Most conferences accept major credit cards for registration and other conference fees. All conferences sponsored by IEEE must comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards, international guidelines to prevent credit card fraud.

Credit card processing requires:

  • Merchant account
  • Payment gateway provider
  • Conference bank account (optional)

Merchant accounts

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. A payment gateway provider is a service that authorizes payments for businesses and encrypts sensitive information. It is usually set up with the merchant account.

Conferences can either use IEEE, or a third-party vendor, to set up a merchant account and sign up with a gateway provider.

  • Conferences may use the IEEE merchant account, under certain conditions. Contact IEEE Conferences, Events & Experiences (CEE) for more information.
  • Third-party vendors may use their own merchant account or the IEEE merchant account, if qualified.
  • The third-party vendor must prove they are PCI compliant and meet certain criteria.
  • IEEE, or the third-party vendor, must also contract with a gateway provider to process credit cards.

IEEE Conferences, Events & Experiences (CEE) and third-party registration services can help you set up credit card payment processing that is PCI compliant. Contact IEEE CEE for more information.

Conference banking information

All conferences must open a bank account to hold all conference funds and provide IEEE Conference Business Services with access to it.

Conference Business Services recommends an IEEE NextGen account for all US- or Canadian-based conferences.

light bulbIEEE now offers free set-up of credit card processing to all conferences that use IEEE NextGen. These accounts are only available in US or Canadian dollars.


Fee processing with third-party vendors

IEEE will screen vendors and check for PCI compliance, during contract review, and ensure that there are no pass-through fees in the contracts. You can provide IEEE with:

  • A copy of the company's compliance certificate
  • The names of all entities involved in handling and/or holding the conference credit card money
  • The compliance certificate with the contract

PCI compliance

Conference volunteers must follow PCI compliance regulations when processing credit cards.


  • Access to the last four digits of credit card numbers
  • Manual processing of credit cards

Not acceptable:

  • Online access to credit card data, other than the scenario listed above
  • Hiring non-compliant third parties that electronically collect or store credit card information
  • Opening your own merchant account. See IEEE's Merchant Lending Program for alternatives

Who do you talk to at IEEE?

IEEE is ready to help. If you have questions about setting up credit card processing, please contact IEEE Conferences, Events & Experiences (CEE).

Do you have other questions about organizing a conference? Please see IEEE Conference Organizer Contacts.

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