Purchasing Card

When to Use the Purchasing Card

The purpose of WHOI’s purchasing card program is to eliminate most of the paperwork associated with purchases of and payment for goods and services costing less than $2,500. You will be able to make these purchases by using the WHOI Purchasing MasterCard instead of a purchase order or request for payment.

How to Use the Purchasing Card

Many of the suppliers and merchants with whom WHOI does business accept MasterCard as payment for purchases. Placing orders with suppliers can be done in person, over the phone or “on line” using the MasterCard as an ordering and payment mechanism. Charges made with this card are then electronically posted to WHOI’s on-line purchasing card system. When this occurs, as the cardholder, you will receive an e-mail notification. By simply going to the Web site noted in this e-mail, you can review your purchase, assign it to the appropriate account information and note the preprinted tracking number. This number comes from the Accounts Payable provided envelope used to forward your receipts. Once approved by the appropriate staff member within your department, payments will be processed electronically, eliminating the need for any additional paperwork.

What's Different About this Card

The WHOI Purchasing Card program is different from any travel card program, which you may be familiar with. First off, all liability for transactions made on the card are the responsibility of the institution. You will not need to be reimbursed for purchases made on the card, as you will not be expected to make payment.

Secondly, the program is geared strictly to purchase transactions. As such, we are able to set each card with specific perimeters that will limit the use of the card before a purchase is completed. Your card will have specific limits relating to the value of the purchase to be made, the number of times a card can be used in a certain period and what categories of suppliers the card can be used with. 

These features allow the institution to issue cards without involving your personal credit or effect your credit history.

Why Use the Purchasing Card?

The purchasing card program streamlines the purchasing and payment process and gives you the following improvements:

  • Orders are placed with more accuracy and speed as you, the person who needs the goods or service, are interacting directly with the supplier.
  • Goods and services arrive faster and to the exact location you designate.
  • Time consuming approval processes are done before you receive your card.
  • Paperwork is greatly reduced.
  • You do not need to use personal funds or credit to purchase the supplies needed to do your job.
  • Your supplier is happy as they receive payment from MasterCard within three business days.
  • Fewer Purchase Orders and checks need to be issued.
  • One-time vendors do not need to be added to our vendor database.
  • Saving time and paperwork are important goals for all of us. The purchasing card program will help us meet these goals.

Last updated: July 14, 2014