Card payments | IPSA (2023)

Overview

We provide government procurement cards – known as payment cards – to MPs.

They can be used to pay for any business cost allowable under the Scheme. It is not intended for personal use.

We will pay the card supplier every month.

MPs must agree to reconcile the items of spending on a monthly basis and within specified time limits.

MPs must also sign a form that indicates their agreement to only use the card for spending that falls within the Scheme.

They must also attend a payment card webinar within the first three months of having the card.

Here you can find guidance on the payment card policy, rules around reconciling your card, details of monthly deadlines, and step-by-step guides on how to reconcile and administer your card.

Using IPSA Online

Each month all Payment Card transactions are uploaded into the system.

You have until the 8th of the next month to reconcile all lines and submit them for approval.

You can reconcile individual lines and do not have to reconcile all lines all at once.

  1. Note!

    Remember to use Add information if you need to add further comments to your claim. This can be found towards the bottom of the screen.

  2. Step1

    On the menu, select Your employment.

  3. Step2

    Select Expenses.

  4. Step3

    Select Payment Card (MP).

  5. Step4

    If you are a Proxy completing this on behalf of your MP, you should use the drop-down arrow on the On behalf of Resource box to select the MP the expense claim is for.

    This box only appears if you are the proxy or the MP. If you do not do this, you will not see the Payment Card transaction lines.

  6. Step5

    In the Reference box, type a short description applicable to all lines on the claim form.

    This should be something from which you can easily identify the claim at a later date (for instance, when looking to access a draft claim).

    As such, try to avoid references that would likely be applicable to more than one claim (for example, "Mileage") and instead make each one unique (for example, "Mileage – October 2022").

  7. Step6

    Select the Payment Card icon in the Expense transactions box on the right-hand side of the screen.

    The orange number that appears on the Payment Card icon shows you how many outstanding transactions need to be reconciled. If there is no orange number, you do not have any transactions to reconcile.

    The orange number will only appear if the MP’s name has been selected in the On behalf of Resource box.

  8. Step7

    Tick the transactions you wish to reconcile.

  9. Step8

    Select Import transactions.

    Please note: Payment Card and Phone App transactions appear in the same list.

    However, you can only add Payment Card transactions to a Payment Card Reconciliation claim. For this reason, IPSA Online will display “Invalid Category” on transactions that cannot be added.

  10. Step9

    Select an Expense category. You can start typing the expense and a list of possible expense categories is displayed.

    Alternatively, select the drop-down arrow to see the full list and then select the relevant category.

  11. Step10

    The Description field will be locked as this is the supplier’s information provided by Barclaycard.

  12. Step11

    The Amount field will already be populated.

    You should not amend this unless you are splitting the cost over multiples lines (for example, to split up train fares or to process a line as "Not claimed to be repaid").

  13. Step12

    Select the Chevron icon at the end of the expense line.

    The chevrons open additional fields that are required for that particular expense.

  14. Step13

    Use theSpacebaron your keyboard to see a list of all the relevant budgets, addresses, stations, airports etc. Alternatively, you can start typing the specific value you want to select.

  15. Step14

    Repeat the steps above until all expenses have been added. It is best to keep claims to a maximum of 20 lines of expenses.

  16. Step15

    On all mileage claims, you will need to include details of each stop (including postcode) on your journey.

    Select Add information towards the bottom of the screen.

    Type your comments in the pop-up box.

    Please make sure to reference which line on the claim each comment refers to.

    Please do not include these details in the description field of the claim line.

  17. Step16

    You must now add receipts to each claim line and then submit the claim.

    To do this, visit the right-hand menu, under the heading Expense overviewand select Receipts.

You may need to split a cost over two lines (for example, if two train tickets for two people is on one line).

You will need to split the line to show this and allocate to the specific person.

  1. Note!

  2. Step2

    Select the check box on the far left of the line and then select Copy expense at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Step3

    On the original line, complete the reconciliation steps, amending the amount as needed.

    Amend the amount on the new line.

  4. Step4

    On the copied line, complete the same steps to reconcile, amending the amount as needed.

  5. Step5

    You must now add receipts to each claim line and then submit the claim.

    To do this, visit the right-hand menu, under the heading Expense overviewand select Receipts.

It is possible that you do not wish to claim for all of a cost (for example, if you bought alcohol along with a hotel stay).

You will need to split the line to show what you are not claiming.

  1. Note!

  2. Step1

    Add the payment card expense to the form as normal.

  3. Step2

    Select the check box on the far left of the line and then select Copy expense at the bottom of the screen.

  4. Step3

    On the original line, complete the reconciliation steps, amending the amount as needed.

  5. Step4

    On the copied line, set the category to Not claimed to be repaid and amend the amount to the amount you do not wish to claim and will repay.

  6. Step5

    You must now add receipts to each claim line and then submit the claim.

    To do this, visit the right-hand menu, under the heading Expense overviewand select Receipts.

When you delete an imported Payment Card line, it will move back into the list behind the Payment Card icon.

  1. Step1

    Select the claim you wish to delete.

  2. Step2

    Select Delete expense.

If you've used your payment card to make a purchase and that purchase has since been refunded, this will show as a minus figure in your list of transactions.

When reconciling a refund, you will need to process it in the same way as the original charge.

  1. Note!

  2. Step1

    Select the Payment Card icon in the Expense transactions box on the right-hand side of the screen.

    The orange number that appears on the Payment Card icon shows you how many outstanding transactions need to be reconciled. If there is no orange number, you do not have any transactions to reconcile.

    The orange number will only appear if the MP’s name has been selected in the On behalf of Resource box.

  3. Step2

    Select the refunded transaction you wish to reconcile.

    If the original transaction has not already been reconciled, you should tick this transaction as well and reconcile both on the same form.

  4. Step3

    Select Import transactions.

    Please note: Payment Card and Phone App transactions appear in the same list.

    However, you can only add Payment Card transactions to a Payment Card Reconciliation claim. For this reason, IPSA Online will display “Invalid Category” on transactions that cannot be added.

  5. Step4

    Select an Expense category for the refunded transaction.

    If you have already reconciled the original transaction, select the same Expense category for the refund. If you are reconciling the original transaction on the same form as the refund, select the same Expense category for both.

    If the original transaction was marked as Not claimed to be repaid, select this as the Expense category for the refunded transaction.

    You can start typing the expense and a list of possible expense categories is displayed. Alternatively, select the drop-down arrow to see the full list and then select the relevant category.

  6. Step5

    The Description field will be locked as this is the supplier’s information provided by Barclaycard.

  7. Step6

    The Amount field will already be populated.

    This should a minus figure for the refund.

  8. Step7

    Select the Chevron icon at the end of the expense line.

    The chevrons open additional fields that are required for that particular expense.

  9. Step8

    Use the drop-down arrows to select the relevant budgets, addresses, stations, airports etc.

    Select the same options for the refund and the original transaction.

  10. Step9

    If the original transaction was reconciled on a separate form, select Add information towards the bottom of the screen.

    In the box, quote the claim number of the original transaction.

  11. Step10

    Attach the original receipt to the refunded transaction. If the original transaction is on the same form, attach the receipt to both lines.

    Alternatively, if you are only reconciling the refunded transaction and do not have the receipt, submit the claim. The system will return the claim to your Task manager for not having a receipt attached. You should then select Submit anyway on the Task.

    For more information on dealing with these type of task, see guidance on Soft stop errors.

Please ensure you check your claim for errors before submitting it.

As the system is automated, once you have submitted your claim form it may not always be possible to withdraw or amend the claim form before it is processed.

  1. Note!

  2. Step1

    Select Submit in the bottom left corner of the screen.

  3. Step2

    A pop-up window will appear, informing you the claim has been sent for approval and displaying the claim form reference number. Select OK.

  4. Step3

    The claim form will remain open. You will need to close this by selecting the X at the top of the expenses tab.

Guidance

Payment cards can be used to pay for business costs allowed under the Scheme.

Each transaction is limited to £2,000 with a monthly limit of £4,000.

Read ourPayment card policy.

We’ll make payments directly to the payment card supplier every month.

We’ll also regularly provide a list of expenditure you’ve incurred, and you’re required to account for this within 30 days, together with supporting evidence.

Not reconciling your card on time, or misusing it, can lead to the card being blocked.

For more information, visit our guide toPayment card reconciliationusingIPSA Online.

IPSA provides MPs with a payment card to support them to fund costs relating to theirparliamentary functions.

The Payment card policy provides guidance relating to the use of payment cards and supports the Scheme of MPs’ Business and Staffing Costs.

Read the full Payment card policy.

The requirements outlined in the Payment card policy are also detailed in the sections below.

The MP will be provided with a single payment card in their name, for the duration of their time in office.

The standard credit limit is £4,000, but the MP can ask IPSA to increase it if necessary.

Any single transaction is limited to £2,000, but the MP can ask IPSA to increase it temporarily, if necessary.

Any requests for changes to the payment card, such as card limits, pin reminders and updating contact details, must be made in writing to IPSA from the MP themselves.

The MP can assign an expenses proxy to reconcile their payment card expenditure on their behalf.

The card must only be used to pay for costs which are allowed under the Scheme.

The card must not be used for personal expenditure, for tenancy deposits on rented properties or for costs which are not allowed under the Scheme.

Expenditure must be fully accounted-for promptly, by submitting evidence and making any repayments to IPSA by the deadline (the eighth of the month after the transactions are uploaded for reconciliation).

The MP must not owe IPSA any money for payment card spending. If an MP’s office has payment card debt owed to IPSA, the payment card may be suspended until the debt has been fully recovered or until a repayment plan via salary deductions has been agreed with the MP.

The card must be kept safe and secure, and any potential fraud reported to Barclaycard immediately on 0800 008 008.

The MP must sign an indemnity form agreeing to the conditions of use.

IPSA will provide, on a monthly basis, through IPSA Online, a list of the expenditure MPs have incurred on their payment card. MPs are required to account for that expenditure within 30 days of notification of the transactions and to provide supporting evidence.

The deadline is always the eighth of the month unless otherwise stated (changes to the deadline will be communicated through the fortnightly bulletin).

Lines must be submitted to IPSA and approved by the Validation team by the eighth of the month.

You should start your payment card reconciliation as soon as you receive the alert that your lines are available to reconcile. The earlier you begin reconciliation, the lower the risk of having your card suspended as per the payment card policy.

Your reconciliation’s approval can be delayed if our Validation team have any questions about your claim, or if you don’t attach all the required information and evidence, so you’ll minimise the risk of card suspension if you begin early in the month.

The MP or designated expenses proxy must fully account for the expenditure by the eighth of the following month.

The office must fully reconcile the transactions, by submitting valid evidence and repay any money owed to IPSA, and the submitted reconciliation must be approved by our Validation team by the eighth of the month.

It is good practice for the MP to check they do not owe any other repayments to IPSA.

Approximately one week before the deadline, the IPSA Online system will automatically remind any MP with outstanding payment card lines if they have not yet reconciled their payment card transactions and need to do so.

If an MP does not reconcile their payment card by submitting valid evidence or does not make repayments of money owed from payment card spending within 30 days, their card will be suspended for seven days or until the conditions are met, whichever is longer.

The seven-day suspension is designed to encourage prompt and full reconciliation and repayment of money owed within the deadlines and to create efficiency in the card suspension process.

On the first working day after the deadline, IPSA will suspend for seven days:

  • payment cards with transactions which have not been fully reconciled and approved by our Validation team by the deadline, and

  • payment cards belonging to cardholders that owe money to IPSA for payment card spending which has not been repaid within 30 days of the cardholder being notified

IPSA will email MPs to inform them their card will be suspended for seven days and that they must account for the expenditure and make any repayments to IPSA within that week.

After seven days, IPSA will lift the payment card suspension for MPs that have fully accounted for the expenditure and made any necessary repayments to IPSA.

Cards will be suspended for a minimum of seven days, even if reconciliation or repayments happen sooner.

If after seven days the MP has not fully accounted for their payment card expenditure, IPSA will seek repayment of the cost of any unaccounted-for expenditure by raising a credit note on IPSA Online.

The payment card lines will be marked as "costs not reconciled", and the payment card suspension will be lifted when the money owed to IPSA has been fully recovered.

IPSA publishes lines considered "costs not reconciled" and repayments made against them.If the costs are allowable, the MP or proxy may submit a claim for reimbursement of the costs in the normal way within 90 days of the expenditure being incurred.

IPSA carries out regular reviews of compliance with the payment card policy and the conditions specified.

Any breach of the conditions is classed as misuse.

Serious or persistent breaches of the conditions will result in the payment card being suspended for up to six months or withdrawn permanently.

Serious or persistent breaches include:

  • regular or frequent failure to reconcile the payment card, by submitting valid evidence, within the specified deadlines

  • regular or frequent use of the payment card for costs not claimed from IPSA budgets (costs marked as "not claimed, to repay")

  • regular or frequent use of the payment card for personal or other non-parliamentary use

  • regular or frequent failure to make repayments of money owed from payment card spending within 30 days

In these circumstances, IPSA will first warn the MP that that continued breaches will result in suspension or withdrawal of the payment card.

If the conditions continue to be breached, the card will be suspended or withdrawn.

There will be times when you do not wish to claim a cost on your payment card.

You may, for example, have exceeded the nightly hotel limit or standard anytime train fare, or you may have run out of the available budget to claim that line.

In these circumstances, you must mark the cost as “not claimed, to be repaid” when reconciling.

By marking lines as not claimed, you are committing to repay IPSA within 30 days the value of that line.

You must also complete a repayment form quoting the submitted reconciliation reference and send it to us at info@theipsa.org.uk.

Our Finance team will then allocate the repayment so your budgets reflect your expenditure accurately.

Where an MP has marked a line as “not claimed, to be repaid”, IPSA will not publish that expenditure or the repayment against it.

Persistent marking lines as “not claimed, to be repaid” may be defined as a misuse of the card, which could mean suspending your card access in line with our payment card policy.

Read our Payment Card Policy for further information.

If you notice a fraudulent transaction on the Barclaycard statement or on IPSA Online when you come to reconcile the card, you must report this immediately by calling the Barclaycard customer services team on 0800 008 008 to put a block on the card.

You must also report this to IPSA via email at info@theipsa.org.uk outlining the transaction details.

Once the fraudulent transaction(s) have been reported to Barclaycard, you will need to complete the Barclaycard disclaimer form.

This must be returned to Barclaycard within 28 days.

This deadline is important because if the form is not returned within 28 days, Barclaycard will assume the transaction in question is legitimate and add it back to the account as a genuine cost.

Please send the disclaimer form to: noreplyfrauddisclaimersbarclaycard@barclayscorp.com.

Download the Disclaimer form.

If you have misplaced your card or your card has been stolen, you must report this immediately to the Barclaycard customer services team by phoning 0800 008 008.

Alternatively, you can contact IPSA so we may block the card and reissue it.

You must report fraudulent transactions in the same way for any unrecognised transactions.

To update your details (including your name, address, and mobile number), please contact us via email at info@theipsa.org.uk so we can update our records and the Barclaycard portal.

The email should come from your PDS address so we can verify your identity.

Your registered address is where bank statements and other correspondences are sent.

The standard monthly credit limit is £4,000, and the single transaction is £2,000.

If you need this increased, the cardholder must request this via email to info@theipsa.org.uk confirming the period and the amount the limits need to be increased to.

The email should come from your PDS address so we can verify your identity.

In line with EU requirements, customers need to authorise online payments by using a two-factor authentication process.

This requirement has been in place since 2019, and you may have encountered this more and more since 2021 as the trigger limit was lowered from €500 to €30.

This requirement helps prevent fraud on the card and adherence to EU regulations.

As part of the two-factor authentication process when submitting a payment online you will need to confirm your identity.

Once you are ready to pay, enter and confirm your card details as normal. Once complete, a verification screen will ask you to confirm your identity using one of three options:

Use the PINsentry card reader

If you have a Barclays PINsentry card reader, you can use it to generate a code that confirms it is you.

You’ll need to have the card reader, payment card and PIN ready when asked to verify it's really you making the payment.

Receive a code by text

Barclaycard will send a code to your mobile for you to enter on the payment screen to confirm your identity.

Your mobile number must be registered with Barclaycard in order to authenticate via text.

If you would like us to register your number with Barclaycard, the cardholder must request this via email at info@theipsa.org.uk.

Use the Barclaycard for Business app

If you don’t already have the app, you can download it from your app store.

Your mobile number must be registered with Barclaycard in order to be able to use the app.

If you would like us to update this information with Barclaycard, the cardholder must request this via email at info@theipsa.org.uk.

It can take up to 10 days after you register for the app for Mobile PINsentry to appear in it.

Please be aware three incorrect authentication attempts will lock the card for online purchases.

To unlock the card the main cardholder will need to call Barclaycard on 0800 008 008 or flag with IPSA by contacting your Account Manager.

You can send an email marked for their attention to info@theipsa.org.uk, call our inbound phone line Monday to Friday between 10am and 4.30pm, or book a call.

The card will unlock itself after 24 hours, so you can try again the next day without taking any action.

You may request a new PINsentry card reader if yours is broken, lost or you never received one.

To order a new PINsentry card reader, contact the Barclaycard team on 0800 008 008 or by contacting us.

If your payment card is due to expire, Barclaycard will arrange for a new card to be sent to your registered address two weeks prior to the date of expiry.

If you haven’t received this, please contact us and we will arrange for a replacement card to be sent.

If your payment card has been suspended for not reconciling, please ensure you complete the full reconciliation process before requesting the card is unsuspended.

Visit Payment card reconciliation for details on how to complete the reconciliation process.

You can contact your Account Manager for further guidance or assistance by emailing info@theipsa.org.uk, calling our inbound phone line Monday to Friday between 10am and 4.30pm, or booking a call.

The Barclaycard Online Account Guide includes step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the key features of the online account that cardholders have access to, to help you manage your expenditure.

Similar to a personal online credit card account, this online account will enable you to:

  • view your statements

  • view your balances in real time

  • access transaction data for up to the past 36 months

  • run reports on your spending

To login, visit Barclaycard's online servicing.

Open resource

This document outlines the steps you need to consider if you experience any problems accessing your Barclaycard Online Services.

Open resource

This webinar gives an overview of the IPSA payment card, and how to complete the payment card reconciliation process using IPSA Online ahead of the monthly deadline (the eighth of every month).

The webinar is around one hour long, with opportunities to ask questions throughout.

Register for the Payment Card webinar.

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