Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interest in p-cards still going strong

By Mark Brousseau

Want more proof of the continued strength of purchasing cards (p-cards) as a key component of accounts payable (AP) programs? Look no further than this week’s NAPCP Commercial Card and Payment Conference at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas.

Some 657 people – representing 265 end-user organizations and 85 provider organizations – are in attendance at this year’s NAPCP event, up from 616 attendees last year (although still down from the 850 people that attended NAPCP’s event in 2008). Overall, 54 percent of the attendees are from end-user organizations and 46 percent of the attendees are from provider organizations, such as banks.

Among the end-users in attendance, 51 percent describe their experience level as “advanced,” while another 39 percent say their experience level is “intermediate.” Only 10 percent of attendees at this year’s NAPCP event say they are “beginning” with p-cards – further proof of the growing maturity of p-cards. In terms of the sectors represented, 61 percent are from corporations, while 23 percent are from government or primary education and 16 percent are from higher education.

By far, the hottest topic among attendees is how to grow their existing p-card programs to further reduce costs, increase productivity, and earn rebates. Many attendees also are looking for ways to better integrate p-cards with their purchase-to-pay (P2P) initiatives (it seems many more P2P professionals are in attendance).

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