UTM’s online bill pay adds fee

UTM will be utilizing the PayPath Tuition Payment Service as a new feature of the TouchNet system beginning Monday, May 1, 2017.

The system is intended to increase security for students’ credit card information, with the main update being the recording of the IP address where the payment was made, as well as the utilization of the three-digit security code. However, the new security features do not come without change.

UTM students received an email from business affairs on Friday, April 21, regarding the changes, which explains that in addition to a new fee being added to credit card transactions, students will also no longer be able to use their cards in-person at UTM, and must instead pay online.

Transactions for things that students would be paying for, including parking tickets, tuition, housing, fees and any other items that process through a student’s Banner account, are eligible for the 2.75 percent surcharge fee, with a minimum charge of $3.

This fee does not go to UTM, nor does the University control its implementation. The new system accepts American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

TouchNet meets the standard requirements of credit card processing systems, which makes card information more secure, but means that charges cannot be paid in-person to UTM personnel. Students now will use computers which would be set up at the payment windows.

“As an alternative to online credit-debit card payments, UTM offers electronic check, ACH, payments at no additional cost,” the email said. “UTM will continue to honor cash and check forms of payments.”

Kiara Castleman, Coordinator II for the Bursar’s Office, told The Pacer that as far as she was aware, the university has been looking to make this change since the end of the fall semester, when they were made aware that Murray State, UT Knoxville and other schools had success with the software.

Castleman also said that the change came to help with the budget on campus, as well as the security of students’ information. She also believes that updates are coming to the TouchNet system this summer, but they will be limited to visual changes.

Students will need to reload their card information online after the rollout of the PayPath program on May 1 in order to “quick pay” through their Banner accounts and all questions should be directed to the Bursar’s Office at bursar@utm.edu.

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