ATM fees rise steadily

When you need fast cash, you normally run to ATMs right? Well going to ATMs to withdraw money can cost you even more money because of a rise in service fees.

Nationwide, financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wachovia announced a raise in service fees to $3 at ATMs across the nation.

Bank of America has raised the service fee to a flat rate of $3 at all its ATMs nationwide, while Wachovia has only raised them in select cities on the East Coast.

In Tallahassee, beside Bank of America, most banks have kept their service fees the same.

Wachovia, Florida A&M University’s official banking partner, has kept its service fees at $2 for on-campus ATMs and at Wachovia branches in Tallahassee.

Frank Jamison, Tallahassee-area Wachovia president, said local service fees will stay the same for now.

“We have ATMs on campus for primarily Wachovia members but non-members can use the ATMs as well but will have to pay a service fee,” Jamison said.

Jamison said various subjective factors play in to the decision to raise fees.

“The only thing that will affect the rising of service fees at ATMs on campus is the cost of living and based on the ‘type of customers’ (non-members) using the ATMs,” he said.

FAMU’s auxiliary services department regulates business contracts with the University. Auxiliary Services Director Michael Smith said the University will keep the service fees the way they are.

“We want to keep the service fees of ATMs on campus at $2,” Smith said. “We don’t want to see fees rise because it’s a cost to the students and we definitely don’t want our students at a disadvantage.”

Some students disapprove of a service fee all together at the ATMs on campus.

“There’s only those two Wachovia ATM’s on campus so it’s real inconvenient for people like me who have Bank of America,” said Kabia Johnson, a 19-year-old sophomore from Ocala. “You can’t use a card for everything…those $2 fees add up.”

But as to be expected, Wachovia members are happy with Wachovia becoming FAMU’s official bank because service fees are a non-issue.

“I was excited,” said George Rowan, a 23-year-old senior business student from Newport News, Va. “Last year I spent at least $90 in service fees withdrawing money from the Capital City Bank ATMs that were on campus. I was happy to see Wachovia’s name on those ATMs around campus when school started.”