Mobile Device Technology Policy

The UW Mobile Device Use and Allowance Policy governs the use of, and payment for, mobile device technologies (such as smart phones and tablets) required for business purposes by the University of Washington (UW).  Once eligibility has been determined, apply the payroll procedure outlined below.

Payroll Procedure 

Departments are to use OPUS (Online Payroll Update System) to establish the mobile service allowance payment. 

Create a Distribution in OPUS

The department uses OPUS to create a distribution to process the mobile service allowance payments. The department must create an appointment to process the semi-monthly service plan allowance payments. An earn type has been established to pay, track, and record mobile service allowances. 

Prior to creating a distribution for a mobile service allowance, the Mobile Technology Devices Allowance Agreement must be in place, maintained in the department, between the employee and department.

Earnings Types

One earn type has been established to reflect mobile service allowance payments. The earn type established is Mobile Service Allowance (MSA).  The earn type established is considered a flat fee payment and is entered into OPUS, the same as you would enter a stipend payment, in accordance with the Mobile Service Agreement:

  • Enter agreed monthly service plan allowance rate.

For monthly service allowance payments:

  • Provide your departmental payroll coordinator an e-mail authorizing a monthly mobile allowance. E-mail must be supported by the Mobile technology devices Allowance Agreement. This e-mail will be pasted into OPUS as an authorization for payment.
  • Establish a distribution in OPUS for the amount of the monthly service allowance using earn type MSA. Mobile service plan allowances are established on a monthly basis. However, allowances are paid on a semi-monthly basis at one-half of the agreed monthly allowance. For example, the amount agreed upon is $50.00 per month. Enter $50.00 for the distribution. The employee will receive $25.00 per pay check.
  • For a monthly mobile service allowance payment, enter the beginning and end dates for the allowance as specified in the signed agreement between the department and employee. At a minimum, plans should be reviewed annually. Distribution can be established for short term or long term use. Departments are to maintain the distribution/effective dates in OPUS.
  • Regardless of start date MSA will pay ½ of the entered amount per pay period and does not prorate.


If an overpayment occurs, the mobile service allowance will be recovered using the standard overpayment process.