Credit Card Merchant Accounts

Credit Card Processing

Accounting is responsible for coordinating all University bank card processing and is the sole point of contact with the University's financial institutions and bank card processors. Our merchant account provider gives the University the ability to accept credit cards in payment for goods and services. Departments accepting credit card payments will maintain and operate in accordance with these requirements and are responsible for those costs of operation as well as the credit card discount fees. All University participants will comply with the Payment Card Compliance Policy and the requirements of the and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Compliance is subject to periodic review by Audit and/or Treasury Services.

Credit Card Process Overview:

1. Departmental sales information is transmitted electronically to the authorized merchant credit card provider. Credit card terminals are the most common devices used for this purpose. The merchant credit card provider receives authorization and payment from the cardholder's bank.

2. The daily net sales will settle and funds are then deposited into the University's electronic deposits bank account.

3. It is the responsibility of the department to:

  • properly settle credit card terminals daily;
  • properly submit a cash receipt entry (journal voucher) into Banner to record the deposit in a timely manner;
  • resolve all disputed claims (“chargebacks”) as expeditiously as possible.

4. Disputed Claims: Accounting or the credit card organization (merchant account provider for Visa/Mastercard or directly by Discover and American Express) will notify the department regarding the nature of the dispute, who is lodging the dispute and the amount in dispute.

  • You will have a specified length of time in which to respond back to the credit card organization.
  • It is imperative that you respond in a timely manner with all of the information requested as the card company is authorized to process a chargeback to VCU's local bank account.
  • The department that the chargeback belongs to must reimburse the local bank account immediately by recording a negative cash receipt entry to Banner, regardless of any questions that they may have about the transaction.
  • It is the department's responsibility to resolve any issues with the credit card organization and the customer.

5. Fees are assessed by the authorized merchant credit card provider, based on a competitive bid process. These fees include costs for transaction processing, chargebacks and supplies.

  • Accounting coordinates allocating these processing and discount fees related to credit card transactions to the user departments.

6. Electronic commerce transactions will be subject to additional administrative costs of operation related to this process and are charged by Technology Services.

General Credit Card Rules, Regulations and Guidelines:

1. Departments must not store complete credit card information on any computer, database, or server. Departments must ensure that all of their employees and business processes comply with this requirement.

2. All card processing activities must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Departments must ensure their employees (including student employees) are aware of the importance of cardholder information security.

3. If you are directed by the authorization center to recover a credit card, it is your responsibility to comply with the request if it does not put the employee at risk.

  • Accounting can provide guidance on how to handle this situation.

4. The University does not recommend accepting unsigned cards. If the department chooses to do so, the department accepts all risk for those transactions.

  • Departments choosing to accept unsigned cards must require a second form of signed, picture ID prior to completing the transaction and is responsible for ensuring departmental staff is trained on this process as well as documenting the procedure in writing.

5. Departments will give proper credit for returns and adjustments by performing the proper function on the terminal.

  • Departments shall not, under any circumstances, pay any card refund or adjustment to a cardholder by any means other than a refund to the same card used for the original purchase.

6. Departments will maintain all card documentation (i.e. sales draft) containing card account numbers in a “ secure ” environment limited to dependable, trustworthy, and accountable staff with documented need for access.

  • Secure environments include locked drawers, file cabinets in locked office, and safes.
  • This may also require physical space to be secured via the use of employee badges, swipe card/key access to cashier/teller counter areas and/or video camera monitoring of the customer service area.
  • The department will be responsible for any losses due to poor internal controls.

7. Record Retention: Departments will keep an original, imaged copy or a microfilm copy of each sales draft and each credit draft, maintaining the current and three previous fiscal years' records.

  • Records must be stored in secure storage facilities during the required retention period.

i. Secure storage facilities include file cabinets or safes kept in locked office or secured warehouse facilities.

ii. This may also require physical space to be secured via the use of employee badges, swipe card/key access and/or video camera monitoring of secure storage area.

  • Departments remain responsible for limiting access to the stored data.
  • Departments will destroy these records in a secure manner (includes advising recycling staff that data must be placed in secure bin and incinerated) and in accordance with VCU's Standards for Records Management.

8. Accounting will provide the initial payment card acceptance training for all new departments as they are approved.

  • Departments are responsible for advising Accounting of any changes to departmental staff to ensure security access is updated, including granting access for new staff.