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FAQs for the Treasury Dept at Hofstra University
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FAQs

Banking – General
Banking – Acceptance of Payment Cards

Banking – General

Q.  Who is authorized to open or close University bank accounts?

To ensure that all banking activity is conducted in accordance with University policies and procedures, Treasury Operations is the only department in the University authorized to coordinate the opening or closing of bank accounts using the federal ID of the University.

Q.  Who may contact bank representatives on behalf of the University?

To ensure that all banking activity is conducted in accordance with University policies and procedures, only Treasury Operations is authorized to contact University bank representatives.

Q.  What methods are available for outgoing payments made by the University?

The University makes outgoing payments for authorized transactions via check, ACH, wire transfer or international bank draft.  As the least costly payment method, most University payments are processed as checks for domestic (US only) payments at this time. 

Check and ACH payments are initiated through the Accounts Payable department.  For assistance with check or ACH payments, contact the Accounts Payable Manager by telephone at (516) 463-6850. 

Wire transfers and international bank drafts are initiated through Treasury Operations.

All payments, regardless of type, require the submission of a completed University Check Requisition Form, accompanied by applicable contracts, invoices or other supporting documentation.

Please contact Accounts Payable or Treasury Operations for assistance in determining the appropriate payment method and submission of payments.

Q.  What is an ACH Payment and when is it used?

An ACH payment is the transfer of money from one account to another by using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network for domestic (US only) payments.  ACH is less expensive to process than wire transfers. ACH requires lead-time to set-up and the transmission of information is very limited.  The University is currently using ACH for recurring payments to select vendors.

Q.  What is a wire transfer and when is it used?

A wire transfer is the transfer of money from one account to another by using Fedwire network for domestic payments (US only) or the SWIFT network for international payments.  The University is currently using wire transfer payments, initiated by Treasury Operations, for payments requiring wire transfer by contract and for all international electronic payments. 

All wire transfer payment requests must follow the following procedures. 

  • Departments requesting a wire transfer must complete a Check Requisition Form, accompanied by applicable contracts, invoices or other supporting documentation.  
  • The Check Requisition Form should indicate “Wire Transfer”.
  • All wire transfer requests must be signed off by the appropriate department personnel.
  • A wire transfer request must include the wiring instructions on letter head from the party receiving the wire.
    • Domestic wire instructions (in USD) must include – 9 digit Federal ABA bank routing #, bank name, bank account number, beneficiary account name.
    • International wire instructions (in foreign local currency) must include – correspondent/intermediary bank BIC/SWIFT code, bank name, IBAN # (which includes bank account number), beneficiary account name.
  • Completed Check Requisition Form and all applicable back-up should be sent directly to Treasury Operations for wire transfer processing.

Wire transfers, depending on the type, generally cost between $7-10 per transfer.  This cost shall be passed on to University departments.

Q.  What is an international bank draft and when is it used?

An international bank draft is a check payable in a foreign currency. The University may issue international bank drafts in foreign currencies. International bank drafts are used when payment settlement specifically calls for a check payable in a foreign currency.  If you need to request an international bank draft, please contact Treasury Operations

Q.  Who is authorized to provide University wire instructions to an external party wishing to make    a payment to the University?

Upon departmental request and when appropriate, Treasury Operations will provide wire instructions to a third party wishing to make a wire transfer payment to the University. 

Q.  How can I determine if a wire transfer or ACH payment from an external party has been received by the University?

Treasury Operations monitors University bank accounts on a daily basis.  Any University department that is expecting a payment from an external party via wire transfer or ACH should notify Treasury Operations.  To avoid any delay in posting the receipt to the general ledger, contact Treasury Operations with the following payment information - remitter, amount of payment, and general ledger # for recording.

Q.  How can I determine if a wire transfer or ACH payment to an external party has been paid by the University?

Treasury Operations monitors University bank accounts on a daily basis.  Please contact Treasury Operations for payment confirmation and/or payment reference numbers as needed.

Q. How do I order bank deposit slips for my location?

Please contact the Treasury Operations directly.  Once ordered, the usual turn-around time is approximately one week.

Banking – Acceptance of Payment Cards

Q.  What is the process for enabling a department to accept payments cards (credit card/debit card) for incoming payments?

The ability to process payment card transactions for incoming payments must be approved by the Office of Financial Affairs for those University departments that exhibit an ongoing and recurring business need.  Prior to enabling payment card capabilities, Treasury Operations will work with the department to establish adequate controls and procedures and to establish a unique merchant identification number.

Please contact the Director of Treasury Operations to discuss these requirements.

Q.  What is a Merchant Identification Number (MID) for payment card processing?
 
A merchant identification number (also known as a Merchant ID or MID) is a business or department’s unique identifier with a merchant processing bank.  A MID is basically a unique account number with the business’s payment card processing bank. 

University departments cannot directly accept payment cards, credit or debit, without a merchant ID. 

Q.  How do I obtain a Merchant Identification Number (MID) for payment card processing?
 
The Treasurer’s office is responsible for issuing payment card merchant ID’s and for overseeing policies and procedures regarding payment processing. All payment card processing arrangements require the approval of the Office of Financial Affairs.

The ability to process payment card transactions for incoming payments must be approved by the Office of Financial Affairs for those University departments that exhibit an ongoing and recurring business need.   Prior to enabling payment card capabilities, Treasury Operations will work with the department to establish adequate controls and procedures. Please contact the Director of Treasury Operations to discuss these requirements.

Q.  How do I obtain or replace a payment terminal for payment card processing?
 
A payment terminal, also known as a point of sale (POS) terminal or credit card terminal, is a device used in accepting credit and debit card payments which interfaces with the payment cards and applicable software to settle transactions through the payment card banks.

Payment card terminals may only be obtained for approved departments through contracted University vendors.  All terminals must be obtained through Treasury Operations.  Please contact the Director of Treasury Operations to obtain or replace a terminal.

Q.  What is a credit card chargeback?
 
A credit card chargeback occurs when a cardholder or card issuer (Visa/MasterCard or American Express) disputes a transaction charged to their account and the resolution process results in a favorable decision to the cardholder. The chargeback is the reversal of a prior sales transaction. There is a Notification and Retrieval Process which is time-sensitive and if the department chooses to dispute the chargeback (which it should always do unless the department is aware of an erroneous transaction) it is critical to respond and provide appropriate documentation within the allowed timeframe.

All chargeback disputes shall be communicated to the related department by Treasury Operations.  The department is responsible for handling the dispute.

Q.  Why is my department required to complete an annual Department PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire?

The Payment Card Industry has established important and stringent security requirements to protect credit card data.  The University is required to comply with these standards, which are known as the Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).   The PCI Compliance Committee, which includes representatives from Treasury, Internal Audit, and Information Technology Security, monitors University compliance with PCI-DSS.  As part of the monitoring process, annual completion of the Department PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire is required by all departments involved in processing payment card payments.

Please contact the Treasury Operations with any questions regarding PCI compliance or the security of payment card data.


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