UNC Visa Card General Procedures

Who needs to know these Procedures

These procedures apply to all UNC faculty, staff, and students who use a UNC credit card.


About the Card

  • The University of Northern Colorado has negotiated for this card program. The card is VISA, Wells Fargo Bank issues the cards and is UNC's card servicer.
  • There is no annual fee. VISA and Wells Fargo make their money from a fee charged to the merchant. Vendors accept credit cards because they get paid within three days and do not bear the risk of bad checks or unpaid accounts receivable.
  • This VISA card can be configured to serve as a purchasing card, a travel card, or a combination purchase/travel card. How each card is configured is determined by each cardholder's department or College.
  • The card can be used for both in-store purchases as well as phone, mail, Internet, or fax orders. Each card is tailored to your purchasing needs to help minimize declined transactions as well as to minimize the potential for abuse should your card be lost or stolen. Unlike personal credit cards, the UNC Visa card is handled as a corporate liability. Your personal credit history has not been taken into account when a card has been issued in your name. While the card may be in your name, it is the property of the University of Northern Colorado and has no bearing on your personal credit.
  • The University of Northern Colorado is responsible for paying the card program invoice each month. The card may be used at any merchant that accepts VISA throughout the U.S.A. and internationally.
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Lost or Stolen Cards

You are responsible for the security of your card and any purchases made on your account. If you believe you have lost your card or that it has been stolen, immediately report this information to Wells Fargo Bank Customer Service at 800-932-0036. Immediately after reporting to Customer Service, you must inform your Procurement Card Administrator. It is extremely important to act promptly in the event of a lost or stolen card to avoid company liability for fraudulent transactions. As with a personal charge card, you will no longer be able to use the account number after notifying the bank. A new card is issued within 48 hours of notice to Wells Fargo Bank.
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Dispute Charges

There may be occasions when you find items on your statement that do not correlate with your retained receipts. You may not have made the transaction, the amount of the transaction may be incorrect, or you may have a dispute with a vendor about quality or service.

If you believe the merchant has charged you incorrectly or there is an outstanding quality or service issue, you must first contact the merchant and try to resolve the error or problem. If you are able to resolve the matter directly with the merchant and the error involved an overcharge, a credit adjustment should be requested and will appear on your next statement. Note: Be sure to verify that correct credit has been received on the next month’s statement.

If the merchant disagrees that an adjustment is necessary, use the Dispute option available with your online statement. You will need to provide details regarding the dispute, including what corrective actions you have already taken to resolve the dispute. Wells Fargo Bank must receive any charge dispute within 60 days of the transaction date. While pending resolution, Wells Fargo Bank will credit the cardholder account for the amount of the disputed transaction. Although Wells Fargo Bank acts as the arbitrator in any dispute, you should never assume that a dispute will be resolved in your favor.

If the dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction, and you believe the merchant has treated you unfairly, please notify PA with the relevant details. If the merchant is one of our preferred vendors, the Purchasing Department may take further action.

Any fraudulent charge, i.e., a charge appearing which was not authorized by yourself, must be reported immediately to your Procurement Card Administrator. Prompt reporting of such charges will help to prevent UNC from being held responsible. Use the dispute option online to relate the details to Wells Fargo.
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Important Facts About Credit Limits

A number of user profiles with credit limits have been established according to each department and/or College's purchasing needs; one of these profiles has been assigned to your card in an effort to tailor the card more closely to your needs.

  • Your credit limit renews itself on the 21st of each month. If you have been assigned a declining balance card profile, the credit limit does not automatically renew; talk to your department's FOAP Signature Authority if you feel you need more credit assigned to your declining balance card.
  • You must review your monthly and transaction limits before major events or after budget changes to avoid the inconvenience of having your card declined. Any Program Administration contact (PA) can change limits as needed with the consent of your department's FOAP Signature Authority.

For time-sensitive situations that require an immediate credit limit change, contact PA.
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Card Declined by Merchant

If your card is refused at a merchant where you believe it should have been accepted, you may call your PA (970-351-1612), or you may call Wells Fargo Bank Customer Service, to determine the reason for refusal. Automated customer service assistance is available 24 hours/day, 7days/week: 800-932-0036

Depending on the result of your inquiry, you may want to discuss the issue further with your department's card FOAP Signature Authority. He/she is empowered to advise the PA to modify the restrictions on your procurement card.
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Enforcement / Penalties

The IRS requires that transactions that are not substantiated within 60 days of when they were incurred be considered taxable income. To avoid this occurrence in relation to your procurement card charges, it is imperative that you attach appropriate documentation in a timely manner for each transaction that appears on your card statement each billing cycle.

The University will seek reimbursement for any inappropriate purchases made with the card. In certain instances of abuse, the cardholder may be subject to additional action, up to and including dismissal.
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To Obtain a Card

Read these procedures in their entirety, then complete the following:

  • Cardholder Application
  • Cardholder Agreement (completed when you receive your card)
  • Attend a cardholder training session

Your department's Approving Official, the person responsible for budget oversight for a particular fund, organization, account, location, activity, or responsible for a grant, must indicate approval by signing the Cardholder Application form. Send your completed application to the PA in the Purchasing Department.

You will receive your UNC Visa card within 7-10 business days after your application is submitted to Wells Fargo. During your cardholder training session, you will receive assistance with the following:

1. Dollar limits per month

2. Information reporting levels required for your situation

3. Cash access Please Note: Cash access is only available to those individuals who travel with groups of students or travel internationally.

When you receive your card, sign the back of the card and always keep it in a secure place. Cards remain the property of the University and are only to be used for University purchases/travel as defined in this policy and the Travel and Business Expense Policy. VISA will automatically renew the card before it expires. As you use your card, please contact the PA if you have any questions. (Back to Top)

Sales Tax Exemption

It is the cardholder's responsibility to notify the vendor that UNC is tax exempt. Our tax-exempt number is printed on the VISA. Review your receipt to make sure that sales tax is handled properly. You are liable for sales tax you approve for which UNC is exempt. A copy of the UNC tax exemption form is available on the UNC Purchasing Web page.

Vendors may ask you for a copy to protect themselves from state sales tax auditors. Should you have additional questions regarding whether or not tax should be paid, please contact the PA for assistance.
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Required Documentation

An itemized receipt or substitute documentation must support each purchase. The preferred documentation is listed below in order of preference:

  • An original receipt or invoice from the vendor including:
    • Vendor name
    • Transaction amount
    • Date
    • Itemized description of the item(s) purchased
    • For meals or food, include a completed Official Function Form to document the necessity of a food purchase. If a flyer or agenda for event is available, attach it to your statement with the receipt as additional documentation.
    • Alcohol is only allowed in unique instances; most UNC cards are restricted for alcohol purchases. If alcohol is allowed, an Official Function Form must be completed and attached to the statement with the receipt.
    • Sales tax should not be paid, except for lodging (see sales tax paragraph above).
  • Copies or facsimiles of the original receipt or invoice
  • A packing slip, statement, or other documentation received from the vendor
  • A screen-print or order confirmation email, when making Internet purchases, or a copy of an order form that was mailed to a vendor to request an item.
  • If the cardholder is unable to obtain any of the above listed documentation, contact the Procurement Card Administrator to obtain an Unavailable Documentation Form. Keep in mind that an Unavailable Documentation Form does not replace missing documentation, but instead explains the circumstances of why documentation is missing.

Please note that a merchant should not reject a request for a receipt detailing merchandise price, sales/use tax, freight, etc. be included with the goods mailed/shipped – this is a VISA policy.

Please remind vendors NOT TO SEND BILLS TO ACCOUNTS PAYABLE as it may result in duplicate payment.
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Cardholder Responsibilities

  • Identifying and documenting all transactions on your statement. You must be able to produce original itemized receipts and prove that the transactions are expenditures for UNC-related purposes. You will be required to reimburse the University with personal funds for any activity you are unable to properly substantiate as a business expense.
  • Making sure that sales tax is not charged on exempt purchases
  • Reviewing your monthly statement online throughout the billing cycle (if you are responsible for reallocating transactions for your own card), verifying that all transactions are valid and reallocated correctly, entering descriptions, and hitting “review complete.”
  • Obtaining original itemized receipts and other required documentation for every transaction and attaching them to a copy of your statement for each billing cycle.
  • Providing a copy of your card statement with attached required documentation to your FOAP Signature Authority for signature(s).
  • Submitting your card statement with attached required documentation in a timely fashion to any individual(s) responsible for reallocating your transactions online.
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Card Reallocator Responsibilities

Prior to the reallocation deadline provided each month by the PA via listserv, card reallocators must complete the following tasks for each card for which they reallocate:

FOAP Signature Authority Responsibilities

  • Reviewing and approving cardholder statements and attached documentation by signing statement in a timely fashion and returning statement to cardholder or the appropriate card reallocator.
  • Contacting the PA to initiate appropriate action for any transactions that should not be approved; possible actions may include restitution of the charge, suspending the card for some period of time, and/or permanent deactivation of card.
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