For Merchants

Newsflash! Newsflash! The KU Card Office has just been approved to reduce the amount of the start up fee for new off-campus merchants to join the Bear Bucks program. The fee is now $100. Contact to sign up.

So many times, a student leaves their residence hall with nothing but their KU ID, which they need to get back into their residence hall. Then they find you. You have something they simply must have, but all they have with them is the KU ID.

A faculty member has just barely a half hour to buy lunch, but they left his or her wallet in the office. They do, however, have their KU ID with them because it's also the key to that office. 

No worries. If you're a Bear Bucks merchant partner, you can just swipe that card through your Verifone Engage V200c (newer, quicker model) and make a sale that might have slipped by.

How it works

A faculty/staff member, student, or their family deposits funds onto the KU ID card into a Bear Bucks account. Those funds are available to the cardholder immediately by swiping the card.

When you make a sale, the customer presents their card to you. You check to make sure the photo on the card matches the person using it, then swipe it through your Verifone Engage V200c. The funds are debited from the account, and the reader prints two receipts: one for you and one for the customer. You have the customer sign your receipt.

If the customer does not have enough funds in the account to make the purchase, it will be declined. There is no chance of overdraft because the account is prepaid, and you have the extra added security of a photo ID for verification.

At the end of the monthly reimbursement period, Kutztown University sends you a full accounting of your sales for the period with a check for the total sales minus a small commission.


If you sell alcohol, you must agree to submit to a random audit of receipts each semester to make sure no alcohol was paid for with Bear Bucks.

What are the benefits to my business?

Part of this program is gaining closer access to KU students and their families. Some students have no source of funds other than Bear Bucks, and that means they'll come to you.

As part of the merchant agreement, the KU Card Office promotes our off-campus partners on campus with advertisements on the Student Union TVs, face-to-face contact, presentations with students and their families at orientation sessions, and our Merchant of the Week program, where we put the spotlight on a single merchant for a week on our website, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and Student Union TVs. If you have a great idea for a joint promotion, let us know. We'd love to work with you.

Bear Bucks gives you access to a safe, convenient payment method for our students. They can manage their funds online, but never need to worry about overdraft fees. Parents rest easy knowing that their underage students aren't purchasing alcohol with Bear Bucks. You reap the benefits of more secure sales with a prepaid photo-ID debit account, more exposure to KU residents, and access to funds and customers you might have missed.

How do I sign up?

The entire contract will be added when a new updated contract is available.  Please take some time to look it over and see if Bear Bucks is right for your business. When you're ready to join us, download and PLEASE TYPE the information into every page of the document and mail it back to us (or call us and we'll pick it up). Please allow approximately 2 weeks from submission of the contract to beginning of service.

Technical information

The card reader that is used for accepting Bear Bucks is a Verifone Engage V200c.  This is a newer model card reader that our office is implementing.  The easiest method to set up the card reader is by going through your internet connection - router/modem. Be sure to have a network cable available to connect the V200c to your router/modem. 

You then purchase the reader from us. It may take approximately 2-4 weeks for ordering and receipt of the terminal before we can install it at your place of business.

We look forward to working with you!