Merchant FAQs

What is the LionCash+ Program?

LionCash+ is an online, prepaid flexible spending account accessed by the Penn State id+ Card.  Funds deposited into LionCash+ accounts can be used to purchase goods or services at participating on- and off-campus locations.  LionCash+ funds are also accepted at on-campus laundry, vending, and copying machines.

As a convenience to Penn State faculty, staff, students, and affiliates, LionCash+ accounts are established for all Penn State id+ cardholders when their card is issued.  Cardholders simply activate the account by making an initial deposit.

Each time the card is used, the system will check to make sure the balance in the account is sufficient to cover the purchase price. The amount of the sale will be deducted from the account, and the new balance will be displayed at the reader or printed on the receipt.

What are the benefits of LionCash+ to cardholders?

  1. Deposits can be made online – family and friends can also make deposits online and include a personalized message to the cardholder.
  2. It's easy to manage the account online – check balances, view transaction history, or report a lost or stolen id+ card.
  3. Active accounts remain open and carry forward from semester to semester and from year to year.
  4. It's safer and more convenient than carrying cash. Even if the id+ card is lost or stolen, the funds will be protected if the card is reported, and the funds are immediately available when a replacement id+ card is issued.
  5. The card is convenient and flexible. It can be used to access residence halls, ATMs, library privileges, fitness memberships, the Newspaper Readership Program, and other University resources.

What are the benefits of LionCash+ to merchants?

  1. Marketing opportunities – LionCash+ provides a new outlet for your company's marketing efforts.
  2. Competitive edge – LionCash+ funds may be spent only at participating locations.
  3. Security – The Penn State id+ Card is used to process sales, which adds a measure of security over non-photo credit/debit card sales.
  4. Less cash handling – Merchants will recognize a decrease in the amount of cash they handle.
  5. Fast settlement of sales – Merchants can choose to receive daily, weekly, or monthly settlements.
  6. Automated sales reporting – LionCash+ offers merchants an electronic daily sales report, e-mailed the morning after every business day.

How is LionCash+ marketed to faculty, staff, and students?

  1. One-on-one interactions with first-year students and parents during New Student Orientation sessions held throughout the summer months.
  2. Advertising in The Daily Collegian, Penn State's daily newspaper
  3. Parent & Family Experience Portal
  4. Digital signage
  5. Penn State id+ website
  6. Various printed brochures, posters, and other materials
  7. Promotional events and programs
  8. Penn State Today, news for faculty, staff, and students

Where is LionCash+ accepted?

Cardholders can use LionCash+ funds at many on- and off-campus locations:

  1. A wide range of participating off-campus merchants, including restaurants, bookstores, computer stores, grocery stores, fitness facilities, florists, clothing/apparel stores, and other retail stores
  2. On-campus food service locations
  3. On-campus laundry facilities
  4. Select on-campus vending and copier machines

View a complete listing of participating merchants.

Can LionCash+ be accepted for telephone orders and off-site deliveries?

LionCash+ accounts can be debited for telephone orders by entering the card number manually into the terminal.  There are inherent risks associated with this type of transaction, and, in the case of a dispute, the burden of proof lies with the merchant.  To minimize the risk of fraud, we recommend that a copy of the receipt go out with the delivery.  The delivery person should visually inspect the id+ card and obtain the cardholder's signature for authorization.

Can tips be charged to LionCash+ accounts?

Yes.  Tips to servers can easily be charged to a cardholder's LionCash+ account.

Are there any restrictions on the types of goods and services that can be purchased with LionCash+?

LionCash+ cannot be used for the purchase of packaged alcohol, illicit drug paraphernalia, or for card-to-cash exchange (merchants may not accept LionCash+ in exchange for cash).  Businesses where more than 50 percent of gross sales are from alcohol are not eligible to participate in the LionCash+ program.

How much does it cost to participate in the program?

In exchange for services (operation of card program, account management, advertising, marketing, etc.) each merchant pays a flat 3 percent service charge on all net LionCash+ sales (purchase minus refunds).  There are no other annual, maintenance, or "per transaction" fees associated with the program.  If you don't process any LionCash+ sales, you don't pay any fees.

Merchants are required to purchase and maintain their own terminals.

How will I be paid for LionCash+ sales?

The University will reimburse you for net sales processed via LionCash+ (less the 3 percent service charge) on each University business day via an ACH electronic payment directly into the bank account designated on the application.  In most cases, the funds will be deposited within 48 hours.  A settlement statement will be e-mailed for the funds deposited.  Merchants also have the option to select either weekly or monthly settlements instead of daily.

Error resolution will be handled by Auxiliary and Business Services Accounting Operations.

What equipment is required to accept LionCash+?

New installations require a VeriFone Vx520.    

VeriFone Vx520 (IP network only)

Transaction processing time is approximately 2-5 seconds. Total cost for reader with integrated printer and Blackboard TS software is $561.80 (reader w/ built-in printer, software, and shipping is $530.00 plus $31.80 sales tax; price subject to change). Blackboard TS software is only available through Blackboard Inc; therefore, reader with software must be purchased through the id+ Office.

 Requirements for Network (IP) Setup:

  • Assign a static IP address for each reader or a DHCP connection that will be on the merchant network.
  • Provide a live Ethernet network jack for terminal on merchant network.
  • Configure firewall for reader to communicate properly with Penn State LionCash+ hosts for processing transactions.

How do I sign up to be a LionCash+ merchant?

See LionCash+ merchant Participation Steps