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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

21.1.2 Become a Merchant Unit

Policy Statement

Merchant Card Services negotiates all banking and card processing relationships on behalf of the entire University of Illinois System, thereby taking advantage of volume discounts and internal controls not available to individual units.

Under no circumstance should a unit contract with a credit card processor to begin accepting credit/debit cards. Units cannot accept credit/debit cards until they have the approval of Merchant Card Services.


To become a merchant:

  1. Obtain approval as a cash handling unit.
  2. Consult with Merchant Card Services. They will work with you to complete the steps below:
    • Comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for credit/debit card security.
    • Designate one fiscal officer for your unit. He or she is responsible for submitting requests to establish or update unit credit/debit card services. The fiscal officer is also responsible for the unit's compliance with all credit/debit card processing requirements and policies and must sign off on the unit's compliance measures.
    • Designate an operations manager who is responsible for overseeing daily card processing operations. In smaller units, the fiscal officer and operations manager may be the same person.
    • Designate a dispute resolution person who is responsible for responding to any requests for information regarding a disputed transaction.
    • Regardless of the transaction technology used, obtain written approval from Merchant Card Services before entering into any contract for, or purchase of, software and/or equipment for processing credit/debit card transactions.
    • Arrange for all unit personnel involved with card processing to complete the Payment Card Data Security training before accepting any cards for payment.
    • Develop processes so you can respond quickly and accurately to an information request when a transaction is disputed.
  3. Complete and submit the Merchant Card Services Enrollment Request.
  4. Merchant Card Services works with you to establish card processing service.

Forms Used in this Procedure

Merchant Card Services Enrollment Request

Related Policies and Procedures

10 Obtain Approval as a Cash Handling Unit
10 Implement Internal Controls for Handling Cash and/or Checks
21.2.1 Become PCI Compliant

Additional Resources

Payment Card Data Security Training

Last Updated: May 23, 2019 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: November 2008

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