How to Start Accepting Credit Cards

How to Start Accepting Credit Cards

U-M departments who accept credit cards for goods and services are called "merchants." Departments are required to have a merchant (bank) account with the U-M's credit card processor bank, Vantiv (associated with Fifth Third Bank).

U-M departments can basically accept credit cards by these methods as long as credit card transactions go through Vantiv:

  • Credit card terminal - can process credit cards in-person, by US mail, telephone and certain faxes.
  • e-commerce website - customers purchase items directly through your online website. Department is not involved in credit card transactions.
  • PC software - department staff process credit cards using a U-M computer connected to the Internet.

Each method requires a separate merchant account.

Accepting credit cards using PC software or online is complicated/complex and requires you to first contact merchantservices@umich.edu to review your options before any agreements are initiated with a vendor.

To accept credit cards using a credit card terminal(s), departments must first review and return these completed documents:

Credit card equipment & supplies

  • Departments are required to only purchase credit card equipment from Vantiv. 
  • All orders are processed through U-M Treasury to obtain a terminal discount.
  • Standard credit card terminals (Verifone Vx520) are $475. 
    • Plugs into an analog (not standard) phone line.
    • Terminal's useful life is 3 years.
    • Terminals have a 1 year standard warranty.
    • Terminals are returned to the Treasurer's Office when no longer used.
  • Contact merchantservices@umich.edu if you are interested in a cellular credit card terminal.
  • Limited rental credit card terminals are also available by the month.
  • A $51 card imprinter is optional and is used to capture the face of credit card on a 2-part form if the credit card terminal malfunctions or when a credit card cannot be read.
  • Supplies (receipt paper and 2-part imprinter forms) ordered through Vantiv are free. You pay for the shipping & handling.
  • Your equipment will be delivered to your office by a member of the Treasurer's Office.  They will provide basic terminal training and answer questions.

Merchant Contact

U-M Treasury requires a single person from the department to be the merchant contact. The merchant contact is responsible for all activities (training, PCI compliance, etc.) regarding credit card acceptance.

The merchant contact is generally someone who is in management and not a secretary or entry level clerk. This person should be familiar with overall knowledge of department credit card acceptance.

Please review Merchant Contact responsibilities