Procurement Card Program

Towson University’s procurement card provides the most efficient mechanism for university employees to purchase goods and services valued at $5,000 or less. The procurement card program enables university employees to apply for and receive a Visa card that can be used to make small purchases faster and easier than the standard procurement process.

As a public institution, Towson University must adhere to the policies established by the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW). BPW Advisory No. 1998-1, Corporate Purchasing Card (CPC) - Mandatory Use, requires Towson University to use the CPC or procurement card for delegated purchases. The only allowable exception is when the supplier does not accept the corporate procurement card. Because the University System of Maryland has a delegated threshold of $5,000, the campus should use the procurement card for purchases up to this amount.

Applying for a Procurement Card

As a Towson University employee, you may apply for a procurement card (PDF). Here are a few tips to help you complete the application:

  • Make sure your reviewer (either your immediate supervisor or budget manager) signs the application.
  • If you belong to an academic department, ensure your department head/chair, dean and divisional budget officer sign the application.
  • Submit the original application with applicable approvals.

Procurement Card Training

All new cardholders and their reviewers are required to complete the VISA procurement card training course. The course is administered using BlackBoard and divided into two sections. The VISA procurement card course provides an overview of policies and procedures for cardholders and reviewers. The online procard reallocation and reconciliation system course provides an overview for accessing and using the procard reallocation and reconciliation system.

If you have submitted an application for a procurement card, you will be automatically registered for the course. You can also request procurement card training as part of the University Business Certificate.

Procurement Card Policies and Procedures

The Comptroller of Maryland's General Accounting Division provides central management and administration for the state corporate purchasing card program. State agencies must comply with policies, procedures and instructions contained in the state of Maryland corporate purchasing card manual. Failure to comply will result in the suspension and/or termination of cards.

While it is the intent of the program to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency's small dollar procurements, nothing in the policy and/or procedures is intended to replace current policy and/or procedures defined in the finance and procurement article or in COMAR Title 21, or included in Towson University’s internal policies and procedures. The guidelines in the manual are to act as the minimum standards for the operation of the corporate purchasing card program.

As agencies may establish supplemental procedures that are more stringent than the rules established in this manual, Towson University has established its own procedures as indicated in our corporate procurement card program policies and procedures manual (PDF).

In addition to the manuals linked above, Towson University has established policy 08-03.03 on restricted and/or prohibited purchases (PDF) pursuant to the state of Maryland General Accounting Division accounting procedures manual. Please remember, allowable expenditures apply to all purchases regardless of the source of funds (e.g., state support, self-support, grant). By adhering to this policy, cardholders will avoid being required to return merchandise to the vendor or being required to personally reimburse the university.

MCCG Restrictions

Vendors who accept VISA credit cards should accept the state of Maryland corporate purchasing card. However, certain categories of merchandise and services are restricted from being purchased using the state of Maryland corporate purchasing card. Vendors register with VISA under a specific merchant category code group (MCCG). The MCCG number usually corresponds to the type of merchandise or service a vendor supplies. The following list of MCCG numbers is restricted from purchases using the state of Maryland corporate purchasing card:

  • 6010 through 6051 - Service Providers; total group restriction (financial institutions, security brokers, timeshares, etc.)
  • 7221 through 7299 (except #7296) - clothing, costume and uniform rental - Personal Service Providers; photographic studios, beauty and barber shops, funeral services and crematories, dating and escort services)
  • 7832 through 7997, and 7999 - Amusement and Entertainment; motion picture theatres, bowling alleys, video game clubs, betting, golf, etc.
  • 5813 - Drinking establishments (alcoholic beverages)
  • 5812 - Eating places (restaurants)
  • 5814  - Fast food restaurants
  • 5921 - Package goods stores (beer, wine and liquor)

Attempts to purchase from vendors registered under any of the above MCCG numbers will result in rejected transactions. No purchases for these groups and/or items are allowed under the corporate purchasing card program.

If you would like to check the MCCG of a merchant prior to attempting a purchase, see the VISA Supplier Locator.

Compliance Review Program

Towson University’s procurement card program is subject to audits by TU internal auditor, University System of Maryland (USM) auditors; and legislative auditors. In addition, transaction histories can be viewed at any time by anyone; the records are public. In order to ensure that our program remains in good standing, the Procurement Department and Financial Services have jointly established a compliance review program. See a summary of the compliance review program (PDF) or access the compliance review procedures (PDF) and the sample compliance review form (PDF).

Online Reallocation & Reconciliation System

The online reallocation and reconciliation system, developed through the combined efforts of Financial Services and the Office Technology Services, is a custom program that allows university cardholders to easily manage monthly transactions. If you have any questions regarding use of the site or trouble accessing to the site, see the reallocation and reconciliation system manual (PDF) or contact Financial Services at .

Disputing a Charge

An incorrect charge on your bank statement must be disputed within the deadline established by the bank. The deadline of the bank currently under the state contract is within 60 days of the transaction date. The dispute may result from a merchant's refusal to take back an item, the amount charged differs from the receipt, the amount is a duplicate charge, the merchant is not recognized, etc.

The cardholder should first attempt to resolve the problem with the merchant. If this attempt is not satisfactory, please contact .

The cardholder's monthly log should document all disputed transactions. The bank will issue a credit to the cardholder's VISA account for the disputed amount, pending dispute resolution. The cardholder should verify that the credit appears on the next monthly bank statement. The bank will notify the cardholder of the resolution after investigation. If the cardholder is not satisfied with the bank's resolution, they should immediately contact .