Are Merchant Services Fees Allowable on a GSA Task Order Invoice?
The short answer is yes! Many organizations we work with believe they are required to absorb merchant services fees associated with payment made via Government credit card. While this used to be the case, as of January 2013, surcharges and convenience fees are allowable. The development is a positive one for GSA vendors however it’s been our experience that contractors continue to go forth with “business as usual”. How come? As one GSA SmartPay representative I spoke with recently put it, “the Government always has the ability to take its business elsewhere” – given the natural aversion to paying surcharges that may amount to 3% to 4% of the total purchase fee when they have not had to pay them in the past. This seems reasonable considering the convenience of the purchase which makes GSA SmartPay an attractive option for GSA Schedule holders. It should also be noted that contractors can save more on their processing fees by ensuring their that they have reached level-3 compliance with the GSA.Something to think about the next time you’re invoicing the government!
As a GSA contractor, it is important to understand how the GSA SmartPay charge card works. A great blog on the program can be found here.
Finally, as a note, the changes described above went into effect via Smart Bulletin 17 posted on the Smartpay website.