Not so long ago, when a mechanic at a Pep Boys auto repair shop needed a part that was not in stock, he or she would call the supplier, place the order and then literally go to the cash register to retrieve enough money to pay for the delivery. Not only was that inefficient and hard to keep track of, it left the company more vulnerable to fraud.

Pep Boys didn't want to hand out credit or purchasing cards to every mechanic or every supplier, but something had to be done to make sure that work was not held up and, at the same time, guarantee a level of control to the finance department. Then, PNC Bank approached the $2.4 billion, Philadelphia-based chain with ActivePay, and Pep Boys found its solution.

That solution involves the use of unfunded p-cards–actual plastic held by registered Pep Boys suppliers. When a part is located and the cost determined, the store manager agrees to fund that supplier's card for the amount of the part plus five cents. "Security is better because the cards have no value until a manager funds them," reports James P. Monyak, Pep Boys' director of working capital. "We know we can't be charged for things we didn't buy or for more than the quoted price. The charge is linked to a request, so it's easy to reconcile. And we don't have mechanics or managers interfering with the checkout line to get cash out of a register."

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.