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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

21.1.3 Accept Cards for Payment

Policy Statement

All units authorized to accept credit or debit card payments must exercise reasonable care in screening transactions to reduce credit/debit card misuse.

Fiscal officers and operations managers must acquaint themselves with the information in the Payment Card Acceptance Requirements. They should summarize that information and make it part of training provided to staff who are processing transactions.

If a portion of any payment is non-refundable, inform the customer of this before you process the sale (for example, 90-day limit for returns, final sales that are not refundable).


To accept cards for payment:

Card Present (in person purchase)
  1. Make sure the card is signed.
  2. Hold the card through the entire transaction.
  3. Slide the card only once unless prompted to do otherwise by the device.
  4. Print the sales receipt.
  5. Compare the account number to the number printed on the receipt.
  6. Obtain the customer's signature and compare it to the signature on the card. If the receipt signature differs significantly from the card's signature, ask to see another form of photo identification.
  7. Ensure the transaction is complete before beginning another transaction.
Card Not Present (mail, telephone, or web order)
Most of the safeguards for these purchases are embedded in the software or terminal. When you process the transaction, the system or terminal will prompt you to enter information, such as the customer's billing address and the card security code, which is designed to reduce fraud.
If your unit has an e-commerce website, do not enter card information for customers or accept payment information by email, chat, instant message or any similar messaging technology, as that increases security risks. Direct the customer to your sales website and to make the purchase for themselves.

Additional Resources

Payment Card Acceptance Requirements
FAQ Question #5 addresses the use of Paypal.

Last Updated: September 16, 2016 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: November 2008

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