In June of 2011, Loyola and PNC bank became partners, replacing Chase as the official campus bank. In addition to replacing six ATMs, PNC also set up an on-site e-brance in the Centennial Forum Student Union, with a branch manager present five days a week.
Treasurer of the University Eric Jones says the switch to PNC was the last phase of changes in banking at the University. He noted that PNC was willing to offer more services that benefited the University, and “…because they have a more highly evolved approach to developing relationships with institutions like [Loyola].”
He also explained that PNC offers programs and accounts for students that go beyond what any other banking institution has set up. One example is the Virtual Student Wallet, an online tool for managing financial accounts that is specifically designed for students, by students.
“We literally had students on the team that helped design the product,” says Kathleen Newrones, PNC university banking relationship manager. “The Virtual Wallet is different from your standard checking account because it offers a very visual and intuitive approach to doing your banking.”
The Virtual Wallet is a visual representation of a typical student’s financial life, and offers integrated tools for managing money. The wallet features a calendar where students can put in their paydays, due dates for rent and utilities, and any other important dates that may require spending. The calendar is also synced with the Loyola academic calendar, alerting students of important University dates. Using this calendar, the wallet also alerts students (and parents, if chosen) of “danger days,” days where spending needs to be reined in because there may be a pocket of time between when rent is due and when a paycheck comes through. In addition, students can put big-ticket items on their “wish list” and continually add money to a savings account for that item, which indicates how close students are to being able to afford it. Another feature warns students when they are in danger of over-drafting, via e-mail and text message.
“We want to show students how to manage their money as early as possible,” says Newrones.
The account also offers one free wire transfer a month, a feature, Newrones says, that may be beneficial to international students.
PNC is also hoping to offer further financial literacy services to students throughout the year, including workshops on credit, managing money, and identity theft. Their first event, however, is a ribbon-tying event (symbolizing unity between bank and University) for the opening of the new Loyola PNC branch, happening on Wednesday, September 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in CFSU (actual ribbon-tying ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m.). The event will feature a prize wheel giving away Loyola gear, as well as free refreshments, and a raffle that boasts iPod nanos, a Kindle and a Keurig coffee maker. In addition, if students sign up for a free checking account at the event, they will get a Loyola-branded check card, as well as a Loyola/PNC t-shirt.
Despite the positive changes PNC offers, Jones says he understands that the switch may inconvenience some Loyola students, and the large number of Chase account holders on campus was considered. However, he says beyond that, Chase didn’t provide the banking presence that PNC has already proven to have.
“We spent a lot of time thinking about it, and decided it was worthwhile to change,” he says.