Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

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MnD
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Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MnD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:33 pm

I need to pay on a quarterly basis a semi-illiterate farm worker who is servicing some equipment for me about 1 hour a week on a weekly basis on a long-term project I run. The vendor and his spouse have no email, no computer and he indicated to me he reads with difficulty so getting him up to speed on computers is a no-go. He has a land-line phone only. I am over 1000 miles from project site and vendor. He does an excellent job and up until now a general contractor has paid him, but they are off the project and out of the area.

The only payment authority I have is via an agency credit card. My procurement group (yes, this is the government) indicated in order to pay him through normal channels, vendor needs to complete a multiple-step complex online process to get set up as a vendor along with ongoing computer-based activity by him to invoice and get paid. So forget that.

I asked the vendor if he had a friend or family member who could set up a pay-pal account for him and invoice me and transfer funds I deposit to paypal to his bank and he indicated he wasn't comfortable with letting his friends or other family members be involved with his financial dealings. He did offer to give me his checking account number and asked if i could deposit the funds into it quarterly since I'm a trustworthy govt official. :mrgreen:

So........
Is there a reputable and secure go-between service that will take a credit card payment from organization A and deposit funds into a bank account for person B with person B having to do absolutely nothing initially and on an ongoing basis involving email or a computer? :confused

margered
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by margered » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:40 pm

Paypal at the library?

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Pajamas
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by Pajamas » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:44 pm

You can deposit or transfer money into a checking account no problem, seems like the problem is more on your end by wanting to pay it using a credit card, which basically turns it into a cash advance. Someone is going to have to pay fees to do that, either the payor or the recipient. Can you transfer the money from a bank account instead of a credit card? Or mail him a check?

MnD
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MnD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:49 pm

margered wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:40 pm
Paypal at the library?
Zero computer knowledge, skills or ability. Reads with difficulty.

livesoft
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by livesoft » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:52 pm

Call his local bank manager and ask for ideas.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

TravelGeek
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:54 pm

Would some service like Plastiq work?

https://www.plastiq.com

From their FAQ:
Plastiq is a first-of-its-kind online payment service that enables its members to use the credit & debit cards already in their wallets to make any payment, regardless of recipient acceptance. Unlike other solutions, Plastiq processes card payments and sends them in a form that recipients already accept, either via electronic bank transfer or check. Recipients do not need a Plastiq account to accept card payments submitted through our service.
It presumably costs a fee; not sure if your government org would be able to cover that.

Kudos for trying to sort this out!

MnD
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MnD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:57 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:44 pm
You can deposit or transfer money into a checking account no problem, seems like the problem is more on your end by wanting to pay it using a credit card, which basically turns it into a cash advance. Someone is going to have to pay fees to do that, either the payor or the recipient. Can you transfer the money from a bank account instead of a credit card? Or mail him a check?
Our agency bank cards don't allow cash advances for payments.
I have no access to an agency "bank account".
We used to have lots of check-writing authority but that has virtually disappeared, plus the few remaining check-writers have a very low limit which this vendor exceeds by about 2X on an annual basis so they won't write a check for me, even though the quarterly payments are under their limit.

MnD
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MnD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:57 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:52 pm
Call his local bank manager and ask for ideas.
Thanks. I thought of that too.

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dm200
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:57 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:52 pm
Call his local bank manager and ask for ideas.
Yes - or a credit union.

MnD
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MnD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:58 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:54 pm
Would some service like Plastiq work?

https://www.plastiq.com

From their FAQ:
Plastiq is a first-of-its-kind online payment service that enables its members to use the credit & debit cards already in their wallets to make any payment, regardless of recipient acceptance. Unlike other solutions, Plastiq processes card payments and sends them in a form that recipients already accept, either via electronic bank transfer or check. Recipients do not need a Plastiq account to accept card payments submitted through our service.
It presumably costs a fee; not sure if your government org would be able to cover that.

Kudos for trying to sort this out!
That looks promising - I'll check it out!

Mike Scott
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by Mike Scott » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:25 pm

You might be able to buy visa gift cards loaded with the correct payment amount and mail them to him directly to use. The purchase fees are probably cheaper than plastiq.

TravelGeek
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:42 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:25 pm
You might be able to buy visa gift cards loaded with the correct payment amount and mail them to him directly to use. The purchase fees are probably cheaper than plastiq.
A government credit card buying visa gift cards which then get mailed around the country to someone... isn't that going to raise audit concerns for the OP?

MnD
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MnD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:14 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:42 pm
Mike Scott wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:25 pm
You might be able to buy visa gift cards loaded with the correct payment amount and mail them to him directly to use. The purchase fees are probably cheaper than plastiq.
A government credit card buying visa gift cards which then get mailed around the country to someone... isn't that going to raise audit concerns for the OP?
:mrgreen:
I am often on the bleeding edge of innovative ways of getting things done in an inherently inefficient system but that idea was a bridge way too far! It's easier to apologize than to ask permission but I always make sure I have a wonderful justification and a clean audit trail if need be.

TravelGeek
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:35 pm

Wouldn’t you also need to send the contractor a 1099?

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MP123
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by MP123 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:04 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:35 pm
Wouldn’t you also need to send the contractor a 1099?
Wondering that too.

What's the approximate dollar amount we're talking about?

HIinvestor
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:28 pm

Also, it looks like Plastiq assesses an approximately 2.5% fee on the person who transmits the payment.

RudyS
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by RudyS » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:56 pm

MP123 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:04 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:35 pm
Wouldn’t you also need to send the contractor a 1099?
Wondering that too.

What's the approximate dollar amount we're talking about?
Hmmm, 1 hr/week for a year? Might be close.
You are required to complete a 1099-MISC reporting form for an independent worker or unincorporated business if you paid that independent worker or business $600 or more. You add up all payments made to a payee during the year, and if the amount is $600 or more for the year, you must issue a 1099 for that payee.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by ccieemeritus » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:08 pm

My former employer had several ways to pay a vendor:

Purchase requisition -> purchase order -> invoice -> check / direct deposit
Check request -> check
you pay -> file expense report with receipt -> get reimbursed
put charge on corporate purchasing credit card (receipt must be submitted)
many years ago there was also a "petty cash" drawer. But that's history.

One art of "procurement" is figuring out all the different ways to pay, and using the best one. In this case, it sounds like "check request" would be best, if you have that available. But my company phased that out a few years back.

Having the credit card pay a middleman who pays with check sounds problematic. If I was an auditor that is exactly the kind of stuff I'd look for if I was searching for wrongful card expenses.

ralph124cf
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by ralph124cf » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:29 am

We all understand the law about 1099 reporting requirements, but many government agencies require 1099 reporting with no minimums for payments to unincorporated contractors, and sometimes to incorporated contractors.

Ralph


rkhusky
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by rkhusky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:58 am

HIinvestor wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:28 pm
Also, it looks like Plastiq assesses an approximately 2.5% fee on the person who transmits the payment.
That's not a dealbreaker in the gov't. Often, in order to get things on contract, officials will pay a 4-5% overhead fee to a business with an existing contract, in order to pay a contractor with no current contract.

Too bad the OP can't find someone in the local area with a relevant contract, who could contract out this service to the worker who is currently doing the job.

pshonore
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by pshonore » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:58 am

I'll bet this guy is one of the millions of "unbanked" people out there but he does have a cellphone, right? Is there anyway to send payments to his cellphone that he could access without going to a bank?

wilshuer
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by wilshuer » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:31 am

Seems like whatever route is going to raise auditor flags, to ensure you're covered, especially given it's a gov't organization, I would have a documented meeting with a supervisor, financial person and a legal person to discuss what is the best route and agree path forward. Remember, ultimately you need to CYA, so have an ironclad documented process in the case of an audit.

The down side, this may lead to a discussion on why this vendor is used, which you'll have to go to bay for him. On the upside, they may come up with something that is easier. My MegaCorp has made it significantly more difficult to pay vendors in the past few years, however with some pushing I was able to still get a unique vendor to be paid by paper check.

TravelGeek
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Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:07 am

pshonore wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:58 am
I'll bet this guy is one of the millions of "unbanked" people out there but he does have a cellphone, right?
I am betting against that. The OP says

- guy has a land-line only
- guy has checking account

:)

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