Procurement Services offers university-issued and university-paid credit cards, called Purchasing Cards (PCards), to make eligible purchases on behalf of the university. Expenses charged to the PCard are paid directly by the university to JPMorgan Chase. The PCard is a safe and easy-to-use payment method. It can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. The use of PCards provides an alternative method for items not available on Amazon for Business and SmartMart, while also providing an efficient method for purchasing smaller dollar items. There are two types of Purchasing Cards: 

  • Individual Purchasing Cards are issued to and used only by a specific individual who is an active Stanford University employee. 
  • Department Purchasing Cards are issued to an individual who is an active Stanford University employee and is assigned as the custodian/cardholder on behalf of the department.

All PCard transactions are populated, verified and approved in the Purchasing Card module. The use of PCards provides an alternative method for items not available within iProcurement, the preferred purchasing method where users have access to shop from Amazon Business and SmartMart catalog suppliers and submit non-catalog requests. Procurement Services also offers Travel Cards (TCards), which are the preferred method for buying travel and travel-related services.

The Procurement Services department within Financial Management Services is committed to purchasing practices and policies that are compliant, responsible and appropriately support the university's goals and mission. Accordingly, those who are making purchases on behalf of or doing business with the university, must follow the applicable purchasing policies and guidelines as well as Administrative Guide Policy: 5.3.3 Purchasing Cards

Processing transactions in a timely manner is important to ensure expenditures are correctly reported. PCard expenses should be verified and approved as soon as practicable after charges are incurred, but no later than 60 days after charges are incurred.  Failure to complete verification and approvals within 60 days of transactions may result in card suspension and/or expenditures reported as taxable income to the card user or the cardholder. 

Cardholders who do not comply with university policies and procedures may have their Stanford University cardholder privileges revoked. Misuse of the PCard may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

For more detailed information, including permissible expenses, usage guidance, restrictions and limits, refer to Stanford Purchasing Card (PCard) Policy.

It is the responsibility of the individual incurring expenses, those who assist others with incurring expenses and those involved in the preparation and approval of financial transactions to exercise good stewardship of university funds and to adhere to university policies. Learn more about roles and responsibilities in the following table. 

Role Responsibilities
Individual PCard Cardholder
  • Keep the PCard secure. Lending or sharing of a PCard is not allowed.
  • Follow policies related to originating transactions and understand the university's policy and guidance.
  • Retain receipts to provide to their assigned verifier. 
  • Coordinate processing transactions with the assigned verifier of their card.
  • Notify Card Services of any changes to the account by submitting a Credit Card Profiles Change Request.
  • Immediately report fraudulent charges or a lost or stolen card to JPMorgan Chase at 1-800-316-6056, then notify Card Services via a Support Request.
Department PCard Custodian
  • Act as the cardholder for a department PCard. 
  • Responsible for all charges made on the department PCard.
  • Control the distribution of the Card to a few designated active Stanford employees. It is expected that the Department PCard custodian must understand what the authorized (or designated) user intends to purchase and provide clear guidelines accordingly to prevent instances of inappropriate use.
  • Maintain a log to track the usage and location of the card.
  • Ensure the Card is kept secure.
  • Follow policies related to originating transactions and understand the university's policy and guidance.
  • Retain receipts to provide to their assigned verifier. 
  • Coordinate processing transactions with the assigned verifier of their card.
  • Notify Card Services of any changes to the account by submitting a Credit Card Profiles Change Request.
  • Immediately report fraudulent charges or a lost or stolen card to JPMorgan Chase at 1-800-316-6056, then notify Card Services via a Support Request.
  • The verifier can be the cardholder or another individual who is responsible for properly documenting and recording PCard transactions. Refer to How To: Verify PCard Transactions for more information.
  • The verifier should review the transaction and report or dispute any fraudulent charges immediately to the cardholder/custodian. The department is ultimately liable for any unresolved fraudulent or erroneous charges.
  • For internal purposes, receipts should be retained until transactions have been completely approved, in order to:
    • Substantiate university business expense
    • Provide proof that appropriate sales tax has been paid
Cardholder's Authorized Manager

A manager has the following responsibilities with respect to direct reports who are issued a Purchasing Card:

  • Review, approve or reject online PCard applications.
  • Review, approve or reject online Credit Card Profiles Change Requests.
  • Report a cardholder’s departure from the department or the university to Card Services.
  • Collect canceled PCards from the cardholder.
  • Assist with any PCard audits or investigations.
  • Review transactions to confirm business purpose and reasonableness.
  • Use Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) Reporting > SU Credit Card Custodian Report to monitor and manage active PCards.
  • Use Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) Reporting > PCard Transaction Detail Report to monitor and clear outstanding transactions.
Financial Approver

A financial approver has the following responsibilities with respect to departmental staff members who are issued a PCard:

  • View Authorized Manager Responsibilities for full details.
  • Establish and monitor department-level procedures to ensure that expenses and amounts charged to departmental accounts are in compliance with departmental procedures, spending limits, budgets and with university policy.
  • Approve spending limit changes subsequent to the application process.
  • Approvers have the responsibility to examine transactions to ensure that charges are appropriate and comply with university policies. Refer to How To: Review, Approve or Reject PCard Verifications for more information.
Departments and Unit Finance Managers

It is the responsibility of the financial managers, officers and deans to periodically advise faculty and staff of requirements. Dean’s offices should properly advise new employees of this guidance and any related local policies and procedures.

Card Services Team

To supplement management’s responsibility for oversight of financial activities, Procurement Services reviews purchasing card transactions on an audit basis, and communicates instances of non-compliance or unauthorized charges to the department for escalation, approval and resolution.

Recurring incidents of non-compliance with policy or unauthorized charges may result in additional training and/or having PCard privileges suspended or revoked.

Cardholders will be asked to set a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when they call to activate their card. They should follow the automated telephone prompts to ensure they have set their PIN before ending the call.

  • Cardholders should call the number on the back of their card if they have trouble setting their PIN. The customer service representative will activate the card and transfer the cardholder to the automated system to set their PIN. If the cardholder is unable to answer their security questions to validate their identity, they will be advised to notify Stanford Card Services via a Support Request.
  • If a PIN is forgotten or needs to be reset, cardholders can reset or confirm their PIN by calling the number on the back of the card and following the prompts. After resetting the PIN, the cardholder may need to enter their PIN multiple times in order for chip readers to recognize their PIN.

Cardholders/Custodians are expected to keep their PCards properly secured at all times. The only person authorized to use an individual PCard is the person to whom the PCard is issued. Lending or sharing of Individual PCards is not allowed. A department PCard is designed to be used by authorized members of a department who have an occasional need for a PCard. The custodian controls and is responsible for the distribution of the department PCard to designated individuals. Sharing of the department PCard account number is prohibited.

PCard holders/custodians should take appropriate measures to ensure that PCard information is not saved/stored when using the card to make online purchases. Many online retailers store credit card information. Users of the card should take care to delete stored PCard information on online sites after completing a business purchase.  This may help minimize the risk of breach-related compromise of the card number and inadvertent/accidental use of the Pcard for a personal purchase.

Fraud Alerts

JPMorgan Chase now supports cardholder/custodian fraud alerts directly to cardholders via text message, email or phone call to alert Stanford users of suspicious activity or attempted activity on their Purchasing Card (PCard) or Travel Card (TCard).

Cardholders can sign up to receive a mobile SMS text message, an email and/or a phone call when there’s suspected fraud on the account. Cardholder alerts notify the cardholder of suspicious activity and offer a quick method to validate transactions.

How to Enroll

To enroll, visit and follow these steps:

  1. Enter the commercial card account number and billing zip code.
  2. Add your alert device(s).
  3. Enter your contact information.
  4. Confirm your enrollment in text, email or voice alerts:
    • For SMS text alerts, you will receive a text message. Simply reply “AGREE” to complete your enrollment.
    • For email or voice alerts, after you enter your contact information, you’ll see your enrolled alerts populated on the bottom of the page.

If you have questions about the cardholder alerts, please call 1-800-316-6056 or the number on the back of the card.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Purchasing Cards 

In the event that a PCard is lost or stolen, the cardholder should:

  1. Immediately contact JPMorgan Chase to request cancellation and reissue of the card. Provide the cardholder’s name and 4-digit access code. 
  2. Verify recent activity to ensure there are no fraudulent transactions.
  3. Then notify the Card Services team via a Support Request.

Declined Transactions

Common reasons for declined transactions include the following:

  • Invalid account information, such as the business address, account number, expiration date or CVV code.
  • The card's specified allowable spending limit is exceeded.

If a PCard purchase is declined for a reason unclear to the cardholder, JPMorgan Chase can be contacted for clarification by calling the customer service number on the back of the card.

The PCard is available to active Stanford University employees. Eligibility is based on a departmentally-determined business need, and is contingent upon:

  • Completed online application, identifying and specifying a guarantee account number (PTA) and individuals responsible for verifying and approving PCard transactions.
  • Approvals from both the prospective cardholder's manager or department chair/dean and the appropriate financial approver.
  • Completion of required training:  FIN-0450: PCard Policy and Procedure.

To apply for an individual or department Purchasing Card, complete and submit the Stanford Credit Card Application Form.

Online Application With Guarantee Account (PTA)

A PCard application is initiated online only by the prospective cardholder or designated requester. A Guarantee Account (non-restricted and non-sponsored PTA) is specified in the application and assigned its associated Purchasing Card. The Guarantee Account PTA is the account to which PCard charges are debited until transactions are processed, at which time business allocations are charged to specific accounts. When PCard charges are not allocated or cleared via the PCard module in a timely manner, such as 60 days or more, the charges may be debited to the Guarantee Account PTA on behalf of the department. 

Application Approvals

PCard applications will route for approval via email and workflow notification to the applicant's manager, department chair or dean and to the department’s financial approver(s). Upon receiving approval from the manager and financial approver, the application will route to Card Services in the university’s Procurement Services department.

Assigned Transaction Verifier

Each Purchasing Card issued must have a designated person assigned as responsible for verifying transactions in a timely manner and preparing transactions to properly allocate expenditures. The assigned verifier/preparer may be the cardholder or other department staff. Due to segregation of duties, the verifier should not be an authorized financial approver.

Card Delivery

Please read COVID-19 impacts announcement for the latest process for card delivery.
Once the application is approved and the required online training is completed, the card will be delivered directly to the cardholder’s Stanford business address. The back of the card should be signed upon receipt.

Normal card processing time is 10 to 14 business days after approvals are obtained and training is completed.

Card Activation

Upon receipt of the card, cardholders must contact JPMorgan Chase by calling the telephone number provided on the sticker on the face of the card.
If there is an issue with the PCard received, submit a support request.

Card Validity Period

Purchasing Cards are valid for three years from the date of issue. Expiration dates are printed on the card.


The Purchasing Card will expire on the date (last day of the expiration month) embossed on the front of the card and will be automatically renewed as detailed in this section.

The renewal PCard will be sent by JPMorgan Chase no later than the first week of the expiration month via USPS standard mail. The card will be sent to the cardholder's Stanford business address on file with JPMorgan Chase.

The following situations may result in a PCard not being automatically reissued:

  • The card had no transaction activity for 18 consecutive months.
  • The university has found improper use of the card.
  • Card charges have not been processed in a timely manner.

If an employee's renewed PCard was not received, submit a support request.

Card Cancellation by Cardholder

Cardholders who want to cancel their PCards should submit the request through the Credit Card Profiles Change Request tool. If a cardholder experiences any issues or has any questions about the tool, submit a support request. The PCard should be destroyed and disposed of upon cancellation.

It is important that all PCard transactions be properly recorded in the PCard module.

Card Cancellation by Stanford

The PCard is valid only while the cardholder is in active payroll status and while the cardholder is using the Purchasing Card in accordance with university policies. The PCard will be canceled by Stanford before or on the date the employee separates from the university or due to improper use. The PCard should be destroyed and disposed of upon cancellation.

Card Suspension by Stanford

A Purchasing Card will be suspended by Stanford due to the following reasons:

  • The cardholder is on extended leave.
  • Improper use of the Purchasing Card is under investigation by the university.

Cardholders on extended university leave, such as sabbatical, family or medical leave should submit the suspension request through the Credit Card Profiles Change Request tool. If cardholders experience any issues or have any questions about the tool, submit a support request. It is important that all transactions be properly processed before the employee goes on extended leave or leaves the current department.

Reactivating Suspended Cards

A suspended Purchasing Card can be reactivated, using the same card number, when:

  • The cardholder, manager or financial approver can submit a reactivation request through the Credit Card Profiles Change Request tool that the employee has returned from extended leave. If there are any issues or questions about the tool, submit a support request
  • The Card Services team has determined the cardholder is eligible to continue using the PCard.