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GSA SmartPay 1st Generation of Federal Government Charge CardsNew Charge Card Program for Travel, Purchase and Fleet Will Simplify Payments and Cut Costs

GSA #9536

November 27, 1998
Contact: Bill Bearden
(202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has announced the beginning of GSA SmartPay, the new federal government charge card program that improves travel, purchase and fleet payment services for federal employees by simplifying payments and cutting administrative costs.

"GSA is dedicated to improving the way the federal government does business. GSA SmartPay facilitates the government's movement toward electronic commerce by providing electronic solutions that streamline processes and improve accountability," said GSA Administrator David J. Barram. "The program is designed to take advantage of technology and encourages the further development of electronic solutions."

The GSA SmartPay program is a government initiative that combines commercially available products and services with unique government requirements and systems. Contracts were awarded earlier this year to Citibank, First National Bank of Chicago, Mellon Bank, NationsBank, and U.S. Bank. Under the program, agencies have the opportunity to combine all their travel, purchase and fleet needs on one integrated card, affording them the opportunity to save time and money administering the program. Federal agencies reviewed the services offered by the companies and then chose the contractor that best met their individual needs.

In addition to services such as ATM, debit cards, and stored value cards, agencies can take advantage of advanced technologies used in smart cards, according to G. Martin Wagner, Associate Administrator of GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy. Wagner said that smart cards provide "a convenient, secure and mobile tool for accessing network-based systems."

Over two million cards have been issued and become effective November 30. Federal cardholders have been issued Visa or MasterCard brand cards for their travel and purchase services, while fleet services are provided through either MasterCard or Voyager brand cards.

The GSA SmartPay contracts run for five years, with five additional one-year options. They cover expenditures that were valued at more than $11 billion in fiscal year 1998.

Frank P. Pugliese, Jr, Commissioner of GSA's Federal Supply Service, which manages the program, stated, "Together with our industry partners, GSA will provide leading edge products and services to our customers. All of us are working as a team to make electronic commerce a reality in the federal workplace."

Pugliese said that federal employees who have any questions about the card changes should contact their agency coordinators in charge of fleet, travel and purchase card programs.

GSA maintains a website that provides information regarding the GSA SmartPay program, including general program information, information geared towards merchants doing business with the Federal Government, and GSA points of contact. The location of the website is http://pub.fss.gsa.gov/services/gsa-smartpay.