A department wishing to apply for a credit card merchant account has many things to consider:
- Potential revenue. If the event/conference/sales revenue will be relatively small, it may be in the department's best interest to use a shared campus solution, such as Aventri, or accept only cash and checks, due to the workload involved with administering and reconciling a merchant account. If the event/conference/sales will generate larger revenue, then establishing a merchant account for credit card acceptance may be the best option, and the department needs to work with General Accounting to establish a new revenue account and evaluate the revenue for potential trigger of Unrelated Business Income Taxes (UBIT).
- Frequency of Sales. If the event/conference will be held only one time, or sales of items will be for a limited time, it may be in the department's best interest to use a shared campus solution, such as Aventri, or accept only cash and checks due to the costs and workload involved with administering and reconciling a merchant account. The department should consult with the Campus Credit Card Coordinator to discuss best options, especially if it will be a one-time only event.
- Technical Support. Depending on the method of credit card acceptance, departments will need varying degrees of technical support from their IT staff. Merchants may also need technical support to complete the required annual PCI validation.
- Department Staffing Levels. Acceptance of credit cards requires administration of the account, monitoring, and reconciliation. Departments should consider availability of staff for these functions.