Prepaid Debit Cards for Human Subjects

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The U.S. Bank Prepaid Debit Card program has been developed to allow researchers to pay their human subjects using a prepaid visa card.

Program Descriptions

Eligible studies may enroll in one of the following programs. Study subjects receive compensation simply and securely through U.S. Bank.

Details about Programs Avaliable
 

Program 1: Reloadable Focus Blue Card

Program 2:
One-Time Digital Reward Card

Program 3:
One-Time Plastic Reward Card

Anonymous:

Name not printed on card, but personal information is collected to register

Name not associated with digital reward, but email is required to activate

Yes

Type of Card:

Physical, plastic card

Activated by consumer via website. Email is sent with authorization code

Physical, plastic card

Reloadable with Additional Funds:

Yes

No

No

Replaceable if Lost:

Yes

Yes

Yes

Technology Required to Activate:

Email address, access to the Internet, or phone

Email address and Access to Internet

Phone number or Access to Internet

Subject Participant's  Information Required to Register:

First name, last name, physical mailing address, DOB

Email address

None

IRB Approval Required:

Yes

Yes

Yes

Subject's SSN Required*:

No

No

No

Release of Funds (48 hours max approval):

Instant

Instant

Instant

Cash Access:

Yes (ATM fees apply)

No

No

Where to Use:

ATM, anywhere Visa Credit or Debit cards are accepted (in-person and online)

Redeemable via online retailers accepting Visa Debit Cards

Redeemable via online retailers accepting Visa Debit Cards

Initial Cost per Card:

No cost

$1.00 per card

$1.50 per card

Cost of Replacement Card:

No cost

No cost

$15.00 per card

* Although generally the SSN isn’t required, if a subject receives payments of $600 or more in a calendar year then the SSN will be required at that point.

Who is Eligible

Research Foundation (RF) Studies meeting the following criteria are eligible to enroll in the program:

  • Current approve IRB
  • Avaliable Funding
  • RF funded activity (Sponsored or Non-Sponsored)

How to Apply to the Program

To apply for the program the following information must be provided through the online application:

  • Card program choice: Focus Blue Reloadable, Digital Rewards, or Plastic Rewards
  • PI Contact Information (Name, Email, Phone Number)
  • Project or Research Study Information (Name of Project or Study, Name of Sponsor, Project Study or Description, Project-Task-Award Account number, Department, Decanal Unit, Current IRB Expiration Date, IRB approval document to upload, Study Begin Date, Anticipated Study End Date, Anticipated Timeframe for Fund Disbursement, Study Payment Schedule [if applicable])
  • Subject Payment Information (Total dollar amount of request and number of cards)
  • Contact information for project or study staff who will register cards, load cards, and or report on funding through the U.S. Bank Card website portal (Name, Title, Email, Type of Access: Register Card, Load Card, and or Reporting)

Next Steps

After submitting the form, the information will be reviewed by Financial Management staff and the following steps will take place:

  1. You will work with your award analyst in Sponsored Projects to provide advance funds to US Bank.
  2. Financial Management staff will set up your security for the US Bank website and you will receive two emails to establish your account.
  3. Financial Management staff will contact you and your team to schedule training in the U.S. Bank Administrative website.
  4. You will schedule a time to come and pick up any physical cards from financial management (if needed).

Reconciliation Process

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for reconciliation of cards disbursed (subject identifier, dollar amount, and date).

For sponsored awards: PIs are required to provide monthly reconciliation documents to the Sponsored Project Services (SPS) Award Analyst.

For non-sponsored awards: PIs are required to provide monthly reconciliation documents to the Non-Sponsored Group.

Any undistributed funds will be returned to the originating award upon the completion of the study.

Contact an Expert

Valerie Dennis.

Valerie Dennis

Asset Management, Card Programs and eProcurement

Financial Management

Phone: 716-645-2604

Email: vlb5@buffalo.edu

Ragland, Kevin.

Kevin Ragland

Procurement Card Administration, Financial Management

Related Forms, Policies and Links

Forms

Links