Merchant Card Contract CMI 10-001 - Frequently Asked Questions

ELAVONThe Department of the Treasury has executed a contract with Elavon in order to provide merchant acquiring service for Commonwealth of Virginia state agencies or Virginia localities. The contract is not mandatory, but it is believed that this service can provide more payment options at a lower price.

How is the contract structured?

The contract is structured as an umbrella contract with each Agency/Court or Locality executing what is called a “Joinder Agreement”. The Joinder allows each entity to utilize the favorable pricing and broader array of merchant services provided under the Master Agreement.

What if the state agency or locality can get a better rate from another merchant services provider?

The rates provided by this contract are extremely competitive. However this is not a mandatory contract and you are permitted to secure processing outside of this Agreement.

Is there a standard application?

There are two (2) standard applications. Elavon has provided the Standard Application that incorporates the MasterCard, Visa, and Discover applications. The American Express Application is also provided.

How long does it take to establish a merchant account?

It takes between four and six weeks to sign and execute the participation/Joinder agreement. After that time each application takes approximately five to ten days to be operational.

How many merchant ID’s (MID) does my organization need?

Generally one merchant ID (MID) is needed for each terminal accepting credit cards. One MID is required for each payment type on web-based payments.

Does the contract cover equipment?

No, the contract covers services, contact Elavon for equipment advice.

Who pays for equipment?

Your Agency or Organization is responsible for the cost of the equipment.

Who do I contact to buy equipment?

Contact Kevin Riley at PH: (267) 753-5016.

Who is responsible for the monthly service fees?

Your Agency or Organization is responsible for all of fees incurred by your program.

Who negotiates rates?

The Department of the Treasury.

Who notifies the agency/locality of any rate changes?

Elavon will notify the Department of the Treasury of the changes in rates from the Card Association. The most current rate schedule and an example of a bill will be posted on Treasury’s home page.

Does the agency/locality have to utilize Virginia.gov for on-line payment web development and processing?

No, you do not have the use Virginia.gov for web development and processing. However, you must work with Elavon and the site must meet/pass internet payment processing security standards.

What is PCI?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID).

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched on September 7, 2006 to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards with focus on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. The PCI DSS is administered and managed by the PCI SSC, an independent body that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.). It is important to note, the payment brands and acquirers are responsible for enforcing compliance, not the PCI council.

Is our organization required to meet PCI standards?

Yes, as a user of the contract your organization is required to meet PCI standards and you must provide proof of PCI Compliance to Treasury.