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Procurement Card (P-Card)

(Updated Feb. 27, 2023)

The Procurement Card is a card product benefiting UC Merced and the Cardholder through prompt payment to suppliers for low-dollar purchases of supplies and materials costing up to but not more than $4,999 (including shipping, handling and tax).

Procurement Cards are issued at the discretion of the Procurement Card program administrator to current employees who are granted a formal delegation of departmental purchasing authority. This delegation of authority is established by the Regents of the University of California and is outlined in Business and Finance Bulletin 43.

The Procurement Card process involves the Cardholder, U.S. Bank and Concur.

Procurement Card Benefits

  • Accepted by all vendors that take Visa
  • Ensures payment to vendors within 48 hours
  • Eliminates purchase order and invoice processing
  • Combines ordering and paying into a single process
  • Includes payment information such as transaction date, posting date and vendor name

Special Features

  • Limits transaction amounts to $4,999 (including tax, freight, and handling charges)
  • Limits monthly cycle amount up to $100,000
    • The monthly cycle is the 16th of the month through the 15th of the following month
  • Includes built-in controls that prohibit restricted purchases

Training and Application

Instructor-Led Training

The Procurement Card Team offers virtual instructor-led training on the third Wednesday of each month from 10-11 a.m. To register, go to the registration page in the UC Learning Center for the Procurement Card training (search for "pcard").

Potential cardholders are required to attend the instructor-led training and obtain a certificate of completion before applying for a Procurement Card.

Annual Training

Cardholders are required to complete annual cardholder refresher training. Failure to complete annual refresher training may result in suspending the Cardholder's Procurement Card privileges.


Download a P-Card application, complete it and obtain all approvals. Send the completed application, with your training certificate, to The Procurement Card administrator will review the application and request a card from the managing bank. You will be notified by the Procurement Card team when your card is available.

Procurement Card Expense Process

  1. Cardholder purchases goods
  2. U.S. Bank submits expenses to UC Merced
  3. Expenses are imported into Concur
  4. It is the responsibility of the Cardholder to check their queue for posted expenses after a purchase has been made.
  5. Cardholders must review expenses in a timely manner; it is mandatory that the Cardholder process transactions within 10 business days.
  6. Once submitted, the expense report will be routed to your department financial unit approver for final approval.

Allowable Purchases

You can use your P-Card for most goods under $4,999, including but not limited to:

  • Books and subscriptions
  • Computer supplies and peripherals
  • Electrical supplies
  • Lab supplies
  • Membership fees, online training, and professional dues
  • Conference registrations
  • Office supplies
  • Publications
  • Non-inventorial equipment valued under $5,000

Restricted Purchases

Items not allowed to be purchased with a P-Card include but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol
  • Awards, employee incentive awards, gifts and gift certificates
  • ATM/cash withdrawals and money orders
  • Catering
  • Controlled substances, chemicals, biological substances and radioactive materials
  • Live animals
  • Any gases
  • Equipment valued at over $4,999
  • Equipment rentals
  • Event rentals
  • Food/groceries
  • Foreign purchase (contact CBS2 for processing)
  • Gasoline or diesel fuel
  • General purchases greater than $4,999
  • Independent contractor or consultant services
  • Printing and purchase of marketing and promotional items
  • Meeting refreshments
  • Moving expenses
  • Personal expenses
  • Purchases that require the signing of contractual documents, including maintenance or license agreements and leases
  • Split purchases
  • Temporary staffing services
  • Travel and entertainment expenses
  • All items listed on the special approval or restricted items list: Restricted Commodities Requiring Additional Approval

Placing an Order with a Supplier

Important! Make sure the supplier has the following information:

  • Billing information: Your name, email address, phone number and billing address (campus address with ZIP Code 95343).
  • Shipping information (this is mandatory):

University of California, Merced

Attn: Cardholder or requestor's full name

Phone, building and room number

5200 N. Lake Road

Merced, CA 95343

  • All orders must be shipped to the campus address or an associated university off-site location. Shipments to a personal home address are prohibited.

Declined Transactions

Your card may be declined if the following occurs:

  • Incorrect billing information is provided to the vendor (address, city, state, ZIP code)
  • Purchase amount exceeds the single purchase limit or cycle limit
  • Supplier is restricted
  • Card is inactive
  • The account number is transposed during the sales transaction
  • The transaction falls within U.S. Bank's fraud parameters

If you need assistance with a declined card, please contact U.S. Bank Customer Service at (800) 344-5696.


It is the Cardholder's responsibility to obtain an itemized transaction receipt from the merchant each time the Procurement Card is used and ensure the transaction is processed within the required ten (10) business days.

Each Procurement Card purchase requires the creation of a Concur entry with the following:

  • Itemized receipt
  • Description of the purchased goods in sufficient detail
  • Justified business purpose
  • Relevant Chart of Account (CoA)

What happens if I don't process my transaction(s) within ten (10) business days?

If the transaction(s) is not processed in Concur within ten (10) business days following the transaction date, the transaction will be charged to the dean or associate vice chancellor CoA to ensure expense allocation, and your cardholder privileges will be suspended/revoked. In addition, an official notification of non-compliance will be sent to your chief administrative officer and your dean, associate/assistant vice chancellor or executive director.

For departments and individuals supported by CBS2

Please contact CBS2 for guidance on how to reconcile/process your P-Card transactions.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Responsibilities

CAOs are responsible for the following:

  • Contacting the Procurement Card administrator when Cardholders change departments or leave the university
  • Ensuring Cardholders reconcile their transactions within 10 business days following the transaction date
  • Contacting the Procurement Card administrator for any fraudulent charges committed by the Cardholder

Chart of Accounts (CoA)

The Financial Unit approver is anyone who oversees the use of the Chart of Accounts string attached to a made transaction. Chart of Accounts or CoA is what was formerly known as FAUs.

Please contact your department's Chief Administrative Officers for additional information regarding CoA.


Cardholders are responsible for following up with a vendor regarding any erroneous charges, disputed items or credits that appear on their statements.

All disputed transactions must be submitted within 60 days of the transaction date.

You should file a dispute when you:

  • Are billed for merchandise you never received
  • Have duplicate or incorrect charges the vendor will not credit
  • Are not credited for a return

In case of a dispute, the merchant should be contacted directly by the Cardholder.

The bank will take these actions on your behalf:

  • Work with the vendor to determine if the charge is valid
  • Contact you if further information is required
  • Credit your account while researching the dispute

Please contact U.S. Bank for unresolved disputes: (800) 344-5696

Note: Your account will be adjusted accordingly if the dispute is valid.

Lost/Stolen Card or Fraudulent Charges

Contact the U.S. Bank Fraud Department immediately to report your card lost/stolen or if you have fraudulent charges on your account.

U.S. Bank Fraud Department: (800) 523-9078

My Cardholder Privileges Have Been Suspended/Revoked. What Do I Do?

If your transaction(s) was applied to your default CoA and your cardholder privileges have been suspended/revoked, you must complete the following steps to reinstate your privileges.

  1. Submit a Procurement Card Receipt ServiceNow ticket to CBS2, attaching the associated receipts and requesting assistance transferring expenses to the correct CoA. This must be completed within 60 days of the transaction date, or Accounting will decline your transfer request.
  2. Once the outstanding transaction(s) have been transferred to the correct CoA, submit a Request for Financial Assistance ServiceNow ticket to CBS2 Travel Team, attaching an email approval from your dean, associate/assistant vice chancellor, executive director or chief administrative officer confirming your cardholder privileges can be reinstated.

Repeat offenders will have their Cardholder's Privileges permanently revoked.

Procurement Card Team Audits: How Do I Comply?

The Procurement Card program team conducts ongoing reviews of transactions to ensure the program controls are being followed. This review process identifies transactions that might be considered high risk, as well as trends and usage to manage associated risks for procurement card activity. Card misuse includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Cardholders and departments not complying with Procurement Card policies and UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS43
  • Purchases not authorized as official university business
  • Taxes are correctly applied
  • Purchases shipped to addresses other than UC Merced locations
  • Cardholders not specifying detailed business purpose
  • Split transactions
  • Restricted purchases
  • Personal purchases
  • Purchases that should have been processed with a different payment tool or application

If you are a Cardholder, you may receive an email asking you to provide additional documentation, receipts, and/or a detailed business purpose for selected transactions. If you receive one:

  • Attach the requested documentation and/or provide an updated business purpose.
  • Provide any additional information requested by the auditor

Compliance with Policy, Violations and Consequences

The Procurement Card program team has the authority to investigate and determine whether a violation of procurement policy has occurred and recommend disciplinary actions that may be taken because of such determinations. Violations may result in one or more of the following disciplinary actions:

  • Written warning
  • Mandatory attendance to additional training classes
  • Revocation of Procurement Card privileges,
  • Cancellation of delegation of purchasing authority
  • Termination and/or criminal prosecution

UC Merced will consider the facts and circumstances of each incident and will take action as deemed appropriate and as permitted by applicable law and/or university policy.

Procurement Card policy violations include but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of items for personal use
  • Purchases of restricted items or services
  • Splitting the purchase into more than one transaction to avoid the maximum single transaction limit
  • Failure to process transactions in Concur within 10 business days of the transaction date
  • Allowing transactions to be completed with the Procurement Card by anyone other than the Cardholder

Commonly Requested Forms


U.S. Bank Contacts

  • U.S. Bank 24/hr Customer Service: (800) 344-5696
  • U.S. Bank Fraud Department: (800) 523-9078

P-Card Administrator Contacts

  • P-Card Administrator: Kristi Morales (209) 201-1085
  • P-Card email address:

Contact P-Card Administrator for:

  • Declined purchases (only after contacting the bank)
  • Questions about limits
  • Requests for exceptions
  • Cardholders are changing departments or leaving UC Merced

All communications must be emailed to to ensure timely responses.