(a) The board of trustees or any other governing body of a public institution of higher education as defined in Section 16-5-1 may establish a program which provides students enrolled at the institution with debit cards issued by the institution. This specific authority shall exist in addition to any pre-existing authority to establish such a program conferred elsewhere by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or statute.
(b) A student issued a debit card under the program may use the card to purchase merchandise or services available through the institution or at the institution through a person authorized to sell merchandise or services at the institution, or at any other location or through any other person as determined by the board of trustees or the governing body.
(c) Without limiting the generality of the foregoing subsection, the debit card program shall at a minimum allow a person who operates an off-campus college bookstore which sells merchandise or services of the same kind as the merchandise or services that a student may purchase at a bookstore operated on the campus of the institution under subsection (b), to participate in the program under the same or equivalent terms applicable to a person authorized to sell merchandise or services under subsection (b), and to accept a debit card payment from a student to whom a debit card has been issued under the program for purchase of that merchandise or service.
(d) A per transaction fee, not to exceed 3.25 percent of the total purchase price may be charged the off-campus bookstore by the institution administering the debit card program. Other merchants may participate in the program under the terms and conditions established by the institution. The transaction fee for all other merchants or vendors, irrespective of type of business, shall not exceed five percent of the total purchase price.
(e) The amendments to this section specified in Act 2006-405 shall be implemented and be operative by July 1, 2006.
Last modified: May 3, 2021