Purchase credit card

Principles governing purchase credit cards

  • Purchase Credit Cards are made available to all EPFL Units.
  • This method of payment is intended exclusively for purchases worth less than CHF 5,000.-per transaction and may not replace the EPFL mandatory and preferred purchasing channels.

Roles and responsibilities

  1. Appoint a person responsible for the purchase credit card and a substitute.
  2. Define instructions and responsibilities ensuring the respect of the Directive’s regulations. In principle, the Unit administrator occupies the role of purchase credit card administrator.

You must possess the required signatory rights in accordance with the EPFL Financial Regulations to handle the following tasks and responsibilities:

  1. Carry out all authorised purchases in accordance with the table of purchasing channels and means of payment.
  2. Ensure that the purchase credit card is stored securely.
  3. Settle disputed transactions directly:  fill in the online dispute form as soon as possible.
  4. Within 20 days of receipt in Sesame, assign the necessary accounting information to each item on the monthly statement (invoice) and validate the invoice.
  5. Provide a receipt for each purchase transaction and combine all the receipts in a single PDF file to be attached to the accounting document. If a supporting document is missing, clearly indicate this by inserting a comment.
  6. In case of absence of more than three weeks, coordinate with his/her substitute to ensure easy and smooth replacement.
  7. Notify the credit card issuer per email of any change of administrator. Please read the “knowledge based” article.
  1. To make purchases or validate the monthly statement, you must have purchasing rights < CHF 5,000 in your unit. For all other matters, your duties are identical to those of the credit card administrator.


Monthly verification of purchase credit card statements

The monthly statement (invoice) received at the centralised address ([email protected]) is transmitted via the Demat workflow.

The credit card administrator allocates the required accounting information to each item on the monthly statement (invoice).

All the receipts are attached as a single pdf document to the statement in the order of the invoice lines.

Costs related to an expense claim
If a transaction refers to a trip, you need to indicate an expense statement number (DF) on the invoice items concerned. To do so, you must add two zeros before the DF number (00XXXXXXXX), i.e. 10 digits in all.

Invoice containing a negative value
If a monthly statement contains a negative position:

  1. Enter as positive amount (without the “-” sign) and save.
  2. Reject the invoice stating the reason in the comment (e.g. negative position).
  3. The accounts department will correct the line in question and send the invoice back for approval, retaining the data previously entered.
  4. As with credit notes, the negative transaction is not visible to you, but you will now be able to validate the invoice.


What are the spending limits?

The monthly limit for purchases per purchase credit card is CHF 10,000.- A transaction must be less than CHF 5,000. 

Change of purchasing credit card administrator

You can change your card administrator by sending an e-mail directly to Viseca, following the instructions in this KB (link coming soon).

Transactions authorized or prohibited

The table of official purchase channels and means of payment lists the authorized goods and services.

Air tickets must be booked and purchased through the EPFL travel agency. Credit cards may not be used to purchase inventory.

Safety rules and regulations

The document showing the purchase credit card number must be kept securely under lock and key.

  • Credit card data may only be transmitted on a secure site.
  • With the exception of communicating with the EPFL Travel Agency, no credit card data may be transmitted by telephone, e-mail or any other form of electronic message, or on paper.
  • No order must be placed using credit card from computers or computing centres accessible to the public.
  • If no other solution is possible, the browser cache must be deleted after logging out.

Measures ranging from a warning to withdrawal of the credit card may be taken in case of non-compliant operations. These notably include:

  • Misuse of credit card by unauthorized persons.
  • Failure to comply with the operational rules / unauthorized purchases.
  1. It is responsible for ordering all new corporate credit cards.
  2. It validates the ordering of individual credit cards and deactivates them 30 days before the
    end of the employment relationship
  3. It verifies the conformity of transactions via spot checks and documents all controls carried
  4. It shall ensure compliance with this Directive and take the appropriate measures.

The Unit assumes full financial damages resulting from the non-delivery of purchased goods or services, fraud or improper use of the credit card.



Useful Links:

LEX 5.4.1 – Directive on the use of credit cards at EPFL

LEX 5.6.1 – Directive the reimbursement of work-related expenses

Table of purchasing channels and means of payment

Viseca Card objection form


If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Finance Support: [email protected]