Becoming a Merchant

Departments interested in accepting credit cards should follow these four steps to become a credit card merchant.

Step 1: Document a Business Plan

The business plan should define the department’s customers, and the estimated credit card transaction and dollar volumes. In addition, the business plan should address any seasonality of payments that is anticipated. Finally, the business plan should describe whether customers will transact their own credit card payments on-line, if departmental staff will handle the customer's credit card payments, or if a combination of both is required. Email this business plan to compliance@sandiego.edu and include the name and phone number of the requesting contact person.

Step 2: Determine the Appropriate Processing Method

The Finance Office will contact the requestor to discuss the business plan and to determine the most appropriate credit card merchant configuration.

Step 3: Understand Responsibilities and Applicable Fees

As a credit card merchant, departments are responsible for maintaining compliance to university policies and procedures, and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. All individuals handling credit card transactions must know and understand their responsibilities. To review those responsibilities, please see Credit Card Merchant Operational Procedures and Information Security Requirements. For a review of credit card merchant account fees, please see Merchant Account Fees.

Step 4: Complete the New Credit Card Merchant Request Questionnaire

The Finance Office has created the New Credit Card Merchant Request Questionnaire to educate departments further on the proper handling of credit card payments. In addition, this checklist provides information on tracking credit card revenues as they post to a department’s account.