Campus installs Chase ATMs
After winning bidding process, bank has machines in every student center
Chase Bank now provides service for all ATMs across campus following the University’s decision over the summer to discontinue its ATM service contracts with Wells Fargo, Bank of America and PNC.
The campus centers previously featured different ATMs because they were independent of each other until 2007 when they all joined Student Life, said Patrick Savolskis, business manager for Student Life. Each center was responsible for negotiating its own contract with the University’s procurement department, he said.
“We thought, ‘this is a mishmosh, and we should really clean this up,’” Savolskis said.
After competing with other institutions in a bidding process, Chase Bank won the bid to be the sole provider of ATMs on the New Brunswick campus, he said.
The Chase ATMs charge a $2 banking fee for non-Chase customers, a price University officials negotiated down from $3, Savolskis said.
Pavel Sokolov, treasurer of the Rutgers University Student Assembly, said University officials disagreed with Chase’s original contract, which included a $3 service charge for non-Chase customers. If that were still the case, $2 would go to Chase and $1 to the University.
“[Those at the University] thought it would be a financial h ardship on students,” Sokolov said.
The plan was to give Chase nine ATMs on campus, with the Rutgers Student Credit Union still providing two ATMs at the Rutgers Student Center and Busch Campus Center. But because RSCU is unaffiliated with the University, the plan was thrown out, as it would violate the sole proprietor contract with Chase, Sokolov said.
“It’s a hassle, but Rutgers did what it had to cut costs and raise revenue,” Sokolov said.
Savolskis said two more ATMs would be installed later in the semester.
Myra Melcer, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and longtime Chase customer, said she used to walk to her bank’s ATM on George Street twice a week to withdraw money.
“It’s a trek compared to the accessibility of having an ATM at the [Rutgers] Student Center,” said Melcer, who began banking with Chase as a high school sophomore because of its accessibility near her New York City home.
Now that the University has renegotiated its ATM service contracts, Melcer said she has access to cash wherever she goes.
“I’m so excited Chase is taking over,” she said.
While Sokolov expects some complaints now that students are back on campus, he believes the University has done a good job providing the public information about the switch.
“From what I’ve heard, most students change banks to suit their ATM needs,” Sokolov said.
Savolskis said the change should not severely affect students, because most only withdraw small amounts of money every couple of weeks for convenience and safety purposes.
“It’s not the same kind of volume business it used to be,” Savolskis said. “If you’re out and lose a debit card you can call the bank and get it replaced, but if you lose cash, it’s gone.”
Michael Ruschmann, a School of Arts and Sciences junior who uses Bank of America, said he withdraws cash too often to afford the Chase ATM fee, especially if it is to buy something inexpensive, like coffee.
“I used to be able to go to the [Student Activities Center], but now the only ATM I can go to is on George Street,” Ruschmann said.
But the extra time spent walking to his bank is not enough to convince Ruschmann to switch to Chase, he said.
“It’s an inconvenience to leave campus to borrow money or deposit checks,” he said. “But I would rather walk down George Street than pay a fee.”