Getting Paid Faster

Government suppliers receive quicker payments with purchasing cards

businesses that accept purchasing cards can also gain from being listed on the General Services Administration’s Federal Supply Service schedule, which brings federal customers together with 9,000 different contractors. “In order to be on it,” says Jackson, “it’s mandatory that you accept the purchase card.”

To make that happen, Jackson says small businesses should work with their bank to obtain a merchant card and sign up for either the Visa or MasterCard purchasing card, or both. That requires filling out an application and shopping around for a good rate (1% to 3% is favorable and is charged on each transaction based on the number of transactions, size of those transactions, and the firm’s credit history). “The next step,” says Jackson, “is to get out there and make it known that you’re equipped to accept the card by signing up for as many vendor databases as possible.”

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