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In field issues

Field advance card issues


Card doesn’t work
  • Check your balance online or by phone to ensure you have sufficient funds. If you do not have sufficient funds, contact UW Study Abroad F&A to discuss additional funding.
  • There is a maximum cash withdrawal of $500 USD per day and a $2,500 USD point-of-sale per day. Cash withdrawal limits may be lower in certain countries/banks/ATMS. Please check and plan accordingly.
  • The debit card is NOT CHIP enabled. Do not insert the card into a machine that is not an ATM. Your card may be frozen and will need to be unlocked by customer service. If a merchant is charging your card, ask them to swipe the card.

This also applies to ATM machines. Going to ATM machines owned by large banks have better success withdrawing cash

PIN doesn’t work
  • Swipe and sign for the purchase instead.
  • Reset your PIN after your purchase online or by phone
Message: “Unable to process your transaction at this time.” ATM may be offline or out of cash, try another ATM. In some locations you may be unable to use ATM’s on religious holidays; try to withdraw funds the next day.

Contact Customer Service

Study Abroad F&A (8:00am-5:00pm Pacific M-F) 206-685-1438 or
  • Card name and last 4 digits
  • Error messages received
UW Field Advance Office (8:00am-5:00pm Pacific M-F) or, 206-543-4500
  • Card name and last 4 digits
  • Error messages received
Western Union 1+604-639-1704,
  • Transaction Type – debit purchase or ATM cash withdrawal
  • Date
  • Amount
  • Location
  • Error message

Other Payment Options               

If you cannot resolve issues with your Western Union card before payment must be made, use the following payment methods in this order:

  1. Use field advance cash if available
  2. If the SAFA office is open, contact us to charge our card by phone.
  3. Last option, pay with your personal cash. Submit the receipt along with the reimbursement form and SAFA will process the reimbursement through Ariba. Note: Please do not enter any expenses paid with personal funds on your field advance expenditure spreadsheet. They are handled separately.

Advance payment not received

If you arrive at your destination and your vendor says they have not received your advance payment, here are some steps you can take to check on or confirm payment:

  • Check your email to see you received a wire initiation email from SAFA. This email provides wire tracking information that you can show to your vendor
  • Contact SAFA to check on the progress of the wire payment; they may be able to pay by card over the phone if wire payment has not already been sent
  • Make a payment with your field advance card or cash (follow up with SAFA to have additional funds added to your card as needed)
  • Contact the Global Travel Security team at 001.206.632.0153.

Unforeseen/emergency expenses

If you are in a situation that requires you to make a substantial unforeseen or emergency payment, please see the following.

  • Make a payment with your field advance card or cash (follow up with SAFA to have additional funds added to your card as needed)
  • Call International SOS, the emergency assistance provider connected to UW international insurance. They should be able to set up a guarantee of payment at clinics, hospitals, or assistance centers within their network. Use the ISOS app to locate nearest facilities.
  • If ISOS cannot help, call the UW Global Emergency line at 001-206-632-0153.
  • Please note that any medical care or supplies students receive during the program CANNOT be paid for with program funds. If the student is unable to pay at the time of treatment, call the UW Global Emergency line (phone number above), and they can help with emergency funds.