Starting July 1, 2003, Colorado State University will accept credit card payments using CASHNet SmartPay. The university now is able to accept major credit cards for payment of tuition and fees because of a new state law. Passed in May 2003, HB1267 permits agencies to impose a convenience fee to support the processing of credit card payments and pass bank fees to the consumer.
Due to student demand and the university’s interest in providing convenience for its students, Colorado State has contracted with CASHNet SmartPay to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover starting July 1, 2003. CASHNet SmartPay is an optional payment service and will be operated by an independent company that charges a convenience fee for the credit card payment. The current fee rate is 2.9 percent of the payment amount.
In April 2003, the university announced that it would no longer accept credit cards for payment of tuition and fees because of the high cost of processing fees charged by Visa and MasterCard. Processing fees paid to banks were costing the university approximately $600,000 a year. The university also announced that it planned to accept Discover card because they did not charge a processing fee at that time. However, a recent move by Discover to implement a bank fee led the university to include Discover card payments with the CASHNet SmartPay service.
Although the university no longer will directly accept any credit cards for payment of university accounts, the change in the law allows students and commercial customers to make payments with a credit card through CASHNet SmartPay. Other payment options processed by Colorado State, with no additional convenience fee, are electronic check, personal check, cash, wire transfer or cashier’s check to pay for tuition, fees and incidental charges.
Through CASHNet SmartPay, students will be able to use credit cards for tuition, fees, residence hall room/board, special meal plan purchases, apartment rent, study abroad charges and commercial charges, but will be assessed the convenience fee of 2.9 percent of the payment amount.
Incidental charges included on the university billing statement such as health center charges, recreation sports charges, software purchases and Veterinary Hospital customer charges are now payable with a credit card through CASHNet SmartPay.
Penalty charges included on the university billing statement such as library fines, late registration, late payment penalties and charges for lost or damaged equipment also will be payable with credit card through CASHNet SmartPay.
Students still will have the option to use credit cards for payment of items purchased directly from a department, such as the bookstore or athletic ticket office – assuming the department is set up to take credit cards – without having to go through CASHNet SmartPay. Credit cards will continue to be accepted by university Web sites that are authorized for payment such as admissions, Preview orientation and the Division of Continuing Education.