BlazerBucks Program - Merchant Policy - Student Affairs (Policy XIV-04)

BlazerBucks Program - Merchant Policy - Student Affairs (Policy XIV-04)

Abstract:
Student Affairs Policy XIV-04 describes the opportunities for local merchants to allow the use of BlazerBucks for method of purchase. Included in the document is information on merchant eligibility and program requirements.
Effective Date:
10/24/2008
Contacts:
Campus Card Office
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Students
Material Original Source:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The UAB BlazerBucks Program offers participants a safe and convenient way to pay for goods and services at authorized locations. In fall 2007 the program was expanded to include local area merchants in direct response to requests from students to use their CampusCard for purchases at off-campus locations. Additional benefits of the off-campus facet of the program include strengthening relationships between the University and the local community and generating revenue to maintain and expand CampusCard services at UAB.

GENERAL POLICIES

  1. BlazerBucks is a pre-paid declining balance account that can be used to pay for goods and services anywhere the CampusCard is accepted, including both on-campus and approved off-campus merchant venues.

  2. This program accesses BlazerBucks funds only. Meal plans and funds deposited in cardholders Dining Dollars accounts and Departmental Copy/Print accounts are not accessed through participation in the BlazerBucks Program.

  3. The University reserves the right to make an award to a single merchant in a particular service or product category or to make multiple awards to merchants in a particular service or product category.

  4. The University reserves the right to make no awards in service or product categories when the University determines the current level of participants in those service or product categories is sufficient for the success of the BlazerBucks Program. The University, in its sole discretion, will determine the maximum number of participants for each service and product category.

  1. The criteria to be used in evaluating BlazerBucks Program applications will include, but will not be limited to, the following:
  • Accessibility of services including location(s) and hours available

  • Category(s) of services

  • Compliance with equipment and communications requirements

  • Number and scope of any conditions included with the application

  • Merchant’s ability to execute the CampusCard Merchant Agreement

  • Evidence of skills and experience to efficiently satisfy BlazerBucks Program requirements

  • Previous history with the BlazerBucks Program

  • Food Service merchants only – Evaluation of average yearly food service ratings and/or any closure of proposed location due to food service ratings.

  • Willingness to participate in and support joint promotional activities

  1. Businesses whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, or drug paraphernalia will not be accepted for participation in the BlazerBucks Program. Other unacceptable businesses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bar or lounge serving alcoholic beverages (except in connection with the operation of a restaurant)

  • Massage parlor

  • Discotheque

  • Dance Hall

  • “Head Shop”

  • Gun Range or Gun Shop

  • Adult bookstore or store selling or exhibiting pornographic materials (other than as an incident to the operation of a first-class bookstore)

  • Any business using offensive odors, fumes, loud noises or sounds which are objectionable, which is a public or private nuisance, or which creates any other hazard. (Note: The University will be sole judge in determining what is considered offensive, loud, objectionable, hazardous, and/or a nuisance.)

  • Any business name or logo which is profane or vulgar or which would reflect negatively on the name and/or reputation of UAB, as solely determined by the University.

  1. All merchants must be recognized businesses actively engaged in providing the particular services or products indicated in the application. Merchants must possess sufficient resources to satisfactorily provide the services required for participation in the BlazerBucks Program and be able to furnish to the University adequate evidence of their ability to perform and complete the contract. The University shall make such investigations it deems necessary to determine the ability of the merchant to provide the services described in the application.
  1. Any merchant which meets all specifications and qualifications may be requested to give an oral presentation to a selection committee. A requested presentation must be provided by the merchant at the merchant’s expense and within ten (10) business days after the request is made. Failure to comply with these requirements will eliminate the merchant from consideration.
  1. Any merchant shall disclose if it plans a joint venture with another entity or will use subcontractors to provide any of the services described in the application. The merchant shall be responsible for all acts and performance of and payment to all subcontractors or secondary vendors that the vendor may engage for the performance of any contract with the University resulting from this application.
  1. The primary term of any contract that may result from this application shall commence on the day the contract is signed by the University and shall end on May 31 of the following year. The contract may be renewed automatically on an annual basis commencing on June 1 immediately following the expiration of the primary term of the contract if it is determined solely by the University to be in its best interest to do so. The University will be the sole party to determine the University's best interest. If the University elects not to renew the contract, it shall promptly notify the Merchant.
  1. The University at any time may terminate this Agreement for its convenience without penalty or any financial obligation to Merchant by giving Merchant five days prior written notice.
  1. Merchant at any time may terminate this Agreement by giving the University 30 days prior written notice.
  1. Merchant, at its cost and expense, will be responsible for the purchase of a minimum of one (1) VeriFone Omni 3200SE transaction terminal shareware version 3.0 or higher for each of Merchant’s physical locations that participate in the CampusCard Program. Reader requires an analog phone line to connect to the University’s CampusCard system.
  1. Once installed, Merchant is responsible for maintenance of the transaction terminal(s), payment to the regional telephone carrier for monthly service charges for the telephone line(s) connecting VeriFone terminal(s) to the CampusCard Program, providing electrical power for all VeriFone equipment located at the merchant’s place of business, as well as all printer paper and any other necessary supplies and materials.
  1. The Merchant is solely responsible for paying the cost of any upgrades of equipment and/or software required to assure continued compatibility with the CampusCard Program.
  1. Once a merchant has been approved for participation in the BlazerBucks Program they will be provided with a CampusCard Merchant Agreement, which must be signed by the merchant before any installation of the CampusCard Program can occur and prior to any advertising of BlazerBucks acceptance. UAB departments are not required to sign a Merchant Agreement.
  1. If at any time the CampusCard Program’s software indicates a malfunction, Merchant, upon learning of such malfunction, immediately shall notify the CampusCard Office of the malfunction. Merchant bears the risk of loss if it continues to accept CampusCard sales transactions while the CampusCard Program’s software is malfunctioning, and the University reserves its right to deny payment to Merchant for any of those CampusCard sales transactions which are later denied for insufficient funds.
  1. Merchant acknowledges the University, from time to time, will take the CampusCard Program down to perform necessary system maintenance or to ensure system integrity while loading large quantities of data. The University will give Merchant advance notice of any scheduled down-time. However, should the CampusCard Program experience unanticipated down-time(s), the University’s priority will be the timeliness of reinstating the system, without regard to notifying each participating merchant. Merchant bears the risk of loss if it continues to accept CampusCard sales transactions while the CampusCard Program is down, whether such down-time is scheduled or unanticipated.
  1. Merchant will require the cardholder to present his/her CampusCard for swiping through the card authorization reader to process a sales transaction on the CampusCard Program; sales transactions based on verbal authorization where the cardholder’s CampusCard is not physically presented to Merchant are prohibited, unless otherwise approved by the University. For each BlazerBucks sales transaction, Merchant is required to obtain the cardholder’s signature on the Merchant’s copy of the sales receipt and to retain that sales receipt for the specified period of two years.
  1. The Merchant is responsible for verifying that the person in the possession of the CampusCard is the same person pictured in the photograph on the CampusCard.
  1. The Merchant may accept BlazerBucks Guest Cards for a sales transaction provided that sufficient funds are available in the cardholder's account. There is no photograph or name displayed on Guest Cards and they are the property of the cardholder.
  1. The Merchant shall not accept BlazerBucks in exchange for cash. All BlazerBucks transactions shall be for the purchasing of goods and services.
  1. In accordance with the Merchant’s refund policy in the event of a return, refund or overcharge for goods and services purchased with BlazerBucks, the Merchant assumes liability of settling such occurrences and the Merchant agrees to credit cardholder’s CampusCard BlazerBucks account and not provide cash back to the cardholder.
  1. Prior to accepting the CampusCard for a sales transaction, the Merchant is responsible for verifying that sufficient funds are available in the cardholder's account by using the card authorization reader linked to the CampusCard system. When the Merchant either fails to verify that sufficient funds are available in the cardholder's account for the sales transaction, or knowing that the cardholder’s account has insufficient funds, proceeds to make the sale, then the Merchant assumes the risk of loss by accepting the CampusCard for that sales transaction, and the University will not be liable to Merchant for payment of that sales transaction which later is denied for insufficient funds.
  1. The Merchant shall retain complete and accurate records of all CampusCard Program sales transactions for a period of two years and shall cooperate with all requests from the University for information regarding sales transactions which are disputed by cardholders.
  1. If the CampusCard Program indicates that the CampusCard has been reported as lost or stolen, the Merchant shall attempt to retain that CampusCard unless in Merchant's discretion to the customer's objections or conduct makes retaining the CampusCard inadvisable. The Merchant shall report immediately any suspicious sales transactions or attempted sales transactions to the CampusCard Office as well as information about the individual who was attempting to use that card. Merchant shall promptly return any CampusCards retained or left by cardholders to the CampusCard Office.
  1. The University shall be entitled to charge and retain a percentage of Merchant's net receipts from each CampusCard sales transaction. The University shall pay Merchant for its verified BlazerBucks sales, less the transaction services fee, on a monthly basis. The Merchant agrees not to charge or pass on to the cardholder at the time of purchase this transaction service charge or any other fee or surcharge as a condition of Merchant's acceptance of the CampusCard for a sales transaction. Transaction service charges are:
  • 2% for UAB Departments

  • 3.25% for UAB partners ex. Coca Cola, Sports Café

  • 3.25% for local bookstores (based on Alabama State law)

  • 5% for all other local merchants

  1. The University shall be entitled to withhold payment of those sales transactions which the University is unable to verify or which are disputed by the cardholder until the sales transaction is verified to the University's satisfaction or the inquiry into the disputed sales transaction is completed. The Merchant must notify the CampusCard Office within 60 days of its receipt from the University of a CampusCard Program sales payment of any objection that Merchant has to the amount paid.
  1. The University will support a CampusCard Office to administer the CampusCard Program which may include, but not be limited to, opening and closing cardholder accounts, taking account deposits issuing cardholder account statements, answering questions, investigating disputed transactions or charges, managing the data base of customer and merchant accounts and promoting and marketing the BlazerBucks Program.
  1. The University will make reasonable efforts to market and advertise available BlazerBucks opportunities to new and current students, faculty and staff in University publications and in the CampusCard website.
  1. The CampusCard Office will oversee the BlazerBucks Merchant of the Month Program allowing participating merchants to offer a special promotion when purchases are made with BlazerBucks. Details of promotion are at the discretion of the merchant with approval from the CampusCard Office. CampusCard Office will promote Merchant of the Month in the physical office and online. Participation in the Merchant of the Month Program is voluntary. The Program is open to all BlazerBucks merchants. Months are assigned by request on a first come first serve basis, with UAB partners receiving a two week advanced sign up privilege.
  1. Within 30 days of the date of this Agreement, the CampusCard Office will make available to Merchant one training session at Merchant's business on the proper use of the BlazerBucks Program, including card acceptance policies and procedures, and other aspects of the CampusCard Program, to all employees Merchant deems appropriate.
  1. The University, upon request from the Merchant, will provide it with detailed and summarized transaction reporting to include amounts, times, and dates of transactions.
  1. Merchant shall not, without the prior written consent of the University, assign or transfer in whole or in part its interest under this Agreement. Any consent by the University to any assignment shall not constitute a waiver of the necessity of obtaining consent to any subsequent assignments. Each assignee or transferee approved by the University shall assume the obligations of Merchant under this Agreement; provided, however, that no assignment approved by the University hereunder will release Merchant from any liability or obligation under this agreement, and Merchant will remain liable for the payment of all commissions and for the due performance of all the terms and conditions contained herein.
  1. Merchant agrees to indemnify and save and hold harmless The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and their officers, agents and employees, from and against any claims by any person, firm, entity, or governmental authority arising from or attributable to Merchant's participation in the BlazerBucks Program, Merchant's business operations and activities, a breach of this Agreement by Merchant, or the acts or omissions of Merchant's employees, agents, or servants, including but not limited to, any claims of personal injury or death or loss or damage to property. In the event of any such claims, Merchant agrees to defend the same with competent legal counsel and shall indemnify and hold harmless the University against all attorneys' fees, litigation costs and expenses, and court costs in connection therewith.
  1. Merchant shall not advertise or represent that The University of Alabama at Birmingham or the BlazerBucks Program endorses the Merchant's business or its goods and services, nor shall Merchant use the University's name, trademarks, or any other identifying marks to promote or otherwise endorse Merchant or Merchant's business unless it has received the prior permission from the University. The University will grant to Merchant a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use and display the official BlazerBucks and CampusCard logos in its advertising; provided, however, Merchant agrees that it will not include logos in any advertisement or in close proximity to any advertisement for brewed or alcoholic beverages, tobacco, firearms, or drug paraphernalia. Prior to the publication or release of any advertisement that contains CampusCard logos, Merchant first must obtain the CampusCard Office’s approval of the advertisement. The CampusCard Office will notify Merchant within seven calendar days after its receipt of the proposed advertisement of its approval or disapproval of the advertisement. If the CampusCard Office fails to notify Merchant within the seven calendar day review period, the Merchant may consider the advertisement in the form submitted as approved.
  1. Merchant, at its cost, shall comply with all federal, state, county and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations with respect to Merchant's participation in the Program.