Can we do this? Scenarios from the trenches


We would like to purchase a Square™ so we can take credit cards for an event. Can we do this?

No. While Square™ and similar devices are PCI compliant, the devices they are attached to are not! PCI compliance is required for accepting all credit cards on campus. Stay tuned! We are working on providing a safe and secure mobile credit card payment processing option.

Consequences for improper use: Account data breaches can lead to catastrophic loss of sales, relationships and standing in your community. Possible negative consequences also include:

  • Lawsuits
  • Insurance claims
  • Cancelled accounts
  • Payment card issuer fines
  • Government fines

We want to accept checks as collateral for a loaned key, microscope, compass etc. without depositing the checks. Can we do this?

No. Any type of deposit is considered a fee and must be approved by the University. All checks and any other type of payment, no matter the method, must be deposited with the Student Business Office Cashiers within 24 hours of receipt. See University Policy, POL-U5351.09 Depositing Cash.

Because these types of deposits are essentially a pre-payment for an item and are kept as a security deposit (for loss or damage), they are still considered a fee by the University and must be approved before being charged to students/staff.

Our group is taking credit card information over the phone as payment for our event registration. Can we do this?

Accepting credit card information over the phone, by mail and walk-in are all approved methods for receiving credit card information. Before taking these payments there are several policies and procedures that must be followed to insure safe acceptance and processing. Please see POL-U5351.14 Accepting, Processing and Securing Payments Through the Internet . Why not create an eMarket site instead?

We want to sell CD's at someone else's event to help them out. Can we do this?

No. If you enter into an agreement on your own, written or verbal communication, and Western or its employees becomes responsible for the goods and money generated, whether implied or explicit, then you cannot do this.

Consequences: If the 3rd party isn’t present and entrusts all of the goods and money generated from the event, the University is being opened up to becoming liable for lost, stolen, damaged goods, whether at fault or not. If the 3rd party is present and allows Western students, faculty, or staff to handle the sales, the University is still open to liability on the part of the cash received.

Solution: Contact Contract Administration x-7731 to discuss the requirements and write a contract protects all parties. They might even be able to create a contract that can be modified for use for your other events. Contact Treasury Services x3720 to determine what is needed to take money and learn the simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming liable for lost, stolen, or damaged goods. Be sure you plan ahead!

Can we use Pay Pal or Amazon to sell items for our department. Can we do this?

No. Use of these types of payment services violate POL-U5351.14 Accepting, Processing and Securing Payments Through the Internet - 1. Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Approves University Standard Internet Payment System(s). While the type of payment services are usually PCI compliant and safely stored, customer data accounts are set up for individuals, not the University. Funds must be kept by an individual and then transferred/deposited to the University. In the past, some areas where allowed to use these types of services because there were no other cost effective solutions - with the introduction of the CashNet eMarket, that is no longer an issue.

Consequences: The money received through these sites could be directed to private, non-Western bank accounts, and since the accounts are set up by individuals, there is no University oversight. Abuse could damage Western’s reputation and could be costly to the University to resolve issues.

Solution: Contact Treasury Services to set up an eMarket site! Each site is tailored to its customers to gather all transaction information and best of all - payments are posted real time to your fund!

Page Updated 12.31.2014