University of Illinois System
Policies & Procedures

21.1.3 Accept Cards for Payment


At this point, the University does not allow for its merchant units to pass credit card processing fees on to their customers in the form of credit card surcharges. Instead, it is recommended that merchants factor the anticipated expense into the price of their goods or services.

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. Depending on the type of device you have, either the customer will insert the card into the EMV (chip) reader or hand it over for processing.
    1.  a. If the card doesn’t have a chip, swipe the card through the device mag stripe reader.
  2. The device should always print a merchant copy of the receipt.  A customer copy can be optional depending on the configuration of the device.
  3. Transactions processed via chip no longer require a signature on the merchant copy of the receipt.  If the card was processed via the mag stripe, a signature line may or may not get printed depending on the configuration of the device.
  4.  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: April 29, 2020 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: November 2008