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award trophyCongratulations to our employees from the Finance and Budget Procurement Services and Materials Management and Accounts Payable teams who received Bank of America’s 2022 Transformation Award of Excellence at the State of North Carolina Dogwood Payment Card Summit that took place at North Carolina Central University on May 25.

The Transformation Award of Excellence is presented annually to a North Carolina state agency client that most significantly demonstrates innovation, growth and/or creativity in their payment solutions.

“I want to congratulate UNC-Chapel Hill on this amazing achievement!” said Joseph Leonard, card account manager of Public Sector Card Account Management for Bank of America. “It was an honor to present this award to a truly deserving client. This organization is setting the bar when looking at leveraging electronic payments and technology in the Carolinas among top higher education institutions.”

The Bank of America Transformation Award of Excellence, Leonard noted, is about evolving in the digital payment space. The award also recognizes an organization’s green initiatives, as well as fraud mitigation as an essential part of their overall payment strategy.

“UNC-Chapel Hill has displayed this with high levels of success,” Leonard said, “with a best-in-class travel card program; tremendous growth within their procurement, e-procurement and Amazon for Business platforms; and last but certainly not least, a virtual payables program (converting check payments to virtual card) that in only two short years has become the No. 1 virtual payables program by volume across all North Carolina state agencies. I’m excited about what lies ahead, as I feel they are just getting started in what has become an amazing story, one that is still being written today!”

The teams worked hard to create more efficient and cost-effective ways of purchasing on campus:

  • They created a “how-to-buy” decision tree for low-dollar purchases and made small adjustments to the P-Card policy, thereby increasing more efficient P-Card spending from $21 million in 2018 to more than $60 million annually.
  • In 2019, they launched an Amazon Business e-procurement purchases ghost card, a type of credit or debit card that allows the University to assign different card numbers to different departments, allowing internal purchases while reducing the risk of abuse. The Amazon program is currently generating approximately $3 million in annual spend.
  • After a request for proposal (RFP) was conducted in 2019, Bank of America ghost cards were launched for airfare in 2020 and for the Travel & Expense Card in 2021. Through University travelers using the Travel & Expense Card, the University has optimized processing costs considerably for the University’s $18-20 million of annual travel.
  • In 2020, the team launched a virtual payables program within Accounts Payable and is currently on pace to handle $60-70 million in payments annually. This will positively impact the University’s cash flow position, as early and on time payments can lead to discounts and better price offerings for the University as a whole.

Travis Henderson, director of Procurement Services and Materials Management, said of the award: “I am extremely proud of the work the Procurement Services and Accounts Payable teams have done over the past four to five years to partner with campus stakeholders, ITS and Bank of America to transform and grow our payment card solutions at the University. The evolution has delivered significant end-to-end operational efficiencies as well as enriched data that we can use to further optimize every dollar that leaves the University.”

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