format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Digital Payments

Important: Effective May 6, the maximum reimbursement for Digital Payments increased from $1,000 to $5,000. Learn more about the change and related updates.

Visitors (non-SU payees) are invited to Stanford to speak, collaborate and study. Visitors who are U.S. citizens or non-citizen residents can be reimbursed for eligible expenses that meet university criteria through the Digital Payments process.

The Digital Payments form in the Expense Requests System is used to reimburse domestic travel expenses for these visitors quickly and efficiently. These reimbursements are routed through JPMorgan Chase Bank using Zelle, a secure nationwide digital payment network governed by U.S. banking regulations, or paid via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfer.

The Digital Payments form saves time and effort for preparers, ensures a faster payment for visitors, and reduces risk for Stanford because preparers do not need to collect sensitive information from visitors in order to reimburse them.

Preparers can use Digital Payments to reimburse visitors who meet all of the following criteria:

  • The visitor is not currently a university faculty, staff or student. The following groups are also eligible for Digital Payments:
    • Contract or temporary workers and Stanford affiliates, if they are using a non-Stanford phone number and email address. See Process Overview and Roles for limitations.
  • The visitor is a U.S. citizen or non-citizen resident.
  • The reimbursement is for domestic travel.
  • The visitor has a U.S. bank account that will be used for the reimbursement.
  • The total trip reimbursement amount is $5,000 or less in non-taxable travel expenses for each visitor (see guidance on limits below).
  • Digital Payment requests must be submitted within 60 days of the expense incurred date.

To support proper stewardship of Stanford’s resources, the preparer of a Digital Payment may not be the payee.

Digital Payments may not be used to pay for services or honoraria, which are tax reportable and must be paid with a Non-PO Payment Request. To learn more about the payment process for Honoraria, visit Paying Honoraria.

Visitor travel that is not eligible for reimbursement through Digital Payments may be processed as an Expense Report for Non-SU Payee in the Expense Requests system.

Digital Payment Limits/limitations

Digital Payments may be processed for reimbursements of travel expenses that total $5,000 or less per individual for a single trip. If expenses for an individual total more than $5,000 for one trip, the reimbursement must be processed as an Expense Report for Non-SU Payee in the Expense Requests system.

Digital Payments may be used to reimburse for specific expense types: airfare, ancillary airfare fee, car rental, conference registration, lodging, other transportation, and meals. Multiple expense types may be processed in one transaction. The total trip expenses should be processed in one transaction and may not be split across multiple reimbursement requests.

When multiple Digital Payments are allowed:

  • Preparers can process multiple payees with one digital payment transaction if the Business Purpose is the same for all payees and the total expense per person is $5,000 or less.
  • Preparers may submit multiple digital payment reimbursements for one individual if the Business Purpose and Expense Dates are different, and the total is still $5,000 or less per trip.

Approvers will examine transactions ensuring there are no multiple payments to one payee that are greater than $5,000. Violations of this policy, or misuse of Digital Payments, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Digital Payments is a sub module within the Expense Requests System (ERS). In order to view and use the Digital Payments form, preparers must first gain access to the Expense Requests System then be granted the additional "SU Expense Request Digital Payments" privilege in Authority Manager and complete FIN-0505: Digital Payments training in STARS. Access to the Digital Payments form is enabled on the ERS home page following completion of these pre-requisites. Pre-requisite courses are listed in the FIN-0505: Digital Payments learning path.

Digital Payments authority privileges are granted by authorized school/department grantors.

The steps to prepare and approve a Digital Payments reimbursement follow a different process than the Expense Report process in the Expense Requests System.

Reimbursing a visitor through Digital Payments does not require the visitor to be set up using the Stanford Supplier and Payee Request Portal. The Digital Payments request form requires the minimal necessary information about the visitor, such as their email address, mobile phone number and citizenship/residence. JPMorgan Chase Bank collects any needed bank account information directly from the visitor.

After preparers complete the Digital Payments request in the Expense Requests System, they must check a box to attest that the required receipts are attached and the information they have provided complies with Stanford Business Expense policies.

Because Digital Payments are real-time, the payments may not be retrieved if they are sent to the wrong person.

Important to know: After the transaction is submitted for approval, an automated verification system reviews the visitor’s legal name, email address, phone number, and mailing address. If the verification process flags an issue, the transaction may be returned to the preparer for review or validation of information with the visitor, or rejected outright. If no issues are flagged, the transaction is routed for approval.

Notifications are sent to designated approvers alerting them that a transaction requires review and approval. See instructions to Approve, Request More Info or Reject an Expense Report, Advance, Digital Payment or Non-PO Payment.

The Business Expense team in Financial Management Services does not review every Digital Payments transaction prior to payment. Approvers must carefully review and verify the information on the form and attest that the information is correct.

When the payment is approved, Stanford will notify the visitor via email. When the payment is available, J.P. Morgan will send the visitor an email on behalf of Stanford with instructions on how to register with J.P. Morgan, accept the payment amount, select a payment method (direct deposit or Zelle), and accept the payment. Visitors must accept payment within 14 calendar days of receiving the email. See: How to Register and Accept a Digital Payment.

Optional department template

Once the Digital Payment is submitted, preparers may inform the visitor about the pending payment so they know what to expect. Preparers can send this sample email text to visitors:


Dear [visitor]:

Thank you for visiting Stanford University. Stanford will reimburse you for your travel expenses digitally using Zelle, a secure nationwide digital payment network governed by U.S. banking regulations, or via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfer (direct deposit).

Within the next few days, you should receive an email from Stanford notifying you of the payment, and an email from J.P. Morgan on behalf of Stanford with a link to register, accept the payment, and select your payment preference (Zelle or ACH). After you complete this process, money will show up in your bank account within 1-3 business days.

For detailed instructions on the J.P. Morgan payment process, please visit the Stanford webpage How to Register and Accept a Digital Payment. If you have any questions, please submit a Support Request to Stanford’s Financial Support Center.

Thank you,
Stanford University

Once the transaction is validated with a verification code and is fully approved, a digital payment request is sent directly to the bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, who then pays the visitor and sends a payment confirmation back to Stanford.

Note: If there are any issues accessing payment from JPMorgan Chase Bank, please contact the bank at:

Chase Payments
Telephone: 855-267-0428
Hours: 5 a.m. - 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday - Friday

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2024