COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

Treasury Operations has taken proactive steps to ensure we can continue to serve Commercial Card holders during this unprecedented time. We understand that unexpected and urgent needs may arise. Below, you will find guidance on how to request spending limit increases for Commercial Card purchases related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You will also find details on how to purchase items that are generally prohibited, upload receipts while working remotely, and use alternate shipping addresses. Our teams are available to assist if you have questions or concerns about Commercial Card matters. Please send messages to cardservices@niu.edu and someone from our team will get back with you within 24 hours. We appreciate your partnership and your patience as we work through this, together.

We ask that you continue to review our website, as well as the NIU coronavirus updates website.

How can I upload receipts if I do not have access to a scanner?

Many vendors offer to send receipts electronically. We encourage cardholders to see if this is an option. If it is not, you may take a picture of the receipt and send it to us via email at cardservices@niu.edu.

You may also use PaymentNet Mobile to upload the receipt from your smart phone. Instructions for using PaymentNet Mobile are located in the help section of PaymentNet. Under the Resources tab, you will find a PDF entitled, “PaymentNet Mobile Quick Start Guide.”

How do I request an exception when I am unable to print and/or scan a completed, signed Exception Request form?

Cardholders should complete the form without their signature and email it to their approver for review. The approver should forward the form with an email authorization to cardservices@niu.edu. Your College or Divisional leadership such as Dean, Associate Dean, Vice President, Associate Vice President, or Business Manager may also serve as approvers. If proper approval is sent in an email, Card Services will accept Exception Request forms without signatures during this time.

Can I get an increase in my Commercial Card spend limit for emergency purchases related to COVID-19?

Yes. Card Services will accept requests for limit increases during this unprecedented time. To request an increase, please send an Exception Request form with an email from your approving manager, giving authorization for the increase to cardservices@niu.edu. Card Services will accept Exception Request forms without signatures during this time. Your College or Divisional leadership such as Dean, Associate Dean, Vice President, Associate Vice President, or Business Manager may also serve as approvers.

Can I purchase a prohibited or restricted item needed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

In some cases, Card Services will accept requests to purchase prohibited and restricted items on the Commercial Card. To make the request, please send an Exception Request form with an email from your approving manager, giving authorization of the purchase to cardservices@niu.edu. Card Services will accept Exception Request forms without signatures during this time. Your College or Divisional leadership such as Dean, Associate Dean, Vice President, Associate Vice President, or Business Manager may also serve as approvers. Please include COVID-19 in the business purpose section in PaymentNet.

May I ship items to my home address while I am working remotely?

Cardholders may ship consumable items such as office supplies and teaching material, with a single cost of less than $1,000, to alternate addresses while employees work remotely. An Exception Request form to purchase these items is not required during this time. However, unused items should be returned for a full refund or transported to campus once NIU resumes its regular business schedule. Please include COVID-19 in the business purpose section in PaymentNet for these purchases.

What constitutes a COVID-19 emergency purchase?

A statutory emergency may be justified if the situation involves:

  • a threat to public health or public safety; inclusive of COVID-19
  • the need for immediate purchases necessary for repairs to university property to protect it against further loss or damage
  • the need to prevent or minimize serious disruption in critical university services that affect health, safety, or collection of substantial State revenues
  • the need to ensure the integrity of university records

If you believe you have a need that meets the criteria of an emergency purchase, and you need further guidance, you may contact the university’s Office of Procurement Services and Contract Management at pscm@niu.edu for assistance.

Can I use my Commercial Card to purchase sanitary wipes and/or hand sanitizers?

Yes. These items may be purchased for use on-campus and at NIU satellite locations. The commercial card should be used for business purchases only and not for personal use in accordance with the commercial card policy.

Is Card Services processing applications for new cardholders during this time?

Unfortunately, Card Services is not processing new card applications while the university is in limited operations.

Is Card Services conducting training sessions for new cardholders during this time?

Unfortunately, Card Services has suspended in-person training sessions for new cardholders while the university is in limited operations. Training sessions will resume when the university returns to normal operations.

If I am not able to upload receipts, review and allocate transactions, and/or get my transactions approved in the PaymentNet system prior to the monthly sweep, will my card be suspended?

Maybe, we ask that you make every attempt to review and process transactions in a timely manner. In general, cards are suspended when transactions remain in the default account (800500) for six weeks or more to reduce the risk of unauthorized transactions.

Can I book university related travel on my commercial card during this time?

The university has prohibited all non-essential, university-sponsored domestic and international travel for faculty, staff and students until Aug. 1. Cardholders should not book travel on their commercial cards at this time. The FAQ related to travel impacted by COVID-19 provides further guidance about university related travel.

Contact Us

Treasury Operations
treasury@niu.edu

Card Services
cardservices@niu.edu