Categories: B2B Payments

UK Urges Higher Government P-Card Limits To Support Suppliers

The U.K. government, angling to jump-start the economy, is urging public entities to negotiate with procurement card providers to raise the limits on what can be spent, according to the National Health Executive.

The government suggested that the limit for single-limit transactions be raised to 20,000 pounds ($24,500) and 100,000 pounds ($122,300) for key card holders, along with a new acceptance of monthly spending over 100,000 pounds to meet business needs.

These recommendations were directed to a number of central government bodies, executive agencies from those local governments, and non-departmental public bodies, in a new Procurement Policy Notice (PPN) published by the government this week.

The intent of this, the PPN said, is to help stimulate the coronavirus-ravaged economy. The virus has slowed almost every sector of the world due to people having to avoid public spaces so as not to spread the virus further. Because of that slowdown, job losses have occurred en masse as companies have found it difficult to retain employees without revenue coming in.

So, the PPN stated that procurement card providers should be encouraged to go the extra mile and raise the limits for transactions.

The PPN stated that any organization with the means to do so should ensure employees can use the cards and are doing so in wide and efficient manners, even though not everyone will necessarily require higher spending limits. And the PPN acknowledged that there will be needs for re-negotiating and setting other limits, but that should happen within the framework the government has dictated.

This announcement, the government said, is just one step being taken to help alleviate the stresses of the virus. The government has also tried to ensure that small businesses don’t have to offer personal guarantees in exchange for financial aid from the virus. Some small businesses had noted that providing the guarantees would have caused them to lose savings.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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