Credit Card Operations
Texas Tech University provides the ability for departments to accept credit cards as a form of payment. Credit Card Operations in Accounts Receivable is responsible for establishing new merchant accounts and representing the department to the university's card processor. Equally important is the function of ensuring compliance and security of cardholder information under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Standards.
How to Request a New Merchant Account
To begin the setup process for accepting credit cards in person, over the phone, or online, please follow the procedure as outlined in OP 62.06. Procedures and forms for establishing and maintaining a credit card merchant account are can be found in this policy.
Accepting Payment Cards Overview
Accepting payment cards will increase business, help you in collecting payment for your services, facilitate easy registration for your event, or whatever your situation may be. However, accepting payment cards increases your responsibility in protecting your consumer’s information, adds business expenditure, and increases your daily office procedures. Most departments would agree that the added responsibility and cost is worthwhile. There are a few things to consider:
- E-Commerce vs. Point-of-Sale(POS)
- E-Commerce: Merchant Accounts use different types of payment modes to process credit and debit cards.E‐commerce is a mode of payment card acceptance using the internet. The authorization, capture, and settlement of all payment card information is transmitted through the internet. The actual payment card is never in your hand. Everything is done on‐line. You simply receive the deposit information to either post to your accounts or simply reconcile as payments are processed. Firewalls protect the information as the information is in transit and stored.
- Point of Sale:Point of Sale devices (or terminals) use stand alone payment card machines that the card can be swiped through or the card information can be keyed into, in order to process the payment through a dial up phone line. These terminals are still considered very relevant technology, as they maintain a tamper proof and secure communication mode. Some of these terminals, for purposes of speed, can use the internet instead of a phone line, but firewalls should be in place to secure that mode of communication so that consumer information remains secure.
Merchant (Departments) Responsibilities
All TTU credit card merchants must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to ensure the security of cardholder data processed via their merchant account. PCI DSS includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other protective measures.
A merchant account must be maintained by the above mentioned standards (PCI DSS) which serve to protect YOU as well as the consumer. The University has established a policy that, if complied with, will protect you, the University, and your consumers from hackers and other thieves from obtaining sensitive information. Also, reconciliation of your merchant account and your deposit account is vital to maintain proper accounting practices. Paper receipts and reports must be properly secured. There are also trainings, compliance self‐assessments, and agreements that must be updated and adhered to on an annual basis.
Training is required for all new Merchants prior to processing transactions and annually for all existing Merchants. Any employees who process payment cards or have access to sensitive payment card information received by their department for payment card transactions, supervisors of such staff, departmental business managers and others who oversee payment card operations in a department are required to take the online training at the link: PCI Awareness Online training
- PCI SSC (Security Standards Council): www.pcisecuritystandards.org
- Treasury Institute for Higher Educationwww.treasuryinstitute.org
- Blogs:www.pcianswers.com and www.treasuryinstitute.org/blog
For More Information
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Credit Card Operations office at 806-742-3271.