Vincent Payment Solutions & Paying Research Participant/Individuals

Vincent Payment Solutions™ is the University’s payment solution for medical study participants and other applicable individuals in accordance with University Policy FN 29, Stored Value Card. Vincent Payment Solutions™ allows for the issuance of non-personalized, re-loadable, MasterCard-branded, stored value cards. 

Vincent Payment Solutions™ offers a flexible methodology to execute payments to individuals outside of a traditional Accounts Payable vendor structure. Payments are made in a controlled, auditable environment with minimal risk and exposure to staff or clients.

Vincent Payment Solutions™ provides the following benefits:

  • Cloud-based - Access is possible anywhere users have the internet. But cloud computing allows for greater speed and security, automated updates, and even more flexibility than before.
  • Mobile friendly - Software is tailored to all on-the-go devices – hand-held, tablet, and laptop.
  • Single Sign-On - Users can access the software with the same username and password as their existing Pitt credentials.
  • Flexible Card Management - All users, Administrators and Payers alike, are able to exchange unassigned cards with their peers allowing for smoother and faster workflows.
  • Expanded Use Cases - In addition to research participant payments, Vincent Payment Solutions™ will allow payment to individuals in other areas such as athletics, teaching projects, resident life, and club activities.
  • Group Payments - Vincent Payment Solutions™ payers can pay multiple payees from the same study, team, or group all at the same time.

Vincent Payment Solutions™ can be used as a payment solution for per diems, reimbursement, project expenses, team events and more for many projects including:

  • Clinical Research
  • Athletics
  • Teaching Projects
  • Study Abroad
  • Club Activities/Groups (e.g., club sports)

Payments to individuals for research participation or student/athlete allowances for compensation or certain expense reimbursements should be executed via Vincent Payment Solutions™. Questions about uses should be referred to Customer Service. Any requests for exceptions must be approved by the University’s Human Research Protection Office (HRPO and formerly known as the IRB).

Payments Outside the United States

Vincent Payment Solutions™ cards cannot be used outside the US for the following reasons:

  • Data collection and system processing requirements.
  • Logistics of transporting cards and loading them in-country, make Vincent Payment Solutions™ cards a less-than-suitable payment option for individuals abroad.
  • For technical reasons (EMV chip/pin, EMV chip/signature, and POS magnetic stripe technology), we cannot guarantee that the card will be accepted by foreign merchants or that it will work in ATMs outside the United States.

System Access & Training

Visit this page to learn more about obtaining access to Vincent Payment Solutions™, as well as training resources.

Vincent Card Spending & Load Limits

Thes spending and load limits for the Vincent Card are set by the card processor company and they cannot be changed by the University. Visit the Vincent Payment Solutions™ Sharepoint site for more information.

Alternative (non-Vincent Payment Solutions™) Payment Methods For Research Participants/Individuals

Payments to individuals for research participation or student/athlete allowances for compensation or certain expense reimbursements should be executed via Vincent Payment Solutions™. Any requests for exceptions must have prior approval: for research use by the HRPO; for non-research use by the department or RC.

Alternate (non-Vincent Payment Solutions™) compensation methods for research participants and other applicable individuals include the following:   

  • Store/Gift cards
    • If store/gift cards will be used to compensate research participants and other applicable individuals, select amounts that are equivalent to the area’s economic conditions. 
    • The Vincent Payment Solutions™ policy prohibits the use of store/gift cards for research participant payments. Exceptions to this policy require specific HRPO approval, signature by the research department’s dean, and details of which must be written into the grant at the outset of the study. 
    • If your study requires an exception to the Vincent Payment Solutions™ policy, please contact Customer Service (before the study begins) for guidance on what you will need to provide to the Payment Processing and Compliance department. 
  • Cash
    • If cash will be used to compensate research participants and other applicable individuals, use amounts that are equivalent to the area’s economic conditions.  
    • If cash is not an appropriate participant incentive given the nature of the research, and if approved by the HRPO, the University Global Concierge can discuss other options listed below.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Small gifts: If approved by the HRPO, a small gift could include sporting venue and/or cultural admission tickets, payment of a utility bill, etc. Select items that are in line with the area’s economic conditions.
    • Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT): If approved by the HRPO, some researchers have used AMT to manage surveys and compensate research participants inside and outside the US. More information about AMT can be found on these pages: 

Note: any HRPO approved alternate (non-Vincent Payment Solutions™) research compensation method will require the researcher to maintain appropriate manual logs supporting research participant payments.

If these alternative options above do not meet your needs for payment options for research participants and other applicable individuals outside the US, please contact the Global Operations Support Manager for assistance. 

Paying for Alternative Payment Methods

The following methods are recommended options for funding alternative (non-Vincent Payment Solutions™) compensation methods:

  • P-card
    • There are no special instructions for using a P-card to fund the non-Vincent Payment Solutions™ compensation method. If your P-card is rejected, contact Customer Service.
  • Pre-trip travel advance
    • The best funding solution for international research participants and other applicable individuals is often a pre-trip travel advance, as there are no finance charges for this option.
  • Cash option in-country (international)
    • If cash for research participants and other applicable individual payments must be replenished in-travel, then a transfer of departmental funds into your personal bank account is recommended so that you can withdraw cash as needed. Allow three to four days to process the transfer; withdrawal fees apply. Review the travel advance page.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk Gift Codes
    • Studies with very small payment amounts may use Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) through a Man-on-the-Street (MOS) Exception and pay for the gift codes on a Vincent™ card.
    • For individual payments under $10, the Principle Investigator or department’s finance administrator should request approval directly through the Office of Finance.
    • For individual payments over $10 the Principle Investigator must obtain written approval from HRPO to use a “man-on-the-street” card methodology. Additional information can be found on the Vincent Payment Solutions™ website and the Office of Finance Online Purchases Guidance.