The University is switching its on-campus banking services to Sovereign Bank from Wells Fargo on June 1, as the latter’s contract is set to expire.
The University has had a contract with Wells Fargo for at least 10 years, said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services. “We had a competitive bidding process where we developed a request for proposal and sent to it 10 banks and five banks submitted a proposal,” Nagy continued. “We reviewed the proposals, had a presentation with all the banks to a team of people and, at the end of the evaluation process, Sovereign Bank seemed like the appropriate choice.”
The new Sovereign Bank ATMs will have a surcharge for using them without having a Sovereign Bank account card. “That is why we are getting out early with this information so students can make an account,” Nagy said. “It’s free so it seems like it makes sense.”
Joseph Cahalin, a junior business management major, said he got a Wells Fargo bank account because he knew it was the banking that the University had. He also already has a Sovereign Bank account from back home, so the switching of banks will not really affect him.
However, Carolyn Taylor, a junior majoring in photography, will have to give up her free trips to the ATM. “I don’t have a Wells Fargo account because I don’t have that bank close to home, but I use the ATM on campus for convenience,” Taylor said. “I don’t have to drive out of my way to get cash out and it’s in a convenient central location on campus.”
Taylor said that even though it is easier, she won’t be switching banks. “I will just have to start stopping at TD Bank when I’m going somewhere to avoid ATM charges.”
Once the new branch opens on June 1, students can sign up for the student banking package right on campus or they can do it at any of the local banks beforehand. “There are five branches within a five to 10 minute drive from campus,” Nagy said. “You can go and start an account now so you can have your card ready for when the branch opens.”
The Wells Fargo office on the first floor of the Rebecca Stafford Center will be converted to Sovereign Bank that will be open 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday. According to the e-mail sent to University students, some of the advantages of the Sovereign Bank Free Student Banking Package are a free MasterCard debit card, no minimum balance and overdraft protection. The new branch also will be holding financial education workshops through the year.
Along with the ATM that is already in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, the University will be placing a cash dispensing ATM in the MAC because it’s a highly traveled area, Nagy said. She referenced the numerous concerts held in the MAC said that people often need cash to buy food or merchandise. Like the practice of most concert venues, attendees cannot leave the concert once inside, so they run into a problem when in need of cash with no ATM inside. The MAC’s ATM will only permit withdrawals.
Cahalin said that he is happy that an ATM will be placed in the MAC. “It creates a convenience for the students,” he said. “It’d be better if there were more on campus.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Joanna Zietara