SAN DIMAS, Calif. — Procura LLC, a CUSO owned by WesCorp, PSCU Financial Services, Callahan and Associates and Members Development Company, LLC, suggests that credit unions are missing a card opportunity in so-called purchase cards. Purchase cards are usually branded with either a Visa or MasterCard, but differ from the usual corporate or small business cards because they are products that are meant to be dovetailed into an organization’s purchasing or procurement processes. They have long been a fixture in the government and educational sectors and have gradually migrated into the business world as well, according to Amanda LoBiondo, managing director of Purchase One, Procura’s card program. Purchase cards are becoming increasingly popular with business and other organizations as tools they can use to simplify and streamline their purchasing and accounting processes, LoBiondo explained. On average, studies have shown that companies that use purchase cards can enjoy over 76% in increased efficiency and cost savings over using payment systems based on checks and purchase orders.

These efficiencies and resulting cost savings have been resonating with credit unions and their SEGs, LoBiondo asserted. Since Procura’s launch in 2005, 43 card programs, 40 from credit unions and three serving credit union SEGs, have started using the cards, LoBiondo said. In the first quarter of 2007, users spent $19.7 million on the cards, over 147% over the amount spent in the first quarter of 2006.

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