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Students can grant others access to pay their fees

No longer are students the only ones with available access to their financial information. They can choose to include others.

The University implemented the new Authorized User Access Site system last month, allowing students to authorize an unlimited number of people to pay their tuition and fees, said Associate Director of Information Technology Christopher Akin.

Students grant access to others by entering a person’s e-mail address under the “Authorized User” tab on the Student Bill Payment Web site, which is accessed through Online Access Student Information System (OASIS) by clicking on “Tuition and Fees” under the “Student” tab.

A temporary NetID and password are then sent to the individual’s e-mail address with a link that directs them to the Student Bill Payment Web site to pay any fees, Akin said.

Students must also use their NetID and password when accessing the new payment site, Akin said.

Under the new system, students can also choose whether to allow an authorized individual to view their payment history, Akin said.

This new system provides better security in the payment process, said Associate University Controller Raymond Androne.

“The new service is that it allows a third party to have a PIN number and for students not to have to give their PIN and U-ID to whoever is paying,” Androne said.

The changes were made to comply with new regulations from the Payment Card Industry (PCI), which is made of the major credit card businesses and governs all credit card vendors, Akin said.

The new PCI rules regarding credit card transactions require companies to protect information with more firewalls and higher encryption standards, Akin said.

This is part of an effort by USF to require access to all systems using a NetID and password like the student database Blackboard, Akin said.

The plan is to change OASIS, which uses a “U-number,” to a NetID system by 2010.

USF purchased the new system for $151,500 in July through a compny called TouchNet, which the school has partnered with for about nine years, according to records. The annual support and maintenance fee for the system is $32,700.

The University also used TouchNet for its “shopping cart” program, which allows academic departments to sell merchandise through the school’s Web site.

Students can submit feedback on the new system through a survey on the Student Bill Payment Web site.