Payment Solutions Category Lead, Jan Culshaw, considers how to leverage the recent PPNs to benefit your organisation and the UK economy.

It’s been a little over three months since the Cabinet Office, in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), put in place four powerful procurement policy notes (PPNs), 01/20, 02/20  03/20 and 04/20, to help the public sector buy urgently needed goods and services and accelerate early payment to suppliers.  

Now, more than ever, it is vital that the public sector leads by example and speeds up their payments to suppliers to improve cash flow and save jobs. 

The Cabinet Office, in partnership with CCS, is leading and empowering the public sector to make greater use of procurement cards as set out in PPN 03/20, which include a suite of physical, lodge (where card details are stored in the payment system) and virtual cards. 

Card payments already represent more than 50% of all payment methods* and this is expected to increase year-on-year. Key benefits include:

  • improve departments’ processes and efficiency
  • fast payment to suppliers 
  • ensures robust controls are in place 

The public sector has a critical role to play in supporting businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic – we must accelerate payments to suppliers to improve cash flow. Procurement cards are a key way of doing this, enabling instant payment for goods and services. They bring additional benefits to both account departments and to vendors by improving control and simplifying processes. Contracting authorities should make sure they are issued to the relevant staff and the correct card limits set.

Gareth Rhys-Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer

At CCS, we can help organisations across the public sector benefit from the power of these PPNs and strengthen the UK economy as a result.

To find out more about procurement cards, visit our framework page or get in touch with our category experts at


*UK Finance Market Summary, June 2019