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Agency/Organization Program Coordinators (A/OPCs) Fleet Training

Lesson 3: Fleet Card/Account Use and Payment Solutions

What can card/account holders buy using their GSA SmartPay® Fleet card/account?

It is important for card/account holders to understand the limits on fleet card/account use and to manage their purchases against those limits.

The federal government or other authorized employees are permitted to use the fleet cards/account to make authorized purchases as determined by the agency/organization. Typically, fleet cards/accounts are used to purchase fuel, maintenance and repair for government owned/operated vehicles.

Examples of authorized purchases include:

  • Regular unleaded self service fuel.
  • Immediately consumable items for vehicles (quart of oil, washer fluid, etc.).
  • Required preventative maintenance.
  • Car washes (not to exceed $25 per month or as determined by your agency).
  • Mechanical repairs.

Examples of unauthorized purchases include:

  • Premium or full service fueling.
  • Maps, air fresheners, food, etc.
  • Buying services in excess of required repairs.
  • Excessive car washes or details.
  • Upgrading tires or accessories (which may vary depending on specific agency policy).

If a purchase appears questionable, card/account holders can reach out to their A/OPC or contracting office for guidance.

What are some of the strategic payment solutions offered under GSA SmartPay 3?

Strategic payment solutions provide agencies/organizations with increased payment flexibilities and strategies for making payments.

Strategic payment solutions offered under the GSA SmartPay 3 Master Contract include:


  • Replaces the accounts payables process such that electronic transactions take place directly between the government and the supplier.
  • Typically used with merchants who are traditionally paid by convenience check or electronic funds transfer (EFT) and do not accept charge card payments.
  • Examples include straight-through processing, buyer-initiated payments, supplier-initiated payments, procure-to-pay and other card-not-present solutions.

Mobile Application

  • Provides the ability to access the Electronic Access System (EAS), pay invoices, receive text/email alerts and view statement and payment information over a mobile device.
  • Upon request, your contractor bank provides mobile application capabilities at no additional cost.

Mobile Payments

  • Your contractor bank provides the ability for card/account holders to make secure payments using a mobile device at the point-of-sale (POS).

Net Billing

  • The process of ensuring that merchant discounts or refunds offered are deducted at the POS and guaranteeing such discount arrangements.
  • The contractor bank ensures that discount information is identified on the invoice and passed to the agency/organization, when available.
  • For example: If Mark purchased a toner cartridge for $100 and the merchant offers a government discount of $4.00 to the agency/organization based on existing agreements, the contractor bank shall net bill only $96 for the transaction.

Single-Use Account (SUAs)

  • Leverages a single virtual account number for each payment.
  • The limit on each account is set to the specific payment amount.
  • Internal controls such as Merchant Category Code (MCC) blocks, spend limits, timeframes and account expiration dates can be used for increased control.
  • Agencies also have the ability to append accounting data for seamless reconciliation.
  • Examples of use include invoice and contract payments, which help to ensure that merchants are not able to charge more than approved amounts.
  • Benefits include:
    • Accounts can be activated in real time.
    • Controls can be placed on account, allowing for increased oversight of spend
    • Disposable, one-time use account numbers reduce the risk of fraud.
    • Seamless reconciliation.
    • Reduces the necessity for using convenience checks.


  • Use of a secure, unique “token” in place of a 16-digit account number to provide extra security for transactions.

Virtual Cards

  • One-time use account numbers that may be used during a limited time, for a limited amount and possibly for a specific merchant.

Ghost Cards

  • For agencies who frequently do business with one merchant and have recurring payments.
  • An account number can be assigned to the merchant and authorized agency personnel transactions occur without having to use multiple cards or accounts.
  • Many agencies use this product for purchases such as airline tickets.
  • Benefits may include:
    • Reduced number of open accounts (payment processing and oversight easier).
    • Allows for multiple users.
    • Allows for a high level of control.
    • Reduces the risk of lost or stolen cards.

What is Section 889 and how does it apply to purchases?

Section 889 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 (P.L. 115-232 [PDF, 789 pages]) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Case 2018-017 prohibit the purchase of covered telecommunications equipment and services from merchants who sell products containing spyware. These devices could pose a threat to U.S. security by spying on or disrupting communications within the U.S. Therefore, purchase card/account holders should follow their agency’s policy regarding Section 889 compliance.


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