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Guidelines for Transacting Credit Card Payments

Credit Card Types

The University has approved the acceptance of multiple credit card types for payment of departmental sales or services. The approved credit card types are MasterCard, Visa, Discover Card, and American Express. Your department may choose to accept any or all of these card types. The set-up of your Merchant Location for each credit card type you have selected MUST be done through the Office of Finance. The initiation of a WEB application for accepting credit card payments MUST be done through the E-Business Resource Group (ERG). Set-up of your Merchant Location is NOT permitted to be done directly with the approved Credit Card Companies.

 

MECHANISMS FOR TRANSACTING CREDIT CARDS

Credit card payments may be transacted by way of standard equipment, PC software, and/or through the internet (WEB). Equipment, PC software or internet capability MUST be acquired through the Office of Finance from University approved vendors.

 

CREDIT CARD FEES

Various fees such as rentals, interchange, and discounts are associated with each card type. They will appear on your Merchant statements in the respective month but will be applied to your departmental account on a one-month delay by the General Accounting office. (Note: All fees associated with American Express will be charged to your department account.) General Accounting should immediately be alerted to any discrepancies associated with these fees that appear on your Level I report. It is recommended that all departments use the “Address Verification” component when processing credit card transactions when the card is not present. There is a higher risk associated with a cardholder transaction when the card is not present. Address Verification is a fraud protection tool for Merchants to reduce this risk. By passing along the address information through the equipment, it qualifies the transaction at a lower cost to the department.

 

PROCESSING OF CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS

Once you have obtained your Merchant ID (Location) number from the Office of Finance and your equipment or software and/or WEB Page has been established, you can begin to process credit card payments. You will need to follow the instructions provided to you by PNC Merchant Services (PNCMS-the University’s Non-WEB Credit Card processor) or the WEB Page provider. It is critical that you process items as they are received since a time lapse can result in a loss of payment due to a credit card maximum being obtained during such time lapse or the inactivation of a credit card. For Non-WEB payments, this process also involves the settling of your transactions daily prior to 12:59 a.m. All settlements made from 1:00 a.m. on a given day to 12:59 a.m. the following day are considered one day’s business and must be recorded as such on the corresponding cash report that you must prepare. For WEB payments, your WEB Page publisher must provide a reporting tool that allows access to determine total payments by card type made for a given day. This activity must also be recorded as such on the corresponding cash report.

 

RECONCILIATION OF MONTHLY STATEMENTS

Monthly statements, from PNCMS, and if applicable Discover Card and American Express, must be downloaded each month from the respective processor's website.  Enrollment for online merchant websites can be coordinated through the Office of Finance for PNCMS, Paymentech, and Discover Card.  These statements are to be reconciled to your cash reports to ensure that the appropriate dollars for each settlement day have been recorded to the proper bank accounts (PCC and AMX – see Account Number of the "Completing a Cash Report" section of this document for descriptions). Your cash reports are to be reconciled to your monthly Level I report to ensure that each cash report has been received and properly credited to your department. Cash reports received at the end of the month may not appear on your Level I report until the following month. Please call General Accounting if you believe that a cash item is missing and has not appeared in the subsequent month. This will avoid duplicate transactions. (See "Guidelines for Completing Direct Deposit and Credit Card Cash Reports" for further information.) Both reconciliations are to be done on a monthly basis to avoid any loss of revenue. If you are not receiving these statements, please contact the Office of Finance.

 

CHARGEBACK NOTICES

Chargeback notices are sent by the Merchant Provider (PNCMS Visa/'MasterCard, Discover or American Express) directly to the individual who is responsible for the Merchant activity in your area. Chargebacks can also be viewed via the online merchant website.  If you choose to dispute the item, it is this individual’s responsibility to respond directly to the appropriate Merchant Provider within the number of days specified on the notice. General Accounting will charge your specified departmental account for the chargeback in the month that the transaction appears on the bank statement. In the event the chargeback is reversed, General Accounting will record the adjusting entry to the same specified departmental account.

 

COMPLETION OF CASH REPORTS

As a recipient of revenue (cash, check or credit card payments), you are responsible for recording these transactions to your departmental accounts and the University’s Bank accounts via cash reports directly into PRISM. It is imperative that cash reports be completed according to "Guidelines for Completing Direct Deposit and Credit Card Cash Reports" to avoid errors or delay in posting. Cash Reports must be input the same month the revenue is received.

Complete one cash report for each day’s activity (see the following). DO NOT combine multiple days on a cash report unless previously authorized to do so by the General Accounting Department.

Non-WEB Payments

WEB Payments

 

SECURITY AND RECORD RETENTION

Proper security and access restrictions must be maintained when processing credit card transactions. All documents containing credit card numbers must be secured and unavailable to unauthorized individuals. All documents containing credit card numbers should be destroyed (shredded) unless otherwise required in accordance with University record retention guidelines http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/ebusiness/, in which case they must be maintained in a secure location.

Record retention requirements: credit card cash reports, support documentation (copies of settlement information), and monthly statements for a fiscal year should be maintained for eighteen months in accordance the University of Pittsburgh Record Retention Guidelines.

 

RETURN OF EQUIPMENT

Should you elect to return the credit card equipment/printer, (either because business has closed or activity was seasonal), contact the Office of Finance. Send an e-mail to Emily Gavin in the Office of Finance that includes all Merchant Location numbers (PNCMS, Discover, and American Express, if applicable), address, and contact information. Please specify if the Merchant Location numbers are to be closed. The Office of Finance will then contact PNCMS; PNCMS will make arrangements with the individual Merchant location to have a “CALL TAG” delivered to your location. You must place the call tag on the package/equipment to be returned and call the phone number on the tag. Either RPS or Airborne will pick up the package from you and directly return it to PNCMS free of charge. Please communicate the tracking number of the package and the date of shipment to the Office of Finance so your location can be removed from further PNCMS billing.

Please note that if equipment is no longer used but still resides in your possession - equipment rental fees will continue to be charged to your Merchant location until such equipment has been returned.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

It is highly recommended that you swipe the card whenever it is present. Swiping the card allows the University to receive a better rate for credit card processing. It also proves that the card was present during the sale, providing for greater protection under the chargeback regulations.

 

PNCMS (Non-WEB) DISCOVER

JoAnne Nordloh
Relationship Manager
Phone: (513) 965-9572
Fax: (513) 965-9573
E-Mail: josephine.nordloh@pncbank.com

Tom Hess
Account Representative
Phone: 1 (800) 347-7038 (ext. 4573)
Fax: (614) 283-4735
E-Mail thomashess@discoverfinancial.com

AMERICAN EXPRESS Customer Service
Phone: 1 (800) 528-5200 (option 5 then option 1)

INTERNAL CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Contact:

University – E- Business Resource Group (ERG) at http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/ebusiness for information and

set-up regarding WEB credit card processing

 

For the following items contact:

University of Pittsburgh - General Accounting Department

Sandra A. LaQuatra

3700 Cathedral of Learning

Phone 412-624-6290

FAX: 412-624-9911

  1. Completion of Cash Reports
  2. Missing Cash Reports

 

Colin P. Rawleigh

3700 Cathedral of Learning

Phone 412-624-8313

FAX: 412-624-9911

  1. Reconciliation Issues
  2. Credit Card Processing Inquiries

For the following items contact:

University of Pittsburgh -Office of Finance

Emily A Gavin

2409 Cathedral of Learning

Phone 412-624-1378

FAX: 412-624-4384

Or

Susan M. Gilbert

2409 Cathedral of Learning

Phone 412-624-6622

FAX: 412-624-4384

 

Initial Merchant Location Set-up

  1. Acceptance of additional credit card types
  2. Department name or address changes
  3. FAX receipt of chargeback notices
  4. Continuous non-receipt of monthly statements
  5. Cancellation of card type or Merchant Location and return of equipment
  6. PNCMS online statement set-up