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“Off-White” Paper #11 – FY2000 Credit Card Growth – the Pace Continues!

Anyone who follows the Federal market knows that the small purchase credit card program (SmartPay, formerly known as IMPAC), has been the fastest growing purchasing tool since its introduction in 1989.

The statistics below show the growth of the program since its inception. But keep in mind that about 30% of the card usage is in the last two months of each FY — so you should be attempting to reach as many cadholders as possible over the next 60 days.

Fiscal Year Sales Transactions Cardholders
1989 $460,000 2,326 10,000
1990 $56,312,000 271,000 19,000
1991 $140,735,000 639,000 30,000
1992 $275,573,000 1,059,000 44,000
1993 $472,103,000 1,512,000 75,000
1994 $808,473,000 2,471,000 83,000
1995 $1,591,773,000 4,248,000 130,000
1996 $2,914,368,000 7,328,000 209,000
1997 $5,045,264,000 11,594,000 265,000
1998 $7,960.818,000 16,448,000 340,000
1999 $10,186,089,000 20,631,000 517,000
2000 (Oct- May) $7,500,000,000 14,280,000 610,000

By the end of FY 2000 (9/30/00), I am estimating a total of $13 billion in sales on the SmartPay card.

General parameters for card use are a $2,500(micropurchase) per purchase card limit, with a variable annual cap on use for each card, usually starting at $20,000.

From our research in collecting the data (we currently have over 130,000 – and growing – cardholders in our database), we estimate that somewhere between 8-10% of the cardholders have warrant cards. Warrant cards are cards that have a higher per-purchase threshold than the $2,500 micropurchase limit. We have seen some warrant card with a high 6-figure per-purchase limit.

It is important to note that since November, 1999, that DOD and military SmartPay cards in use outside the continental U.S. (CONUS) have a per-purchase limit of $25,000.

The uniformed services each have a goal of making 95%+ of their micropurchases using the SmartPay card. From the data we have seen, each service has surpassed this goal. This means that the overall paperwork reduction from paper-based procurement is saving each service component millions is taxpayer dollars each year.

Usage on the civilian side is also intense, led by Veterans Administration, USDA, Interior, Justice, USPS, Transportation, HHS and GSA.

If you sell in the micropurchase arena, you should be contacting any cardholders you have previously sold to over the next two months. Further, you should be proactively prospecting for end-of-FY credit card busienss.

Amtower & Company maintains the cleanest file of credit card holders available.You can access it by list rental (call Christine Greco at Merit Direct @ 914-368-1022 or email, licensing for annual use (call Mark Amtower @ 301-924-0058 or email or try the new “pre-fab” (see “Off-White #9) program available through our mail house, NCS (call Ian Moffett or Mike Calder @ 703-464-9100).

End of FY is fast approaching.

Cash in!

Copyright 2000, Amtower & Company