CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--TransCard (www.transcard.com)—a leading provider of electronic payment and prepaid debit card solutions branded with MasterCard®, Discover®, STAR and PULSE associations—has partnered with UPMC (www.upmc.com) and the University of Pittsburgh (www.pitt.edu) to launch an electronic solution for paying participants in medical studies.
“Confidentiality and security of individual information were crucial. Likewise, the system needed to be able to cover research participants in Pittsburgh and beyond, and accommodate those research participants who do not necessarily have bank accounts.”
UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh jointly developed a secure, confidential and automated application called “WePay” in order to pay research study participants. The application provides reporting and auditing capabilities to ensure compliance with all funding source requirements, improves central administration reporting and auditing capabilities, enhances existing controls and maintains participant confidentiality while complying with federal laws. Since a strict regulatory environment exists given the requirements of HIPAA, the Patriot Act, Sarbanes-Oxley and the IRS, this robust and sophisticated payment system was required in order to meet the conflicting needs.
The WePay application seamlessly integrates into TransCard to electronically distribute payments to study participants, who then use prepaid MasterCard® payment cards to access their funds. Along with the integration, TransCard supports a unique method for HIPAA privacy compliance to protect cardholder confidentiality. At any given time, hundreds of studies are underway—investigating the use of medical devices, drugs and treatment options—with thousands of study participants being compensated with this MasterCard®-branded payment card (replacing the manual-intensive payment methods of paper checks and cash).
“This technology improves compliance with various regulations, decreases the costs of funds distribution significantly and provides electronic reconciliation of funds for both institutions,” says Jerry Uffner, President of TransCard and a Pitt alumnus. “Our ability to quickly and smoothly integrate with UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, while supporting a unique HIPAA-compliant solution, is a great example of our technology and willingness to develop custom solutions for our clients. I also greatly value doing business in my hometown—and with my alma mater. UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh have always been at the forefront of medical research and now they are at the forefront of payment technology. Other universities and research institutions can greatly benefit from this technology.”
UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh combined are one of the top ten recipients of grant money for medical studies within the United States. Every year, they distribute millions of dollars in payments to participants involved in these medical studies.
“What we needed beyond payroll cards was a whole suite of accounting and control processes,” says Linda Zang, Assistant Treasurer at UPMC.
“The combined efforts of both organizations’ researchers, information technology specialists and internal finance/accounting/legal professionals culminated in this state-of-the-art research participant payment program,” comments Susan Gilbert, Assistant Treasurer at the University of Pittsburgh. “Confidentiality and security of individual information were crucial. Likewise, the system needed to be able to cover research participants in Pittsburgh and beyond, and accommodate those research participants who do not necessarily have bank accounts.”
TransCard (www.transcard.com) provides custom, turnkey prepaid programs for corporate, non-profit and government organizations. TransCard is one of a few privately held core processors in the world, providing prepaid debit card solutions branded with MasterCard®, Discover®, STAR and PULSE associations. The company specializes in providing on-demand, customized, turnkey prepaid programs for clients using a sophisticated proprietary technology platform that was built in-house to meet the unique needs of clients in the prepaid space. Along with the most robust suite of value-added cardholder benefits—including mobile banking, online bill pay, free credit scores and a Personal Financial Management tool that budgets, tracks spending and has customizable widgets—in prepaid, TransCard offers 24/7/365, live, bilingual customer service and a check-free online account accessed through an easy-to-use website.
TransCard differentiates itself in the prepaid card industry by offering compliant solutions, real value, proprietary technology, mobile card management and stability. Its products include paycards, financial institution stored-value processing, gift reward cards, fleet services and retail program management. TransCard handles nearly $2 billion in electronic transactions annually and was featured as a “10 to Watch” by Intele-Card News.
The company was recently named as a 2009 Paybefore Awards Best-in-Category Winner for the Best Corporate-Funded Prepaid Card and the CEO, Craig Fuller, was recognized as one of the top five Rising Stars of Prepaid by Paybefore magazine—a respected prepaid industry publication.