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UA could be without banking partner for fall

By Blake Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 6, 2000
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CatCard officials recommend that negotiations cease with prospective institution

CatCard machines across campus advertise "new improved banking services" coming this fall - but recent problems with negotiation between the UA and a prospective banking partner could leave students looking for alternate banking choices.

The University of Arizona has been searching for a banking partner to offer on-campus service, as DM Federal Credit Union recently closed the doors to its campus branch.

According to DM Federal Credit Union president and CEO Stan Turner, his credit union is local and is not able to compete with advancements of the "giants."

"Apparently the university feels (larger institutions) would better be able to serve students with their increased technology," Turner said.

He added that DM will continue to offer the same banking services to the UA community that it has always offered, just not in the Memorial Student Union.

"I'm sorry to hear of the university's difficulties," he said.

The university narrowed its choices down to an unnamed banking partner. Negotiations between the institution and the UA have been ongoing, but problems with the proposal have been raised over the past two weeks, said CatCard Operations Manager Suellyn Hull.

Hull said the main "sticking point" is the proposal calls for the UA to change its ISO number, or the 16-digit number, on the front of all CatCards. This would require the expensive process of issuing new cards to students and faculty.

By controlling the ISO, the university would be able to change banking partners at will without having to reissue CatCards, she added.

Another concern for CatCard officials is that the prospective banking institution is undergoing internal restructuring, which makes it difficult for negotiations to move forward, said Hull.

"If a bank is changing its internal situation, how can they negotiate with a university?" she asked.

In a posting to the CatCard update listserv, Hull said CatCard officials are recommending that negotiations cease with the prospective institution and that requests for proposals go out again.

If requests do go out again for institutions to submit proposals, the probability that UA will not have a banking partner for the fall greatly increases, Hull said.

Should the UA not have a partner lined up by the fall semester, Hull said freshmen may be forced to look to outside institutions for banking services.

"We would be regretful not to have a banking partner," she said.

Hull stressed that the UA is looking to provide at least one banking choice for students that is in line with the needs of the university - including online banking services.

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