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Implementing a One Card Program for PCard and T&E


With a One Card program design, many companies have reduced their overall process effort and cost simplified the program administration function and enhanced overall employee satisfaction with their cardholder services.  Some of the benefits of the One Card model include higher spend rebates, consolidated account management, enhanced expense reporting, a streamlined data feed, simplified accounting, and increased ease of use for the cardholder.  However, there are some inherent challenges with implementing the One Card design, including transition costs, cardholder training, the potential need for new technology, more complex spend controls, program administration re-engineering, and increased card liability management.

iPollingTM Results Review

Recently, a poll was administered to the Peeriosity Corporate Card membership utilizing the iPollingTM technology that dealt with the use of the One Card program structure.  The first poll question looked at the status of utilizing the One Card design, with 35% having implemented it.  Another 12% are currently evaluating this design and 6% went through the evaluation process and decided not to proceed.  The remaining companies have either not evaluated this option (41%) or tried to implement it and were not successful (6%).

iPolling: status of Implementing a One Card Program

The second poll question then addressed what is (or was) the biggest challenge to moving from separate T&E and Purchasing Card programs to a One Card solution for those companies that have done so.  The results are interesting, with 25% of the participating companies indicating that the biggest challenge was the difficulty in finding a global solution for both programs combined.  Another 13% found that their ability to focus on implementing a One Card solution is limited as a result of other pressing issues, while 12% said that change management issues such as those related to cardholder training were most difficult.  Of the 50% of the companies that indicated other challenges as the most difficult, some of those included differences in credit limits, higher potential for risk, the desire to limit which employees receive purchasing card capabilities, and creating appropriate and effective Merchant Category Code (MCC) blocks.

iPolling: biggest challenge to moving from separate T&E to a one card solution

Some of the comments from Peeriosity members regarding this poll topic include the following:

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Member:  We’ve for now decided against this due to a potential increase in risk, differences in purchasing limits between the two cards, and how we expense each type of transaction today.

Computers & Electronics Member: In the US and Canada, we have a PCard program on AMEX, which is a corporate liability card. We also use AMEX for our travel card in North America and Asia, but Citibank is used for Europe. Both the AMEX and Citibank travel cards are employee liability cards. The reason for the difference between the PCard program and Travel card program is only certain administrative folks who have taken special training get the P Card, while we want all our employees who travel (about half the employee base) to have a Travel card.

Manufacturing Member: T&E and PCard are viewed as two separate programs serving separate needs. Both are processed through our expense management system, so administering is not an issue.

Consumer Products & Services Member: I think our biggest challenge has been getting people to understand that it is only one piece of plastic. The other piece is being able to get mostly consistent on MCC blocks across the globe – this has been more challenging than we anticipated due to different MCC structures in different countries.

Non-Profit Member: Having a one-card program is more convenient, but we have had challenges finding a global provider.

Closing Summary

Many companies have found the One Card program design to be an effective approach to their overall Corporate Card strategy.  However, while providing increased simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and higher program rebates in most cases, some companies have determined that the two-card approach is better suited to their overall corporate culture and operating structure. 

What is the status at your company regarding the use of the One Card program design?  Is your current solution meeting your needs or is it time to take another look at this potential alternative?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


 “iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPollingTM.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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