Convenience Fee Questions

Why is Western Michigan University charging a fee for the use of my credit or debit card?

Western Michigan University is not charging a fee for credit or debit card use. That fee is being charged by a third-party credit card processor, TouchNet through Paypath. The entire amount of the fee will go to TouchNet to process the credit card transaction, and Western Michigan University will not see any revenue from the transaction. The University is committed to providing students and their families a range of options for paying their educational expenses. The credit card payment method is becoming prohibitively expensive because of the fees to Western Michigan University for credit card transaction processing. This expense in the past was paid by University tuition revenues and therefore reduced the tuition dollars available for academic programs and services for all students. Therefore, TouchNet was contracted to handle credit and debit card transactions, and that company charges a convenience fee in the amount of 2.75 percent of the student’s total bill or $3, whichever is larger. This will provide significant annual savings for the University.

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What credit cards are accepted for payment on the student account?

The third-party credit card processor, Touchnet, accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover network. Credit and debit card payments can only be made online.

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Can students use debit cards with their PIN and avoid the fee?

No, the vendor processing online payments will process a debit card as a credit card and a fee will be assessed. You will be charged the 2.75 percent convenience fee. You can pay with your checking or savings account to avoid the convenience fee.

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Are other universities charging a convenience fee for credit card transactions?

Yes. Credit card convenience fees are not unique to Western Michigan University. Many other schools such as Michigan State, Wayne State, Eastern Michigan, Saginaw Valley and Grand Valley currently charge convenience fees for credit card transactions.

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Why is the convenience fee 2.75 percent? How was that percentage established?


The 2.75 percent is the amount established by our third-party credit card processor, TouchNet, to cover the credit card transaction fees assessed by credit card companies. It is similar to that charged by other such vendors at other universities.

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Is there any way I can avoid paying a convenience fee?

You can avoid paying the 2.75 percent convenience fee by making an online electronic payment from checking or savings. You may also pay in person at Bronco Express using a check or cash, or by mailing a check. Western Michigan University also offers an installment plan, which for a $35 enrollment fee, spreads payments over a certain number of installments. You must enroll in the payment plan with a checking or savings account payment method to avoid the convenience fee.

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Can I make a credit or debit card payment over the phone?

Credit or debit card payments cannot be made over the phone or via mail. This is a security measure to ensure confidentiality of your payment information.

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Can I pay in person using a credit or debit card?

Credit or debit card payments cannot be made in person, but checks or cash are accepted by the Bronco Express service team located on the lower level of the Bernhard Center in Room G09.

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Often I receive checks from my credit card company. Can I use the routing number and account number on these checks to make an electronic check (e-check) payment?

You may use such checks in person or by mail for paying on your student account, but you may not use them online for electronic transfers. The credit card companies will not honor checks used electronically. The payment will be returned as “account not found." Mail payments to the address below. Always include the student's name and Western Identification Number on the check. Send payments to:

Western Michigan University

Cashiering Office
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5282 USA

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If I make a credit or debit card payment in error will my convenience fee be refunded?

No. The convenience fee is not refundable, even if the payment to which it relates is canceled, refunded, credited or charged back.

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Will the convenience fee that I am charged be included on my student account breakdown and statement?

No. The convenience fee is a fee assessed by a third-party company, TouchNet, in addition to the payment for on-campus students. The convenience fee will not appear on your student account or on your statement. You will receive a receipt showing the amount applied to your student account and the convenience fee.

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How will this appear on my credit or debit card statement?

Two separate transactions will appear on your statement—one transaction for the student account payment and one transaction for the convenience fee.

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