Students may soon get easier access to cash right at the dorms.
Daniel Magun and his partner, Juan Pablo Bustamante, are creating an ATM business with their personal savings. One of their goals is the addition of an ATM in the Henley Basement by the start of the fall semester.
“Chapman dorms do not have an ATM and it is a prime location for a machine,” Bustamante, a business economics and finance major at the University of San Diego wrote in an email. “Having cash is something that can certainly be useful, especially when students are away from home.”
Currently, a Bank of America ATM is located near the Piazza on main campus and a SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union ATM is located at 633 W. Palm Ave.
Magun, a freshman business major at Chapman, pitched the idea to Chapman administrators, but the university is not ready to get on board just yet.
“There is merit in considering the idea, but we’d want to see a broader student support and interest to know whether or not we’d want another ATM, then consider his proposal with all the rest of them,” said Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students.
Ultimately, if a bank surveyed the area and determined that it would be a good choice for its business to add another location, it would put in the machine without a charge, Price said.
However, local banks are by no means fighting for the location.
“Wells Fargo and Bank of America are not interested because they have ATMs close to the dorms. Last time I checked with Chase Bank, they were not interested due to lack of traffic,” Behzad Binesh, Chapman’s vice president of finance and university controller, wrote in an email.
While it is not necessary for a bank to back the addition of an ATM, private ATM transactions often have high fees, while banks usually do not charge their own customers, Binesh said. Due to this, it is likely that the ATM would have a transaction fee.
“Bank of America has exclusive rights for main campus,” Magun said. “But the dorms only have about 2,000 people, so it wouldn’t cost as much as the ATM on main campus.”
In order to look into pursuing the plans, there would have to be a pretty significant number of students who find any additional transaction fee to be well worth the convenience of the location, Price said.
He suggested sending out a survey to students, perhaps through student government.
“I get mail often and moving the Amazon lockers to be by the dorms was a huge convenience so I think this will be too,” said Rachel Redleaf, a freshman screen acting major.
But she wasn’t so sure about a higher fee attached to it.
“The closest ATM is still on campus, and I think people would prefer to walk the extra distance rather than pay more,” Redleaf said.
Jake Dugger, a freshman film production major, wouldn’t mind paying a small amount extra.
“I think fees are only like a buck or two, so that would be fine,” Dugger said.
Magun and Bustamante said they began this endeavor to gain experience outside of the classroom.
“We wanted to learn how running a business, our own business, works, especially on a limited budget,” Magun said. “While students have their set ways now, we believe this ATM would be a good start for next year.”