Introduction and Background

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1 Introduction and Background The Community College League of California is a nonprofit public benefit corporation whose voluntary membership consists of the 72 local community college districts in California. The mission of the League is to promote student access and success by strengthening colleges through leadership development, advocacy, policy development, and district services. To that end, the League operates a variety of services for the colleges including financial services. The state of California is home to 112 community college campuses, divided into 72 districts. The colleges graduate about 30% of all community college students in the country, and see in total about 3.5 million students per year. Each college functions under local control and decides on which merchant banking they will use. The League is seeking proposals from qualified providers of bankcard merchant services for various retail sales operations in multiple locations across the state. The League intends to form multiple consortia of colleges/districts based on the gateway each district uses. The League estimates that the districts see over $1 billion in total annual sales volume. Districts typically primarily use web and cashier windows to complete credit card transactions. Bookstore sales are not included in the scope of this RFP, but may be included at some campuses. Section I The objectives of this request are to: Secure a provider of debit and credit card processing services, along with other related merchant services to participating college/district Secure best pricing for participating college/district Ensure timely and reliable authorization of credit/debit transactions Secure reporting tools that meet the needs of the individual colleges/districts Establish a single point of contact for coordination of all activities related to merchant credit card services, including adding additional terminal locations, problem resolution (for billing, settlement and reporting) as well as recommending proactive security measures and new technologies when appropriate. Section II General Information A. Eligible Providers Minimum Qualifications 1. Minimum 5 years experience of payment and credit records transmitted for processing and settlement from all major card-processing networks.

2 2. Respondent must have all required licenses, bonding, facilities, equipment and trained personnel necessary to perform the work required. Respondent must have all necessary certifications, assurances and required liability and commercial crime insurance. Documentation must be provided upon request. 3. Respondent must have an authorization and settlement system, ability to integrate software, offer web-based services and have central control capabilities. Respondent must have front to back end full-fledged processing capability, flat fee processing capability, and print online technology. 4. Respondent must provide daily settlement. 5. Respondent must provide fraud protection with support of address verification (AVS) and security code (CVV2, etc.). 6. Respondent must provide support for timeout reversal requests, perform an exact validation on credit card number and credit card expiration date, and return an accept or decline message to the merchant within an industry-acceptable timeframe. Respondent must support adjustments, edits and voids before transactions are settled. 7. It is extremely critical that respondent is compliant with all relevant PCI security standards and must be able to show proof of such certification. Respondent will provide the League and all participating colleges/districts with expertise and guidance to achieve and maintain strict compliance with security standards. 8. Respondent must ensure on-going compliance with industry regulations 9. Respondent will assign an account representative who will coordinate all activities necessary to service, train and implement systems with all programs included in this agreement. B. Proposal Format The proposal must be completed and submitted in its entirety with any relevant supplemental information included. All proposals must follow the format in Section III and must be submitted by the deadline. C. References Each provider must include three (3) references representing customers of similar size who have used services provided by same and similar to the bid provided. Names, telephone numbers and s must be provided. D. Timeline Only proposals received by December 16, 2013 will be considered. E. Questions All questions should be sent via to: Elaine Reodica at

3 All questions and answers will be published on the League s website within 24 hours of receipt of the question. F. Proposal Submission Proposals should be submitted via to Elaine Reodica at Any non-electronic collateral material should be sent to the League s offices at: 2017 O Street Sacramento, CA G. Proposal Evaluation Process Award of contract The League reserves the right to: reject any and all proposal, in whole or in part, and to waive any defect request additional information from any or all responders accept the proposal which best serves the needs and interests of the League and all participating colleges/districts as determined solely by their internal evaluation negotiate with one or more of the proposers to arrive at a final selection. The League is not required to accept the lowest bid, and the award will not be based on cost considerations alone. Acceptance will be based upon a combination of suitability to the League s current and future needs, implementation, schedule and terms, reliability, referrals, responses and price. Evaluation factors will include: Understanding the needs and operation requirements of the colleges/districts The ability of the respondent to deploy, service and meet the needs of a diverse group of colleges in all areas of the state The experience, resources and qualifications of the firm and individuals assigned to this account Relevant experience managing similar account relationships Scope of services, including degree of automation Financial strength and five year history of proposing firm Adequacy of financial controls and protection against loss, proactive security compliance Ability to assist the League and all participating colleges/districts with new service suggestions or enhancements Compliance with the requirements of this RFP and quality of proposal Competitive proposed fees and compensation This request for proposals should not be construed to create an obligation on the part of the League or any college/district to enter into a contract with any entity or to serve as the basis for a claim for reimbursement for expenditures related to the development of a

4 proposal. Proposers are advised that this request is an informal solicitation of proposals only. It is not intended, nor is it to be construed as engaging in formal competitive bidding pursuant to any statute, ordinance, policy or regulation. All expenses incurred by the proposer in the research, preparation or presentation of the proposal response are the sole responsibility of the proposer. Section III A. Proposal Preparation and Content Requirements 1. Submit one copy of proposal via in.pdf format. 2. Submit any collateral materials that are not available in electronic format via mail. 3. Terms and prices must be guaranteed for 180 days from the date of the proposal. B. General Information 1. Name and address of firm 2. Contact information, including contact name, telephone number and address C. Describe minimum qualifications 1. Refer to Section II describe in detail how all minimum qualifications are met. D. Describe your organization 1. What is the fiduciary classification of the financial institution that would be responsible for settlement of transactions? 2. Brief history of your firm as it relates to the proposed business and business presence in California. 3. Describe your company s representation on MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express associations or boards or committees. 4. Describe current alliances and subcontracting relationships with regard to merchant services processing. 5. Provide two years of the most recent audited financials or internet links to published financials. 6. Describe your organization s hierarchy and reporting structure. What is your organizations commitment to the merchant services industry? 7. Does senior management support merchant card services innovation? 8. Discuss your commitment to quality and customer service 9. How do you measure customer satisfaction? Quality? Transaction processing? 10. How do you ensure accuracy? Briefly describe what controls are in place. 11. What disaster recovery provisions have been made?

5 12. What insurance coverage and indemnification is provided to protect clients, including risk coverage, carriers, insurance levels, limitations and deductibles? 13. Describe support staff likely to be assigned to this account. Give brief backgrounds of those individuals. 14. Describe your organization s experience with California community colleges or similar entities. 15. Describe your implementation and training program and methods (in-person, web-based, etc.). E. Describe services to be provided 1. Processing Processing to be provided for all brands and types of cards. Selected vendor must be able to process MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express transactions. 2. Reporting Daily and monthly detail and summary reports (online, mail) by location and consolidated (sales, transactions and settlement). Daily notification of chargebacks (with all transaction detail), summarized weekly. Describe reporting delivery method and timing of reporting availability. 3. Transaction processing and settlement Coordinate with existing systems. Provide for authorization and settlement through appropriate authorization and settlement networks. Provide research and problem resolution for transactions or settlement. Describe funds availability by card type with details regarding transmission time frames, processing days (weekend activity combined with Monday, etc.). Transaction limits? Batch limits? Describe retrieval and chargeback procedure. 4. Statement of Fees and Transaction Costs Detailed by card type and transaction type, sales, returns and counts. 5. Transition support, Training and Consulting Describe help available, hours of operation and availability. Provide for a smooth transition, disclose all start up fees or likely costs. Training procedures, consult on new cost-effective innovative solutions, inform the League and all participating colleges/districts of industry trends and advances in technology with integrated processing. 6. Equipment and Software Provide and support, with plans for replacement and upgrade. Describe system capabilities, security and disaster recovery. 7. Pricing

6 Provide complete pricing schedule for each chargeable item and/or service to be provided by your organization. Detail any additional costs. Discuss any creative pricing or payment options available. 8. Contract Include standard merchant agreement that you propose to become part of final contract.

7 Frequently Asked Questions Q: What kind of software would the processor have to try and integrate with in order to process for some of these schools? Do they all use the same system, or are there a few different ones that you encourage schools within the league to use? A: Disricts will be using different softwares. Certainly if there is a particular software a vendor works with, we can ask the consortia to all move to that software assuming it does not create an undue hardship on any district. Page 1: The Community College League of California is a nonprofit public benefit corporation whose voluntary membership consists of the 72 local community college districts in California. / / The state of California is home to 112 community college campuses, divided into 72 districts. The colleges graduate about 30% of all community college students in the country, and see in total about 3.5 million students per year. Each college functions under local control and decides on which merchant banking they will use. Q1: Has the League sought proposals for banking or cash management services in the past? If so, what has been the experience with regard to the percentage of schools that have participated in the awarded bid? A1: This is not an area the League has sought proposals in before. Q2: Would the League be able to offer some estimates regarding potential volumes from schools that may seriously consider a switch following the contract award? A2: Overall we estimate that the system sees at least $ million in volume each year. It's difficult to determine what the volume will be initially from the consortia but we anticipate a floor of $50 million. Page 1: The League intends to form multiple consortia of colleges/districts based on the gateway each district uses. Q1: Would the League anticipate the forming of these groups prior to or after the proposal is accepted? A2: We anticipate the consortia to be formed during the next few months. Ideally the consortia would be an open group so that districts can join at any time. Q2: If there are any colleges or groups of colleges that have indicated they will seriously consider a switch following the award, would the League be able to furnish more detail around the processing environment and transaction volumes specific to those campuses. A2: Several districts have expressed interest. However, details will not be available until after the RFP process is completed.

8 Page 2 : C. References representing customers of similar size. Q1: Could the League please advise what it anticipates will be the eventual size of the award? A2: A floor of $50 million. Page 2: Respondent must have an authorization and settlement system, ability to integrate software, offer web based services and have central control capabilities. Respondent must have front to back end full- fledged processing capability, flat fee processing capability, and print online technology. Q1: Could the League please expand on what it is seeking in flat fee processing capability as well as print online technology? A2: One of the primary goals is to produce cost savings for the districts, so the ability for a firm to process under a flat fee scenario could be useful, but is not mandatory. Online technology should be accessible for districts to examine and to have access to printed reports for reconciliation. Page 3: Acceptance will be based upon a combination of suitability to the League s current and future needs, implementation, schedule and terms, reliability, Q1: With regard to the Leagues current and future needs, can the League please expand on whether the member schools are currently charging students or parents convenience fees for tuition payments? A2: Currently districts have varying structures for fees. Q2: Have any member schools implemented advanced security features, such as card number tokenization? If so, through which company/companies is this service currently provided? A2: Currently districts have varying structures for security features. Updated October 16, 2013

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