Skip To Main Content
College athletic teams playing basketball, football and volleball

Prepaid Expense Cards: Solving emerging business needs

Change. Adapt. Evolve.

There is no such thing as “business as usual” anymore. Rapidly changing landscapes have organizations searching for flexible solutions to meet unique challenges.

Universities are no different. They are searching for efficient, dynamic and safe ways to provide authorized expense funds, such as per diems, to thousands of dispersed athletes, coaches and staff. Many have found a streamlined answer to electronic expense management through CommercePayments® Prepaid Expense Cards.

Simplifying team expenses.

With today’s technology, it’s now easier than ever to take advantage of safer funding methods for team-related travel. With reloadable Visa® debit cards, institutions can electronically distribute funds to their cardholders anywhere in the country.1

Historically, athletic departments took on a multi-step process of requesting and approving fund withdrawals. Cash was hand-delivered to administrators, coaches and athletes for travel expenses and per diem. That process was time consuming and inherently risky.

“Spending control and efficiency are the biggest benefits of our prepaid expense card program.”
Business Operations Supervisor, University of Kansas

Whether in the office or working from home, an administrator can issue CommercePayments® Prepaid Expense Cards.

The prepaid debit cards have many real-time benefits for athletic departments, including the ability to:

  • Load and unload funds to multiple cards
  • Issue or replace cards
  • Set authorized merchant categories and card limits for different types of users
  • Limit cash access
  • Monitor and review transactions online
  • Establish automatic and scheduled reloads

Funding with flexibility.

While the cards are particularly useful for travel, they are also a responsible, contactless way to get other expense funds to coaches, student-athletes and staff.

“If the university closes, we can still get funds to student athletes for their travels to and from home.”
Office Coordinator – Athletics, Texas Tech University

Team operation directors like the ability to make purchases or access cash without the hassle of requesting and cashing checks in advance. The card’s flexibility allows administrators to add funds to a card in case of emergencies such as rescheduled travel or athlete injuries.

Addressing risk and compliance.

Prepaid Expense Cards are a safer payment method, offering better tracking tools. For example, if a card is ever lost or stolen, the card can be deactivated, and funds moved to a new card. Additionally, administrators have the ability to automatically load amounts daily, which helps student athletes manage their on-the-road per diems in accordance with established rules. Further, the Prepaid Expense Card facilitates the reclaiming of funds from a suspended or ineligible student.

When coaches and athletes return from travel, there aren’t receipts to track down and expense reports to sign, and any remaining balances can be moved back into the appropriate university account.

“With the Prepaid Expense Cards reports, we can review transactions and easily reconcile expenses”

Solving today’s challenges.

The University of Missouri’s athletic department piloted the first Prepaid Expense Cards program with its teams in 2015. The program rolled out with the basketball program and, based on its success, many other sports followed.

“We save hundreds of hours by using the online automation offered by Prepaid Expense Cards.”
University of Missouri Business Office

CommercePayments® has worked with universities of all sizes.

To read more about what the Prepaid Expense Card can do for your institution, or to learn how to get started, visit us online at or email us at

CommercePayments® solutions are provided by Commerce Bank.


  1. Where Visa® debit cards are accepted.