Prepaid Card Program
NYU Prepaid Cards
The NYU Prepaid Card (US Prepaid Visa Debit Card) is a payment tool offered as a supplement to the University’s Petty Cash program, administered by the Office of the Bursar. A prepaid card program can be established by any department or unit for disbursing funds through stored value cards for payment to participants in research studies.
All employee requests for reimbursement and advances must be submitted through AP Workflow.
If you have additional questions or need policy clarification, please email the Bursar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: Effective February 2023, the NYU Prepaid Card program will be switching providers from Bank of America to US Bank. All card requests will be fulfilled with US Bank Visa Debit cards.
Type of Cards Offered
One Time Load Cards
A pre-valued US Bank Visa debit card is stored with a single value and is disposed of when the value has been exhausted. This card cannot be used at an ATM for cash; it can only be used for purchases.
Please note, once fulfilled, cards are not returnable to the Office of the Bursar and not refundable to the department(s).
Policy Summary - Basic Guidelines
Prepaid card programs are established and maintained by authorized academic or administrative units of the University for the purpose of providing payments to participants in research studies. The NYU Prepaid Card Policy is set forth to provide a process and guidance on requesting, handling, safeguarding, and reconciling the prepaid cards. All employee requests for reimbursement and advances must be submitted through AP Workflow.
The policy provides the guidelines on establishing, managing, and terminating prepaid card programs. It is intended to help faculty and staff to:
- Understand the University’s rules on the use of prepaid cards.
- Properly record and report transactions processed through prepaid card programs.
- Understand the employees’ responsibilities involved in the use and management of prepaid card programs.
The Business Expenses Policy of the University should be consulted for guidance on which expenses are permissible and thus may be incurred using University funds. The University’s i-Buy NYU Buying and Paying Guide should also be consulted for guidance on how certain types of purchases may be made.
Use of the Prepaid Card - Expenses eligible for use with the prepaid card program and should be limited to payments to Human Subjects, when the prepaid card program is set up for this purpose, expenses must be charged to account 65295 - "Payments to Human Subjects".
Expenses that must not be reimbursed from the prepaid card program include, but are not limited to:
- All employee travel advances and reimbursements must be processed through AP Workflow / the upcoming Travel and Expense system. Per diem allowances are not reimbursed through prepaid cards.
- Payments to Independent Contractors, Honorariums, and Guest Expense Reimbursements. For additional guidance, please refer to Independent Contractor, Honorarium, and Guest Expense Reimbursement Policy and Procedure.
- Expenses that do not comply with the Business Expenses Policy and Expense Reimbursement Policy of the University (e.g., personal expenses, any fraudulent and illegal expense, expenses that will be reimbursed from another source).
- Student related payments (e.g., awards, gifts, etc.) must be processed through the Student Expense Reimbursement Form. (This online form and process for student expense reimbursements and other payments [e.g. awards, gifts] that replace the EXP2000S & EXP3000S paper forms. Requests are approved and paid via NYU Albert [SIS]).
- Student related purchases eligible for reimbursement; reimbursements for such purchases must be processed through the Student Expense Reimbursement Form. (This online form and process for student expense reimbursements and other payments [e.g. awards, gifts] that replace the EXP2000S & EXP3000S paper forms. Requests are approved and paid via NYU Albert [SIS]).
The prepaid card program may not be used to cash checks of any kind or to grant salary advances to University personnel.
Participant Compensation Guidance
- To satisfy the dual requirements of preserving the confidentiality of human subjects’ data and ensuring compliance with IRS Tax law, research studies in which participants are anonymous and/or part of a vulnerable class of subjects, should limit payments to no more than $25 (considered De Minimis).
- Individual (or multiple) payments totaling $250 or greater (including prepaid, or “gift” cards) to any one individual person participating in research studies must be recorded.
- The IRS considers all gift cards as a cash equivalent and subject to the same taxes and operating under the same 1099-MISC reporting threshold, i.e., $600 in any given calendar year.
- If an individual participant can reasonably expect to receive over $ 600 in a calendar year, the Custodian, must collect relevant taxpayer information (by collecting a completed IRS W-9 form for each individual) to ensure the University’s compliance with IRS Tax law.
Annual Tax Reporting and Compliance
Custodians are responsible for facilitating any required tax reporting on IRS 1099 form(s). Custodians must ensure the issuance of all required tax reporting on IRS 1099 form(s) through collaboration with Financial Operations & Treasury (Offices of Accounts Payable, Bursar, and Global Payroll and Tax Compliance) to ensure the University’s compliance with IRS Tax law.
Custodian must password protect any documentation containing SSN/TIN following the University’s protocols to safeguard Personal Identification Numbers as set forth by NYU IT Office of Information Security. Any file(s) containing restricted data must only be shared with only authorized users by using NYU Box, and never emailed. Do not store this password protected file outside of NYU Box. NYU Box will never transmit the actual data over email, but rather, send to the recipient a URL to the password protected files. Learn more about NYU Box. Never communicate any password(s)via email.
Training & Resources
If you have any questions about the online form, please review the Prepaid Card Tip Sheet & FAQs.