The government has started making a shift in the way they are accepting credit cards and something you need to be aware of and prepare for. When the GSA SmartPay program was initiated in 1989 level-3 data was not a requirement. That is starting to change. GSA has added Level-3 processing as a requirement for some of the contracts recently awarded, especially the Strategic Sourcing BPAs on GSA Schedule. The government is also encouraging buyers to look for vendors who can provide level 3 data.
As level-3 data becomes a requirement for more SmartPay contracts, it’s becoming increasingly important for contractors to ensure they have the ability to process Level-3 Transaction Data. Vendors that don’t risk cutting off a significant portion of their customer base.
Level-3 processing will be a requirement for all GSA/MAS schedules in the future so make sure your prepared.
There are two main initiatives underway with the GSA to streamline the SmartPay program and require Level 3 data with each SmartPay card transaction
1. Point of Sale Transactional Data (PoST)
The PoST pilot program includes two components that bring value to GSA’s customers by participating schedule vendors:
- Provide customers with Level-3 transactional data on all orders placed with the GSA SmartPay Card.
- Provide GSA SmartPay card holders with a point of sale discount equal to or better than the vendor’s schedule price on all purchases through all ordering channels, including mail order, telephone order, email, vendor commercial websites and retail sales in physical storefronts, unless the customer specifies the use of another contracting vehicle.
The Level-3 data, along with the point of sale discount, will enable customers to automatically obtain schedule pricing and more data on their purchases.
Currently, there are some vendors who are voluntarily providing point of sale discounts and level-3 data to customers. The PoST pilot will standardize this practice for the vendors who participate in the pilot. Both of the PoST components are in demand by federal customers, and participating vendors may experience increased interest from customers who want either or both of the components of the PoST pilot.
Schedule 67 Photo Equipment, Supplies, Services
||Photographic Services and Solutions
||Cameras and Accessories
Schedule 51 V Hardware SuperStore
||Hardware Store, Home Improvement Center, or MRO – Store Front
||Hardware Store, Home Improvement Center, or MRO – Catalog
Schedule 58 I Professional Audio/Video, Telemetry/Tracking, Recording/Reproducing, and Signal Data Solutions
||Recording and Reproducing Video and Audio Equipment, including Spare & Repair Parts, and Accessories
||Monitors and Monitors/Receivers, including Spare & Repair Parts, and Accessories
||Television Cameras, Color or Monochrome, including Spare & Repair Parts, and Accessories
||Audio Equipment, including Spare & Repair Parts, and Accessories
||Telecommunications Equipment, including Spare & Repair Parts, and Accessories
||Introduction of New Products, including Spare & Repair Parts, and Accessories
||Televisions for Hospitals, Hotels and Motels
||VCRs, VCP, DVD
2. Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI)
Strategic sourcing is the structured and collaborative process of critically analyzing an organization’s spending patterns to better leverage its purchasing power, reduce costs and improve overall performance. The primary goals of FSSI are to:
- Strategically source across federal agencies;
- Establish mechanisms to increase total cost savings, value, and socioeconomic participation;
- Collaborate with industry to develop optimal solutions;
- Share best practices; and
- Create a strategic sourcing community of practice.
Federal government purchasing is decentralized, and there are duplicative contracts over many organizational components. Procurement is limited by the number of contracts, the prices paid on the contracts, and the number of other existing government wide or agency-wide solutions. This results in significant price variations across the government for the same products and services, sometimes with the same contractor.
FSSI has been implementing strategic sourcing solutions for the government since 2005. FSSI has proven results that include cost savings, improved management visibility and adoption of industry and government agency best practices. FSSI has helped improve the government management of commonly purchased goods and services.
FSSI solutions provide easy access to its procurement vehicles, which offer business intelligence, best practice solutions, and greater discounts with volume increases.
Additional benefits include that they:
- Fulfill OMB’s requirement for cross-government FSSI participation;
- Assist with socioeconomic goals;
- Collect and analyzes data;
- Identify trends;
- Re-engineer business processes;
- Replicate cost-saving business processes;
- Share lessons learned and best practices;
- Realize cost efficiencies;
- Streamline the procurement process;
- Drive additional discounts.
Current FSSI commodity solutions include:
FSSI commodity solutions coming soon are:
- SmartBUY (FSSI SB 2.0); and
- Information Resources (FSSI IR)
GSA published a presentation that clarified the relationship between the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) and the need for Level-3 Data. Its Entitled “Point-Of-Sale Discounts for SmartPay® Cards,” it can be accessed here.
GSA is moving toward mandating GSA Schedule holders to become Level-3 compliant, incorporating Level 3 technology makes you look more appealing to government buyers, simplify operations , while substantially reducing your costs for accepting credit cards, even to the point of offsetting the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF).
Revolution Payment Systems is here to answer any questions you may have regarding level 3 processing. We have a proven track record of almost 20 years helping merchants just like you qualify government and commercial transactions more efficiently.
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Revolution Payment Systems
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Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone:888 790 3450
Fax: 877 901 3181