United States

case studies
united states
city administration
efficiency optimization

Enhanced Reconciliation for commercial cards

The US Postal Service (USPS) receives and delivers over 680 million pieces of mail each day via its network of 38,000 Post Offices and retail outlets and 400 processing facilities. The mail is securely and reliably delivered to 143 million addresses. No single operation in the world comes this close to this level of connectivity with households and businesses across America

The challenge

Senior leadership of the USPS undertook an aggressive, multiyear strategic transformation plan designed to promote growth, improve reliability and drive continuous improvement – with Citi as their partner. Having exceeded transformation targets so far, USPS continues to set aggressive goals for cost reduction and efficiency. This was part of the Smart Pay 2 Program, a search for an automated solution for reconciling centrally-billed travel card accounts presented a critical opportunity.

USPS's then-current manual reconciliation process resulted in a high percentage of unmatched transactions. Though its Travel Management Company (TMC), USPS was able to address a significant portion of the booked transaction reconciliation, but had limitations in its ability to address transactions, which occur after the original travel ticket is purchased, which ultimately lead to significant data gaps in the reconciliation process and additional workload placed upon the Agency Program Coordinator (AOPC). Depending on agency internal reconciliation and payment policy un-reconciled transactions can cause payment delays.

The solution

Working with Citi and its TMC, the USPS implemented Enhanced Reconciliation. This solution eliminates the matching and reconciliation burden from multiple TMC locations and, through the use of intelligent matching algorithms and extensive data sources, provides more accurate matching and timely reporting of mismatches so that resolution can happen closer to the date of travel. This solution has been able to consistently provide up to 95% reconciliation of CBA transactions within its deployed markets. With an eye on continuous improvement, Citi's matching algorithms utilise multiple processing routines that are refined over years of reallife performance with constant evolution to maximise the efficiency and completeness. Citi's Enhanced Reconciliation process also has the added benefit of centralising the data reconciliation process, minimizing the number of data sources an AOPC is required to manage during reconciliation.

The result

Citi has more real-world experience administrating commercial card programs for the Federal Government than any other provider – and, as expected, the USPS has measured real progress on its goals.

In addition to establishing a more efficient timely end-to-end reconciliation process and eliminating the matching and reconciliation burden from cardholders, the solution also improved visibility of card transactions.