase Order is submitted for Approval.  On the Schedules line, ensure the Match Approval Level is set to “2” and Receipt Close Tolerance Percent is set to “100”. Setting these two fields will automatically untick the “Accrue on Receipt”.  When the Purchase Order is submitted, the Line Status is updated to Closed for Receiving.

If the Purchase Order is submitted before the two fields are updated, a Buyer can edit the Purchase Order and update accordingly.  The update will not create a Purchase Order Change.

When an Invoice is matched to the RBS Purchase Order, the accounting is now driven from Invoice and there is no requirement to receipt the Purchase Order.

There are no specific rules on who is given a purchase card. They are given to those who are deemed to have a need for them based on the requirements of the relevant Budget Centre. There are several different categories of spend, and each card may be permitted to spend only selected categories as agreed with the relevant Budget Centre. Category blockings are used where there are approved suppliers on the University Oracle system. The Bank will take payment by Direct Debit approximately 6 days after that month’s total expenditure. This is charged to budget centres, if anyone is found to be abusing their cards, then the University may take the Card from them, it is not possible to cash money from the purchase card.

How to prevent credit card fraud

In today's information age, your credit card information is at risk for theft.  Fortunately, you can help avoid card fraud by keeping your card information extra safe. Always be on guard for scammers who may try to trick you into giving up your card details.

Keep your credit cards safe

One of the simplest ways to avoid card fraud is by keeping your cards safe from thieves. Keep your card locked away safely in your desk drawer, or somewhere safe if your desk isn’t lockable.

Shred anything with your credit card number on It

Don't toss your receipts or statements directly into the bin; they typically have your full card number printed on them. Shred them to keep thieves from getting their hands on your card number. The same thing applies to old cards that have expired or been cancelled.

You can go a step further and put the shredded pieces in different rubbish bags for the extra eager thieves who might put shredded pages back together.

Avoid giving out your credit card information

Only give your card number or other sensitive information on calls you initiate. When you call your card issuer's customer service, use the number on the back of your card. Don't return calls to a phone number left on your answering machine or sent to you in an email or text message.  It's hard to be sure a scammer hasn't left a fake number for you to call.

Don't give your credit card number to anyone who calls you requesting the number. Credit card thieves have been known to pose as credit card issuers and other businesses to trick you into giving out your credit card number.

Be safe with your credit card online

Don't click on email links from anyone that looks like your bank, credit card company, or other business who uses your personal information, even if the email looks legitimate. These links are often phishing scams and the scammers want to trick you into entering your login information on their fake website. Instead, go directly to that business's website to login to your account.

Make sure you're cautious when you're using your credit card online. Only enter your credit card number on secure websites that you can be 100% sure are legitimate. To be sure a website is secure, look for https:// in the address bar and lock in the lower right corner of your internet browser. Taking these extra steps will help you avoid credit card fraud.

Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately

The sooner you report a missing credit card the sooner your card issuer can cancel your card and prevent fraudulent charges. Reporting your lost or stolen card as soon as possible lowers the likelihood that you'll have to pay for any fraudulent charges. 

Write down your credit card companies' customer service number so you'll have them if your credit cards are ever missing.

Review your billing statements each month

Unauthorized charges on your card are the first sign of card fraud.  If you notice a charge you didn't make, no matter how small, report the charge to your card issuer immediately. Your card issuer will tell you whether you should close your account and get a new account number to avoid credit card fraud.

Make strong passwords and keep them safe

Your card number may be stored in a number of places online. For example, you may save your card on Amazon so you can make one-click purchases. Make sure you use strong passwords with a combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers, and even characters, and avoid writing or sharing your password.  Change your pin and password every few months.

Don’t use public wireless access for financial transactions

Make sure you are using a password-protected wireless signal to check your bank account balance, pay bills and shop so that hackers have less chance to capture your password and account information.

If in doubt, report it!

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