Purchasing Cards Frequently Asked Questions

  • LOST or STOLEN US Bank Purchasing Cards are Reported To: 1.800.344.5696
  • FRAUD CHARGES on US Bank Purchasing Cards are Reported To: 1.800.523.9078
  • Authority - Minnesota State System – Purchasing Cards

Why did the university implement these procedures?

Board Policy dictated that each campus provides rules for local use of a university Purchasing Card compliant with statute.

Business Services has left it to the Deans, Directors and other budget managers to specify what procedure we wish to use to approve general purchases by individuals within each budget area.

Under the university authority for local purchase, the budget officer will set aside funds to ensure the entire Purchasing Card bill for the university will be paid monthly and the individual purchases will be reviewed by the budget managers.

This may mean that you may continue to use your MSUM cards to make general purchases without prior approval, as long as those purchases fall within the guidelines set forward by your approver. Requiring pre-approval for all of the hundreds of purchases made every month would put an unnecessary burden on both the card-user and the budget manager, and negatively impact the timeliness of purchases.

What do I do if I suspect a fraudulent charge on my purchasing card?

  • Call the US Bank Fraud Department at 1.800.523.9078 immediately to report the fraud. In the majority of cases, your card will be closed and a new card will be issued. New cards generally arrive within 2-3 business days. The cardholder has to report the fraud to US Bank.
  • Log in to US Bank Website as you do when reallocating your transactions.
  • Open the Current Billing Cycle date.
  • Click on the Transaction's Date.
  • Click Dispute.
  • Select Unrecognized Charge.
  • Click Select.
  • Enter your office Phone Number.
  • Add Comments.
  • Click Continue.
  • Follow the instructions for sending US Bank the form. Print, sign, fax or mail to the address shown on the webpage.
  • Make a copy to attach to your monthly statement sent to MSUM Business Services.
  • Click Transaction Detail when you are done.

What do I do if I have a charge I need to dispute?

  • Contact the merchant and ask for instructions to get a refund or correction (don’t forget to ask for a new receipt).
  • Log in to US Bank website as you do when reallocating your transactions.
  • Open the Current Billing Cycle date.
  • Click the Transaction's Date link.
  • Click Dispute.
  • Select the Option that best fits your situation (Unrecognized Charge is for fraud only).
  • Click Select.
  • Enter your Phone Number.
  • Add Comments.
  • Click Continue.
  • Make a copy to attach to your monthly statement sent to MSUM Business Services.
  • Follow the instructions for sending US Bank the form. Print, sign, fax or mail to the address shown on the webpage.
  • Click Transaction Detail when you are done.

How can I get a Purchasing card?   

The purchasing card is for official university business use only. The Purchasing Card application form is available on the Business Services web site.

Can I get a Purchasing Card for my student worker?

A purchasing card in the name of a university can only be issued to a state employee upon approval by the employee’s supervisor, Vice President of their area and the Vice President of Finance/Administration. The university is liable to the purchasing card company for all charges made in connection with the purchasing card issued to the individual. MSUM issued purchasing cards cannot be issued to a contractor, contract employee, or student employee.

Do I still need to complete a “SPECIAL EXPENSE REQUEST” form when using my university Purchasing card? 

Yes. With prior approval, you CAN use your MSUM Purchasing card for group meals for business-related meetings (i.e. when you serve as the "sponsor" of a group meal where the group is meeting for business purposes). You will need to complete the "Special Expense Request" form which is available on the Business Services website.
Special Expense” is a necessary, extraordinary expense as described in the State rules on Special Expense incurred in connection with assigned official duties of a State employee where the benefits of the employee’s attendance or participation will accrue primarily to the State. Examples are meals or lodging within a work area, meal costs over maximum reimbursement rates, and conference and registration fees.

Employees may be reimbursed for the actual cost of a meal regardless of assigned work area, provided the meal is on the agenda of a conference, workshop, seminar or meeting, the event requires the employee’s attendance, and attendance has been approved through the special expense process. Costs of such meals outside the work area which exceed the maximums allowable under state rules or bargaining agreements and costs of all such meals within the work area are treated as special expenses.

The cost of serving refreshments such as coffee, tea or soft drinks as part of a meeting, conference, or workshop sponsored by the department and where the majority of participants are not state employees should be treated as special expense. However, refreshments are limited to relatively inexpensive beverages. Food items are not included.

Registration fees for conferences that exceed $1000 per participant require approval as special expenses. Lodging within an employee’s work area should be treated as a special expense when the employee is actively participating in an event directly related to the employee’s position requiring his/her presence overnight or weather conditions or other unforeseen occurrences prevent the employee from returning home. For example, if you are hosting a meeting at a restaurant and intend to use university funds to pay for the group meal, you must complete this form before charging the meal to a university purchasing card. University funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. 

How about the expenses for a candidate?

Candidate's meals: If you take a candidate out for a meal you may use your purchasing card ONLY after you have submitted a Special Expense Request and received approval. You may also pay for the meal yourself and then submit the receipt for reimbursement. Note, however, the reimbursement does count as taxable income. General handbook on candidate guidelines is located on the Human Resources website.

What is my responsibility as a budget manager for the university in regards to purchasing card use?

It is the responsibility of the cost center budget manager and cardholder to ensure compliance with Minnesota Statute. The approval documents should be kept with the cost center records of purchasing card use by the employees covered in that cost center. IT, AV/TV, central stores or other university service departments making purchases on behalf of another cost center or for restocking inventory should retain a copy of the document (email, requisition, inventory tally, etc.) requesting and authorizing the purchase.

When and where can I use my Purchasing card?

Purchasing cards must never be used to purchase items for personal use or for non-university purposes, even if the cardholder intends to reimburse the university.

Use your purchasing card, in accordance with these guidelines, at any place of business where you see the “VISA” sign at that retail location. MOST merchants prefer the purchasing card over the PO process—the sale is finalized within a day AND the merchant does not have to deal with billing the state (the merchant’s accounts receivable cost) and wait 30-60 days for payment (MSUM accounts payable time).

Remember: Inform the cashier before processing a charge that MSUM is tax exempt in MN and ND on all items except: lodging, meals eaten in restaurants, car rental and solid waste collection & disposal. The tax-exempt number is on the purchasing card.

What is my responsibility as an individual cardholder?

Safeguard the purchasing card and account number at all times. Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately to U.S. Bank AND MSUM Business Services. LOST OR STOLEN CARDS ARE REPORTED TO 1.800.344.5696.

How about use of the card for PDF, 19A or 19B funds?

Purchasing card may be used for transportation, lodging and registration fees when traveling for professional development. No meals are to be charged. Original itemized receipts must be turned in with the purchasing card statement.