M&T Bank will be replaced by Visions Federal Credit Union in July after serving as Binghamton University’s on-campus bank branch for over 20 years.
Visions will replace the M&T branch located in the University Union as well as the four ATM locations on campus on July 1.
The decision, made by a board organized by BU Auxiliary Services, follows five months of deliberation comprised of student surveys, meetings and the University’s request for proposals from various financial institutions.
Maria Roberts, the associate director of Auxiliary Services, wrote in an email that the board, consisting of students, faculty and staff who manage various on-campus vendors such as the University Bookstore and Dining Services, sent requests for proposals to 12 banks. According to Roberts, the decision was ultimately driven by student needs involving transaction fees.
“The board, guided by a ‘student-first’ philosophy, concluded that Visions would provide better overall value to the campus,” Roberts wrote. “Survey responses indicated that one of the main priorities of the student body was lowering overall transaction fees, something which our new contract with Visions will make possible.”
Visions first became a presence on campus in January 2017 after partnering with the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development to create the Financial Literacy Wellness Program, an effort to educate students about budgeting, savings and insurance through workshops. Mandy DeHate, the assistant vice president of marketing for Visions, wrote in an email that the bank felt expanding onto campus would give the institution an opportunity to continue serving students.
“We’ve been part of the Broome County community for over 50 years and felt that this was an opportunity for us to share the benefits of our member-owned cooperative with the students and faculty at BU in a more personal, meaningful way,” DeHate wrote in an email.
DeHate highlighted Visions’ membership in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, which allows customers to use other credit unions throughout the country.
Joe Evangelisti, a senior majoring in human development who opened an M&T account before coming to BU, said while the switch may be temporarily frustrating, it could ultimately be a good move for BU.
“I think it’s annoying for current students, but maybe for future generations it’ll be better since Visions is a credit union,” Evangelisti said.
Carisa McKillop, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said she will not be switching accounts once Visions comes to campus, and that this transition will complicate her banking experience.
“I think it’s inconvenient because at home, on Long Island, there aren’t any ATMs of Visions bank, which makes it inconvenient if I need to withdraw money or deposit money while I’m home,” McKillop said.
DeHate said Visions aims to create a relationship with students that will last even after they leave the University.
“Our goal for being on the Binghamton University campus is to provide students and faculty with a strong banking partner for life,” DeHate said. “Combining financial education with our products and services prepares both students and faculty for their immediate and future banking needs.”
M&T Bank representatives declined to comment on the transition.