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UK’s government’s innovative Purchase-to-Pay Solution delivers new levels of procurement efficiency

Large organisations and companies, even when they have ruthlessly reduced the number of suppliers, buy from a wide range of types and sizes of companies. For governments it is much more difficult as they have to buy from and support all types and sizes of business, while also focusing on procurement efficiency.

The UK Government's new system for public procurement combines the speed of purchase cards and electronic procurement with fully detailed purchase orders to deliver a fast, secure, efficient and fully transparent purchasing process for all types and sizes of suppliers. The new 'Purchase and Pay' public procurement solution is made up of a eCommerce Network from ProcServe, MasterCard's inControl Virtual Card solution and Smart Data gen 2, and Invapay's Master Merchant solution for suppliers that do not have Level 3 payment card data (L3) capability, see Figure.

Transaction Flows in the UK Government's Purchase and Pay Solution

Source & Copyright©2012 - MasterCard

A typical transaction is as follows:

  1. approved user in UK government searches approved suppliers and chooses what good/service needed
  2. user raises purchase order in system
  3. ProcServe checks that item and amount are within approved spend and if authorized, requests a virtual card number from MasterCard in Control and transmits PO to supplier.
  4. Supplier receives the order and payment information and once goods are shipped, processes payment.
  5. Where a supplier is not L3 data enabled, Invapay will "stand in" for the supplier and deliver the L3 Data requirements on behalf of the supplier. Where the supplier is not card enabled the PO will be directed to Invapay who will manage the data requirements and also settle via bank transfer to the supplier

MasterCard will be deploying this Purchase and Pay total procurement solution around the world, partnering with other procurement platforms and local payment service providers to deliver this solution for large buyers.


For the first time, a system for public procurement combines the speed of purchase cards and electronic procurement with the robustness of fully detailed purchase orders to deliver a fast, secure, efficient and fully transparent purchasing process for all types and sizes of supplier.

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