UCR Policies and Procedures

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Campus Policy Number:  200-17 

Credit/Debit Card Payments - Acceptance of

Policy Owner:  Student Business Services

Effective Date:  May 19, 2004

In response to UCR's Financial Systems Steering Committee (FSSC) request, the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee was formed to develop policy & procedures for accepting credit/debit cards.  The Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee includes staff members from Computing & Communications, the Accounting Office, Student Business Services, Main Cashiers, Financial Control & Accountability, Audit & Advisory Services and Academic Planning & Budget for both technical and business process oversight.  The focus of the group is to ensure all campus merchants are in compliance with the campus policies & procedures.

(CCOversightCommitteeCharter.pdf )

These policy & procedures have been developed to assist campus departments in understanding the process and responsibilities involved with accepting debit/credit cards as a form of payment. (CCPrincipleGuidelines.pdf) These policy & procedures will explain specific roles and responsibilities of the campus departments/merchants, organizational unit CFOs, Academic Planning & Budget, Student Business Services-Credit Card Coordinator, Main Cashiers Office, Accounting, Financial Control & Accountability, Audit & Advisory Services, and Computing & Communications. 

1.0 Credit/Debit Cards

1.1 Credit/Debit Card Processors

When a campus department decides to accept credit/debit cards for the purchase of goods and services, the effort must be coordinated with the campus Credit Card Coordinator.  The campus has established business relationships with four major credit card types: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.  Each department, or operational unit, electing to accept credit cards must be assigned a unique Merchant Identification (MID) Number based on card type: Visa/MasterCard (the same MID for both card types), Discover and American Express. A separate MID must be assigned exclusively for Internet transactions. 

As of the issue date of this policy, the University contracts with First Data Merchant Services (FDMS) and it's joint venture partner, Chase Merchant Services (CMS), to provide credit/debit card processing.  In addition, Cyber Source is utilized for Internet/web processing. Services provided by FDMS include sending the transactions to the purchaser's credit/debit card issuing company for billing, collecting the funds from the issuing company, depositing the funds to the University's bank account, reconciling disputed charges, and providing a monthly statement to the merchant for transactions and fees.  Discover and American Express do not allow third party processing, so FDMS forwards the transactions to those companies for processing.  Discover and American Express provide separate monthly statements to the merchants on transactions and fees.

Direct questions regarding the acceptance of credit/debit cards to the campus Credit Card Coordinator.

1.2 Types of Transactions

Credit/debit card activity includes four types of transactions:

  • An authorization verifying and holding available funds on the purchaser's credit/debit account.
  • A sale charging the purchaser's credit/debit card.
  • A credit refunding the purchaser's credit/debit card account.
  • A disputed charge resulting in a chargeback to the merchant.

1.3 Processing Mechanisms

The department/merchant needs a mechanism to communicate the transactions to FDMS.  Processing system requirements are:

  • Leasing or purchasing a card swipe terminal from FDMS, or
  • Purchasing software for use with cash registers certified to the Chase North platform (e.g. IC Verify), or
  • Maintaining an e-business application using the centrally supported gateway (web-based only).

1.4 Merchant Processing Responsibility

Regardless of the system used, the department must balance, close out, and settle the total credit/debit card transactions on a daily basis by MID.  Based upon the daily transactions, the department prepares a deposit through the Cash System-Deposit Advice Form (DAF) to record the sales in their departmental Full Accounting Unit (FAU).  The department forwards the DAF receipt to the Main Cashiers Office for verification.  The DAF must indicate the daily transactional totals by credit card type to ensure accurate reconciliations by the department/merchant and Accounting.  Once the Main Cashiers Office verifies the DAF, the deposit will appear on the departmental ledgers under source code DFS. For transactions processed via SIS, a separate sub code must be established for each credit card type (i.e., Visa/MasterCard, Discover and American Express).  Departmental FAU's are affected through the daily SIS feed based upon sub code (a DAF is not required).  For more information on processing credit/debit card transactions via SIS, please contact Student Business Services. 

Staff handling cash and cash equivalents must comply with Business & Finance Bulletin BUS49:  Policy for Handling Cash and Cash Equivalents (http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/bfb/bus49.html).

1.5 Merchant Reconciliation

FDMS, Discover and American Express issue monthly credit card activity statements to the department/merchant.  The department is responsible for reconciling this statement to their monthly ledger to ensure all transactions have been properly posted.  Accounting prepares the journal entry to charge the departments FAU for any fees and chargebacks associated with their MID(s).  The FAU charged is provided by the department upon the establishment of the MID.

2.0 Establishing Merchant ID (MID)/ Account

The department requests permission from their Organizational CFO to accept credit cards for payment and establish a merchant ID (CCApplication & AccountabilityForm.pdf). The Organizational CFO reviews the request to ensure the business is in line with the unit's mission, rates are properly developed and appropriate resources are available to manage the process.  If acceptable, the CFO approves and forwards to Vice Chancellor Academic Planning & Budget (AP&B).  AP&B reviews the proposal to ensure all costs associated with accepting credit cards are built into the proposed rates (e.g. credit card discount fees, processing fees, transactional fees, required equipment/software costs, internet processing fees (if applicable), servers (if applicable), maintenance (if applicable), and any other departmental costs required for support of this service).  If approved, the request is forwarded to the Credit Card Coordinator to initiate the MID establishment.

2.1 Visa/MasterCard MID  

The Credit Card Coordinator initiates the establishment of the MID by submitting a New Location Request Form to FDMS.  Each MID contains an associated merchant name; this name appears on the purchaser's credit/debit card statement.  The default merchant name will be UCR (department name), unless a reasonable alternative is specifically requested.  In the case of multiple MIDs under a department, the department must request meaningful and unique merchant names for each MID.  A separate MID is required for each alternative payment channel (i.e., Internet versus over-the-counter).

MID establishment takes approximately 7-10 working days. 

2.2 Discover and American Express MIDs

Discover and American Express charge slightly higher fees, provide separate statements, and require unique MIDs.  The department will be required to segregate these credit card types on the DAF from Visa/MasterCard transactions.  If a department chooses to accept Discover and/or American Express, it must be indicated on the Application & Accountability form.  The Credit Card Coordinator organizes the establishment of the MIDs and links the information within the FDMS.  A separate MID is required for each alternative payment channel (i.e., Internet versus over-the-counter). Discover and American Express respond to requests within two weeks. 

2.3 Notification of MID Numbers

The Main Cashiers Office notifies the departmental contact(s) and Accounting of all newly established MIDs.  The Main Cashiers Office coordinates the lease/purchase of card swipe terminals from FDMS (if applicable) and set up of the processing system with the departmental contact(s).

2.4 Restrictions

MID's are restricted to the sole use of the assigned department/merchant ONLY.  They are NOT to be shared at any time with any other department.  Departments not complying with this policy will forfeit their MIDs and lose the ability to take credit/debit cards as a form of payment.

3.0 Types of Processing Systems

3.1 Card Swipe Terminal

The card swipe terminal is a stand-alone device used to process credit/debit card transactions. As the credit/debit card is swiped, the terminal reads the magnetic strip on the back of the card as evidence of a card present transaction.  The benefit of the card present transaction is lower merchant fees.  The terminals allow credit/debit cards numbers to be manually keyed into the terminal, but this is considered to be a card not present transactions.  The fees associated with card not present transactions are higher due to the increased risk of fraud.  Examples of card not present transactions include: mail orders, phone orders, or cards that cannot be read via the swipe process.  The Main Cashiers Office will assist with the set up of terminals.

3.2 PC/Cash Register Software

All PC/cash register software must be certified to the Chase North platform.  IC Verify is the preferred software product offered by FDMS that connects directly to a cash register system (with swipe capabilities) to process credit/debit card transactions.  The software and cash register are used in place of a stand-alone card swipe terminal.  Card present and card not present transactions can be processed using IC Verify.  The Main Cashiers Office will assist with the set up of this process.

3.3 Web-based Gateways

Given risks and limited resources, the campus has developed a central campus Internet payment gateway hosted by Computing & Communications (C&C)”securePay@ucr.edu.  This gateway securely links to a single third party processor (currently Cybersource) for authorizations/approvals. UC requires merchants to utilize secure servers when providing for the purchase of services via the web.  Merchants are prohibited from storing credit card information on a their servers and the merchant's web site must link to the campus hosted gateway to process payments.  The gateway securely accepts the credit/debit card information from the customer and passes the encrypted transaction to Cybersource.  Cybersource processes the transaction and returns a status back to the gateway, which will be forwarded to the merchant.  The transaction status can range from notification of a successful submission, to several types of errors that can occur when credit/debit card information is submitted unsuccessfully. The department/merchant will need to have procedures in place for resolving error conditions.

All merchants accepting credit/debit card payments via the web must utilize an e-business application and secure server that handles all business processes.  In other words, the e-business application collects customer information, maintain product/service information, process orders for goods or services, and record the credit card processor approval status only.  Campus servers and PCs cannot store credit/debit card information.  Departments must coordinate with C&C for hardware and application specifications.  Department must adhere to all UC Policy & Procedures regarding data/information privacy and Business & Finance Bulletin IS-3 (http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/bfb/bfbis.html).

3.4 Other Systems and Exceptions

If a department is considering a system other than those listed in 3.1 through 3.3, an exception request (CCSystemExceptionRequestForm.pdf) must be submitted to their Organizational CFO, describing the proposal.  This request must include a detailed justification why it is necessary to utilize something other than the standard campus systems and specific information on the proposed system. The Organizational CFO reviews the proposal to ensure the business is in line with the unit's mission and that resources are available to administer the proposed system and processes.  If the proposal is acceptable, it is forwarded to the Vice Chancellor-AP&B.  AP&B reviews the commitment of University resources for the proposed system, the rates involved and the impact on campus community.  If approved, the request is presented it to the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee for final approval.  If final approval is received, the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee must review the final product prior to implementation of the system.

4.0 Accepting a Credit/Debit Card as Payment

The credit/debit card sale transaction is processed at the time the goods or services are delivered.  If the goods cannot be shipped immediately, the credit/debit card must not be charged until the items are delivered. 

Each sale transaction must be authorized first.  An authorization verifies that the credit/debit card is valid and there is a sufficient credit limit available for the sale.  An authorization will expire in 7-30 days depending on the type of card and the type of transaction.  If the authorization has expired, another authorization will need to be executed before the sale transaction can be processed.

The department MUST ensure adequate security levels exist when accepting credit/debit card information for payment.

Acceptable methods to receive credit/debit card information:

  1. US Mail
  2. FAX
  3. Walk-in
  4. Telephone
  5. Web via Campus Secure Gateway

Non-acceptable methods to receive credit/debit card information, due to encryption limitations:

  1. E-mail
  2. Instant Messenger

5.0 Awareness of Fraud (Card Present)

FDMS, the Visa/MasterCard associations, Discover, and American Express publish fraud awareness guidelines to consider when accepting a credit/debit card as a form of payment.  Contact the Main Cashiers Office for a copy of the guidelines. Questions to consider in determining if an item is fraudulent: 

  • Does the credit/debit card appear to be altered or damaged?
  • Is the purchaser acting in a suspicious manner?
  • Is the transaction taking advantage of the Address Verification Service, which will compare the address provided at the time of purchase with the billing address on the credit/debit card account?

If fraud is suspected, contact Voice Authorization Center at 1 (800) 346-3315, and ask to speak to a code 10 operator.  If the card is stolen or fraudulent, it must be confiscated and the UC Police Department contacted at (909) 787-5222.

6.0 Recording Credit Card Activity in the General Ledger

Departments are required to settle the transactions via the processor on a daily basis.  Based upon that daily activity, the departments must ensure that a journal entry is produced in the general ledger to record net credit/debit card sales.  There are three ways this journal entry is produced.

6.1 Cash System “Deposit Advice Form (DAF)

The DAF is an on-line system of recording deposits with a nightly batch interface to UCRFS.  Based upon daily activity, the department enters the credit/debit card batch totals to be credited (credit/debit card sales) or debited (credit/debit card refunds) to the departmental revenue FAU via the DAF.  The DAF system immediately issues a uniquely numbered receipt.  The department forwards a copy of this receipt to the Main Cashiers Office for verification.  Once a DAF is verified, the system transmits the transaction to UCRFS in an overnight batch process.  Many departments find it helpful for purposes of recordkeeping to separate deposits of checks/cash from deposits of credit/debit cards.  For additional information or training on the DAF system, please contact the Main Cashiers Office.

6.2 Student Information System (SIS)

SIS only accepts credit/debit card transactions processed through the web.  The web interface will update SIS with payments under unique sub codes.  The SIS nightly batch feed will produce the journal entries affecting the general ledger.  The department/merchant is responsible for ensuring the daily SIS feed agrees with the daily credit/debit card activity utilizing the SIS Current Activity Report and reports from the credit card processors.

6.3 Customized Journal Feed (Web based)

When the campus credit/debit card gateway is utilized, C&C can develop (for a fee) custom general ledger feeds based upon daily credit/debit card activity occurring through the gateway for a particular MID.  The department/merchant is responsible for ensuring the daily feed agrees with the daily batch total reports.

7.0 Refunds

Credit Card Operating Regulations require that all refunds MUST be issued to the same credit/debit card as the original sale.  In other words, refunds cannot be made to a different credit card. The process for issuing refunds varies depending on the type of payment system used. Refunds CANNOT be issued before the end of day settlement has been processed.  SIS credit card refunds must be coordinated with Student Business Services to ensure proper posting to the general ledger and may require unique sub codes.  For those merchants authorized to charge convenience fees (see section 10.0), please note the convenience fee portion of the sale is NOT refundable.

Due to the potential for fraud, departments must carefully review operational procedures and determine staff members authorized to issue refunds.  It is recommended that a department manager or supervisor with no cashiering functions be designated. All refunds should be pdfumented via a log with the reason for the refund (i.e., return of goods sold).

Under exceptional circumstances, such as when the credit/debit card account is closed, the refund can be processed via a Check Request (Form 5) with supporting pdfumentation and settlement receipt attached.

8.0 Disputes

Customers can question or dispute a charge by calling their credit/debit card issuer within 30 days of the charge. 

8.1 Media Retrieval Requests

If a charge is disputed, the issuing card company contacts FDMS requesting media back up (i.e., a copy of the sales slip) for the purchase.  As requests are made, FDMS sends a Bank Retrieval Request to the merchant.  If the request comes to the Main Cashiers Office, it will be forwarded that same day to the designated department contact person.

It is the department's responsibility to respond to all pdfument retrieval requests within the time period stated on the request (typically 12 days).  As much information about the transactions should be provided, including proof of delivery of the goods or services, to reduce the potential for a chargeback.  Failure to respond during the time period stated on the retrieval request will result in FDMS executing a chargeback and the department will forfeit rights to dispute.

8.2 Chargebacks

There are various instances when FDMS will debit the campus' bank account to reverse a credit/debit card transaction.  The reversal is referred to as a chargeback.  A notice of chargeback will be sent directly to the department.  If the Main Cashiers Office receives the notice, it will be forwarded on the same day received to the department contact's fax number.  In addition to the notice, FDMS sends a Merchant Chargeback Summary, Chargeback Advice Form, and Chargeback Response Form to the designated departmental contact person.  Accounting charges the department FAU for all chargebacks appearing on the campus bank statement.

It is a violation of Visa/MasterCard rules and regulations to re-bill a customer's credit card for a transaction that was charged back.  If the charge is legitimate, an alternate method must be used for payment.

Please refer to CCChargebackReasons.pdf most common reasons for a chargeback.

8.3 Disputing a Chargeback

For a fee, merchants can dispute a chargeback by filing a request for arbitration with FDMS (Visa/Master), Discover or American Express. Disputes must be initiated within 12 days or no further action can be taken.  In certain circumstances, FDMS also provides good faith collection services for a fee.  Contact the Main Cashiers Office for additional information.

9.0 Rejects/Exceptions

Occasionally, when a credit/debit card transaction is processed, a transmission error occurs.  The result is an incomplete transaction to the merchant and cardholder.  These errors are reflected on reject/exception reports.  Rejects/exceptions are handled differently dependent upon the processing systems used (e.g. Chase, Cybersource, third party vendors).  All rejects/exception reports must be reviewed and resolved on a daily basis, as batch totals may include rejected items and require adjustment. 

10.0 Interchange Rates

Credit card companies charge fees known as Interchange Rates, which include discount fees, processing fees and transactional fees.  Fees vary based on type of transaction (i.e., card present, card not present, electronic commerce, etc.) and on the compliance of the transaction with processing guidelines. These guidelines include, among others, utilization of the Address Verification Service (AVS: a risk management tool that compares the customer's address for the sale with the address on record for the credit/debit card account) and an authorization occurring within 48 hours.  Visa and MasterCard have similar, but different, fee structures.  Discover and American Express are independent companies with their own fee structures. Internet gateways fees are accessed based on the aggregated number of transactions for all UC merchants and include a campus based transactional fee.

The Main Cashiers Office can provide a complete list of Interchange Fees and their qualification guidelines.

11.0 Convenience Fees

A convenience fee is assessed to cover the costs of offering an automated payment channel such as the Web or IVR.  It may not be charged solely for the convenience of accepting the credit card, but rather for the convenience of an alternative payment channel in a non face-to-face environment. Convenience fees must be charged to all payment types within a payment channel.  For example, if convenience fees were charged for a merchant's web transactions, then all payment types including credit cards, debit cards, and ACH would be subject to the same convenience fee. In addition, each credit card company has unique regulations regarding the assessment of convenience fees. With this in mind, UCR convenience fees can only be charged by approved merchants on internet transactions; only MasterCard and Discover can be accepted when a convenience fee is involved; AND only the campus predetermined convenience fee (CCConvenienceFeeRates.pdf) can be charged by authorized merchants.  The convenience fee portion of the purchase is not refundable.  In order for a merchant to charge a convenience fee, campus approval must be obtained in advance.

11.1 Campus Approved Convenience Fees

The campus approved, standard convenience fee is based upon a percentage of the transaction amount (CCConvenienceFeeRates.pdf).  Only approved merchants can assess a convenience fee, and it must be at the standard campus rate. 

Student charges that are billed through SIS (e.g. tuition/fees, housing, parking, etc) will be assessed a convenience fee for Internet payments. 

11.2 Alternatives to Convenience Fees

Departments should build the cost for accepting credit cards (e.g. discount, processing and transactional fees) into their sales or service rates and CANNOT assess convenience fees.

11.3 Exceptional Approval

If a department cannot build the cost of accepting credit cards into their rates, an exception can be requested.  The department must supply pdfumentation to support their request to charge the campus standard convenience fee (CCConvenienceFeesExceptionRequest.pdf).  The Organizational CFO is responsible for reviewing the rational and if appropriate will forward the request to the Vice Chancellor-AP&B for review of rate structure.  If acceptable, the request is forwarded to the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee for final approval. 

Merchants approved to charge a convenience fee MUST exclude Visa as a credit card type and accept only MasterCard and Discover for payment.  The campus approved convenience fee/rate would be assessed on all Internet transactions.  (CCConvenienceFeeRates.pdf ) Convenience fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.

12.0 Statements / Reports

12.1 Monthly Activity Statements

FDMS provides monthly statements by MID of VISA/MasterCard transactions and fees; FDMS also provides a month-end recap of total net sales by credit card type for each MID. Discover provides a separate monthly statement to merchants on transactions and fees as well as a month-end detail report with daily batch totals by MID.  American Express provides a separate monthly statement to merchants on daily transactions by MID and associated fees per transaction. 

12.2 FDMS Duplicate Transaction Report

As needed, FDMS provides a report listing suspected duplicate transactions that have not been processed to the department contact.  It is the department's responsibility to determine and notify FDMS if the duplicate transactions are legitimate.  Once notified, FDMS will process the transaction to be reflected on the current day's settlement. 

12.3 On-line Reporting

Information such as batch totals, rejected items, chargebacks, and requests for media retrieval can be accessed through on-line reporting system tools.  Staff members with access to on-line reporting must comply with all cash-handling requirements (Reference:  Business & Finance Bulletin-BUS49).  Contact the Credit Card Coordinator for enrollment information.

12.4 Cyber Source Reports< (Web Transactions)

Cyber Source, our web gateway processor, provides two reports that departments will find useful.  The International Payment Batch Report lists detail of successful transactions per batch to FDMS.  The Purchase Activity Report lists all transactions, whether successful or not.  The report is e-mailed to the recipient(s) and can be downloaded into Excel for data analysis.  Contact the Credit Card Coordinator for enrollment information.

13.0 Departmental Training

The department is responsible for identifying all staff with credit/debit card processing responsibilities and ensuring attendance at all relevant training.  Periodically, the Main Cashiers Office provides training workshops on cashiering responsibilities and procedures.  The Main Cashiers Office is also available for ad hoc departmental training sessions.

14.0 Roles and Responsibilities

14.1 Department/Merchant

Departmental responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating the acceptance of credit/debit cards with the campus Credit Card Coordinator before any systems and/or software are purchased. 
  • Completing the appropriate forms for establishing MIDs and requesting exceptions, routing all form their Organizational CFO.
  • Purchasing/leasing approved processing mechanism (or requesting exceptional approval)
  • Coordinating with the Main Cashiers Office regarding set up.
  • Ensuring staff with credit/debit card processing responsibilities have passed background checks in accordance with UC Personnel Policy for Staff Members “UCR Local Procedure 21 (http://hr.ucr.edu/?content=PoliciesAndContracts/PPSM21Pro.html)
  • Ensuring staff with credit/debit card processing responsibilities comply with Business & Finance Bulletin BUS49:  Policy for Handling Cash and Cash Equivalents (http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/bfb/bus49.html)
  • Balancing, closing out, and settling all credit/debit card activity daily
  • Preparing the required DAF entry (if applicable) with appropriate segregation of credit card types.
  • Reconciling the monthly activity reports to the departmental ledgers. 
  • Processing refunds according to policy and ensuring segregation of duties.
  • Responding to Media/Bank Retrieval Requests within the required timeframe
  • Immediately researching and responding to chargeback notification
  • Reviewing Duplicate Transaction Reports
  • Reviewing and resolving error/reject reports 
  • Internet/web transactions:
    • Transacting via a secure web server
    • Coordinating with Computing and Communications regarding the credit/debit card gateway via a secure network link.
    • Adhering to the convenience fee policy (if exception approved)
  • Adhering to these policy and procedures.

14.2 Organizational CFO

The Organizational CFO is responsible for reviewing all departmental requests to accept credit cards to ensure that the business is in line with the unit's mission and that rates are properly developed; reviewing requests for system exceptions to ensure adequate controls, support and maintenance are addressed; reviewing requests for exceptional approval to charge convenience fees to ensure no other alternatives or resources are available; and forwarding all approved requests and exceptions to the appropriate offices for additional review. 

14.3 Academic Planning & Budget Approval

AP&B's responsibilities include reviewing departmental budget to ensure costs of operation are covered and to assess impact on user fees.  If the departmental request to accept credit cards is approved, it is forwarded to Credit Card Coordinator.  AP&B also reviews exception requests for charging convenience fees.  Approved exceptions are forwarded to the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee for implementation.  A representative of AP&B is a member of the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee.

14.4 Credit Card Coordinator

All requests for MIDs are forwarded to the Credit Card Coordinator to ensure the proposed process and controls at the department level are appropriate. If approved, the establishment of the MID is coordinated with the Main Cashiers Office.  The Credit Card Coordinator maintains listing of all MIDs and processes.  The Credit Card Coordinator has no cashiering or bank reconciliation responsibilities to ensure an adequate control environment.  When problems arise, the Credit Card Coordinator is the liaison with FDMS.  Credit Card Coordinator serves as chair of the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee.

14.5 Main Cashiers Office

The Main Cashiers Office submits MID applications, orders standard processing equipment for merchants, and communicates the MID numbers to the merchants and Accounting. The Main Cashiers Office assists departments with the set up of new credit card operations, and provides training workshops to campus departments/merchants.  Periodically, the Main Cashiers Office reviews the merchant's operations.  The Main Cashiers Office Manager is a member of the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee.

14.6 The Accounting Office

The Accounting Office reconciles deposits received by depository bank against transactions posted to the ledger via the DAF and SIS systems.  Accounting prepares the journal entry to charge the department for any fees and chargebacks associated with their MID(s).  Participates in training workshops for the campus departments/merchants.  A representative from the Accounting Office participates as a member of the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee.

14.7 Financial Control & Accountability

Financial Control & Accountability participates in the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee to examine current practices, evaluate policy & procedures, assist the committee identifying risks/ impediments to achieving policy & procedures objectives, and coordinate implementations to manage identified risks. 

14.8 Audit & Advisory Services

Audit & Advisory Services overview of credit card processes may occur at any time.  Credit card transactions are subject to review during any departmental audit.  A representative from Audit & Advisory Services is a member of the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee.

14.9 Computing & Communications

Computing & Communication (C&C) is responsible for the development and maintenance of a single campus credit/debit card .ePay gateway (Cyber Source) utilized by departments accepting credit/debit card payments via the web.  C&C coordinates with departments the required server and application specifications for accepting Internet payments to ensure a secure environment for transmitting credit/debit card information to the processor.  A representative from C&C is a member of the Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee. 

  14.10 Credit/Debit Card Oversight Committee

This committee is responsible for communicating policy and procedure to the campus community; reviewing exceptions to standard processing mechanisms to ensure adequate controls are in place; review exceptional request for convenience fees and providing recommendations; and review existing operational practices for compliance.

15.0 Contacts

  • Carol Mahlum, Credit Card Coordinator   (909) 787-3203
    • Carol.Mahlum@ucr.edu
  • Suzanne Bailey, Main Cashiers Office Manager (909) 787-3209
    • Suzanne.Bailey@ucr.edu
  • Linda Casteel, Accounting Office (909) 787-3302
    • Linda.Casteel@ucr.edu



CMS  Chase Merchant Services 

CFO Chief Financial Officer

FSSC Financial Systems Steering Committee

FDMS First Data Merchant Services

FAU Full Accounting Unit 

IVR Interactive Voice Response

MID Merchant Identification Number

SIS  Student Information System  

Terms and Definitions:

Alternative Payment Channels:  Options available to accept/make payments, such as face-to-face (over the counter), Internet transactions, or Voice Response System.

Authorization:  A reservation of the purchase amount against the available credit given by the credit/debit card company to ensure that the credit is available at the time the transaction posts.

Credit Card:  A plastic card having a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or business authorizing the holder to buy goods or services on credit. Also called a charge card.  The card retains an established dollar limit; and the available line of credit (balance) is reduced/increased as purchases/payments are made.

Debit Card:  A bankcard used to make an electronic withdrawal from funds on deposit in a bank, as in purchasing goods or obtaining cash advances.  This card is linked directly to the holder's checking account (primary account) and as the card gets used, deductions are made to the account balance.

E-Business:  Also know as e-marketplace, e-storefront or a web site.


  1. Convenience Fees: A fee the merchant assesses for providing an alternate payment channel.
  2. Discount Fees (Interchange Rates): Fees charged to the merchant by the credit/debit card companies for processing credit/debit card transactions.  This fee is normally based on a percentage of the purchase.
  3. Processing Fees: Fees charged to the merchant by the credit/debit card processor for processing credit/debit card transactions.
  4. Transaction Fees: A fee charged to the merchant by the credit/debit card processor for each credit/debit card transactions.

Payment Channel:  The different ways a merchant conducts business to accept payments.  For example, face-to-face/over the counter (direct merchant involvement), web based/Internet, automated voice-response systems via the telephone.

Payment Types:  The forms of payment within a payment channel, e.g. cash, check, credit/debit card, ACH. 

Settlement:  Finalizing the daily credit/debit card transactions in order for funds to be deposited into the University bank account.  Each merchant is responsible for performing this function at the end of the day.