Payment Methods

University Payables uses the following payment methods, listed in order of preference, to remit payment to the university's suppliers. Payments are issued on Monday.

The university’s preferred method for paying commercial, domestic suppliers, and for issuing personal and travel reimbursements to employees is via electronic payment (ACH). ACH is efficient and cost effective.

  • ACH payments disbursed to the suppliers are made to the account and financial institution designated by the supplier according to the agreed upon payment terms with the supplier. Personal and travel reimbursements to GW employees whose payroll method is direct deposit will have all reimbursements paid via ACH to that same bank account.
  • In order for a supplier to receive payments via direct deposit, the ACH/Electronic Payments Authorization (Direct Deposit) Form (PDF) must be completed and submitted to [email protected] for approval.

J.P. Morgan’s Single-Use Accounts (SUA) is an electronic payment solution that enables the university to process payments faster and more efficiently.

  • Suppliers who enroll will be paid by a one-time use eCredit card. Each time a payment is disbursed to the supplier, a secured e-mail message will be sent with the eCredit card information. Using this information the supplier can process the payment transaction using their credit card processor and receive their funds immediately.
  • Upon enrollment, GW will convert their payment method in the supplier record to SUA and pay them immediately upon the receipt of an approved invoice.
  • Domestic commercial suppliers who accept SUA are no longer subject to the university’s net 30 day payment terms.

More information about SUA can be obtained by contacting University Payables Customer Service at [email protected].

It is the general policy of the university to make all payments in U.S. currency. In certain circumstances, the university will make payment in a non-U.S. currency via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) denominated in non-U.S. currency. An EFT, commonly referred to as wire transfer, is a more expensive payment method and therefore will only be disbursed when business needs require such payment.

  • A department requesting an EFT payment must deliver a completed Electronic Funds Disbursement Payment Request Form along with adequate supporting documentation to University Payables at least five business days prior to the payment due date.
  • An EFT to a new supplier or to a foreign individual or entity will require at least ten days advance notice in order to establish the supplier in the Payables system and test the supplier’s information for accuracy. However, on an exception basis with a valid business justification demonstrating an impact to the University’s operations, an EFT Payment Request form will be processed immediately for existing suppliers only.
  • EFT Supporting Documentation Required
    1. Substantiates the amount and currency of the payment as well as the business purpose, the payee's name, address, and the date and nature of the transaction.
    2. Must provide a source document for the banking information that matches that on the EFT form.
  • Tax Considerations

Specific tax issues must be addressed when preparing requests for certain kinds of EFT payments. Because the tax considerations may change the amount being paid or the budget impact of the transaction, it is recommended the person listed as the Preparer in line 2 of the Electronic Funds Disbursement Payment Request Form understand the tax withholding and reporting requirements before the financial commitment is made to the Payee.

  1. Upon receipt of an authorized EFT form with supporting documentation, University Payables reviews the request for appropriate tax documentation.
  2. University Payables approves the request, processes through the ePayables system, and enters the form in the transaction tracking system (Remedy).
  3. If the payment is made to a non-US citizen or foreign company, the Tax Department reviews the EFT request and its supporting documentation to determine the tax withholding and reporting requirements. The university is prohibited by law from making payments in non-U.S. currencies to certain foreign countries or persons in them.
  4. Treasury Management processes the payment request so that the payment is scheduled for delivery on the payment due date.

Specific instructions for completing the Electronic Funds Disbursement Payment Request Form are set forth in the Preparation of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Disbursement Payment Request Form.

  • Payments to suppliers via paper check normally are mailed to the supplier’s remit to address as indicated on the supplier’s invoice. Payment terms, unless agreed to otherwise, are net 30 days. GW employees whose payroll method is paper check will receive personal and travel reimbursements via paper check mailed to their home address.
  • “Hold for Pickup” of paper checks is strongly discouraged for reasons of security. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the Manager of Strategic Services or his/her designee. Where "Hold for Pickup" is authorized, persons picking up a check must show proper identification (i.e., GW ID, Driver’s License, etc.) and sign for the check. Checks are generally available the day after processing at the Faculty and Staff Service Center, Room 242, 800 21st Street NW, Washington DC following notification that they are ready for pick- up.
  • Lost or stolen checks will be replaced after the University has placed a stop payment and receives confirmation from its bank that the original check has not cleared the bank. A check is considered lost or stolen when the payee has not received the check within 10 business days from mailing or if the payee has misplaced the check and has not been able to locate the check after a reasonable effort.
  • Damaged or stale dated checks (except those that have been escheated) will be replaced once the check has been returned to the University. A check will be considered damaged if the condition of the check has deteriorated to the extent that will preclude a bank from honoring it, and is considered stale dated if it is over 90 days old.

Payment Method Selection

The payment method selected is at the university’s discretion and is based on the: 

  • Cost to the university The university will use the most cost effective payment method available that can be delivered securely to minimize the risk of fraud or misuse. 
  • Currency required for payment Payments required in international currency will be disbursed by wire transfer. Only payments in USD currency can be made using ACH, SUA Credit Card, or paper check. 
  • Criticality/time sensitivity of payment and any impact to the university and its operations, if payment is delayed.

Employees receiving reimbursement for travel or business related expenses will be reimbursed via ACH or paper check consistent with the method used by payroll for the employee. If you are an employee already signed up for Direct Deposit through Payroll Services, your payment will be issued electronically.