Credit Card Fee FAQ’s

Westfield State is happy to provide students a range of options for paying educational expenses. However, those choosing to pay by credit or debit card for the educational expenses billed through Student Accounts or the College of Graduate and Continuing Education will incur a 2.95% service fee.

Why do I have to pay a 2.95% service fee to pay with a credit card and how it is determined?

Credit and debit card payments are processed by TouchNet PayPath Service.  TouchNet PayPath Service provides third-party transaction processing services, operating under an agreement with Westfield State University to process credit and debit card payments on students’ behalf. You will be charged a 2.95% or $3.00 minimum service fee for processing your payment. The service fee amount is calculated based on 2.95% of your total payment amount. The percentage has been determined by TouchNet PayPath Service and covers the transaction fees assessed by credit card companies.

The service fee is not assessed by Westfield State University, nor does the university receive any part of the service fee.

The 2.95% service fee is added to your payment and will appear as a separate item on your credit card statement. It will not appear on the tuition and fee bill. The service fee is nonrefundable, even if the payment to which it relates is cancelled, refunded, credited or charged back. By using this service you agree to pay the service fee.

Q: Why is the service fee 2.95%? How was that percentage established?

The service fee of 2.95% and/or $3 minimum is the amount established by the credit card processor, TouchNet PayPath Service. This fee covers the credit card transaction fees charged by the credit card companies.

Why is the fee now being assessed for credit and debit card payments?

Westfield State University is committed to providing students a range of options for paying educational expenses. However, providing complimentary credit or debit card payment services has become prohibitively expensive because of the processing fees assessed by the credit card companies and financial institutions. The expense, approximately $450,000, has been absorbed by the University; however, this drastically reduces funds available for other student needs. Westfield State will continue to absorb the minor fees associated with e-check transactions.

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

Yes, select e-check when paying online to pay from your checking account. You can also avoid paying a service fee by paying with cash, check, money order or bank check at the Student Accounts window or by mailing such payments to the Student Accounts Office (do not mail cash).

Is charging a service fee legal?  Do other universities charge a fee for credit card transactions?

Yes to both. Service fees can be charged for processing credit and debit card transactions for student account payments. Westfield State does not charge or receive this fee. TouchNet PayPath Service charges this fee to cover the cost of transaction fees assessed by credit card companies. Other universities across the country (including other Massachusetts state universities) enlist third party processing companies that charge service or convenience fees for credit card transactions. These fees offset the merchant fees imposed by the credit card companies. This allows us to offer the service of credit card payments.

If a credit card payment is made in error, will the service fee be refunded?

The service fee is non-refundable, even if the payment to which it relates is canceled, refunded, credited, or charged back.

To which charges will this fee apply? 

Basically, the fee will be applied to all payments via credit card made to satisfy your student account balance. This includes tuition and fees, room and board and various other fees that may be posted to your account (i.e. late payment fee, ID replacement fee, etc.).

Q: Will the service fee that I am charged show on my WSU student account?

No. The service fee is charged by a third-party company, TouchNet, and it will not show on your WSU student account and student account statement.

Q: How will this appear on my credit card statement?

You will see two separate transactions on your credit card statement: one for the student account payment, and one for the service fee.