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Procurement-Ready Contracting Strategies – Micro-purchases and GSA SmartPay

08 Aug 2017 08:39 | Valerie Ormond (Administrator)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hosts useful information to assist Veteran small business owners on its website. The following is an excerpt from the VA document on that site, Procurement Readiness – Preparing To Do Business With VA.

“By taking advantage of small contracting opportunities, small businesses can better position themselves to compete for more complex opportunities in the future.

"• Seek micro-purchases or federal procurement opportunities below $3,000. Authorized federal staff can make these purchases using credit cards. Small businesses accepting credit card payments are already eligible to accept government-wide micro-purchase payments. Learn more about the GSA SmartPay program, the world's largest government charge card and commercial payment solutions program.”

I had been told by Procurement Technical Assistance Program counselor two years ago that anyone who accepted a Square was also eligible to be paid via Government credit cards. I’ve never used this option, but thought I would ask the GSA SmartPay staff yesterday if this statement was correct. Here was my question:

Q: As a vendor, I have a question about how I can accept GSA SmartPay. I read this on your website:

“Accepting the GSA SmartPay payment solutions allows your company to maximize Government sales. If you already accept these payment solutions from the commercial sector, there is no additional work as the GSA SmartPay solution operates just like any other corporate solution.  

Government account holders utilize the program to pay for:

Commercial goods and services...”

I currently accept credit cards for payment via Square and PayPal. Does this mean I can accept payment, for example, for a Government micro-purchase?   

And Mr. Milton Vazquez’s (GSA) response – less than 24 hours later:

A: Thanks for reaching out to us.

The short answer to your question is "Yes", you are able to accept the SmartPay2 card today. Any merchant, regardless of the size, that currently have a card acceptance contract is able to take the SmartPay card as payment for services or goods sold to a Federal Government client. The reason: SmartPay2 cards are commercial Visa/MasterCard charge cards issued by banks on behalf of the Government under the SmartPay2 Card Master Contract.

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So, I thought I would share that with our Opps4Vets members. If anyone has micro-purchase or GSA SmartPay experience they would like to share, please leave a comment in the Opps4Vets blog.

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Procurement Readiness – Preparing To Do Business With VA (page 16) and Milton Vazquez, GSA SmartPay

Valerie Ormond

Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC

 


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