Banking & Finance

PNC Bank, YSU Enter 10-Year Contract

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – PNC Bank has contracted with Youngstown State University for 10 years to provide its students, faculty and employees with several financial services that include student financial education, the bank and the university announced Tuesday.

The agreement took effect Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2025. Under its terms, YSU would pay PNC some $47,000 a year in fees for treasury management services, said Neal McNally, vice president for finance, offset (if not exceeded) by the royalties PNC would pay YSU for the new accounts faculty and students are projected to open.

In a statement, the university said PNC’s offer “represented the best overall value.”

PNC Bank has entered similar agreements with more than 400 other colleges and universities in 19 states and the District of Columbia, including Kent State University and the University of Akron.

Treasury management fees are based per transaction and McNally’s calculations reflect the university’s experience with its former provider. YSU and PNC project students and faculty to open 730 accounts this year.

PNC is providing faculty and staff who hold PNC accounts with workplace banking, YSU said. With workplace banking, faculty and other university employees pay slightly lower rates on credit products while the bank pays slightly higher rates of interest on savings products.

Other highlights of the contract:

  • PNC will continue to participate in the job fairs YSU holds. “We want to be more engaged, to recruit more interns,” Ted Schmidt said. “We’re getting more involved with students interested in being bankers, working in IT, human resources and finance.” Schmidt, whose daughter Alexa is a junior at YSU, is PNC Bank Youngstown regional president.
  • PNC bankers will hold or conduct sessions on campus for students on financial literacy. Schedules are yet to be worked out, Schmidt said, but students will be provided informal counseling in other situations. The on-site workshops should help students get a better handle on managing their personal finances, understand credit management, the benefits of beginning to save early, investing, protecting their identities and obtaining a mortgage.
  • Students who open a checking account with PNC Bank will be exempt from minimum balance requirements for six years, Schmidt said. Moreover, during the first 12 months a student has an account, he will have his first overdraft fee waived – provided the student sits down with a PNC banker to discuss how it came about and avoid recurrences.
  • Students from abroad who open a PNC checking account will be given one free wire transfer of funds per month, Schmidt said. Thus, a student from, say China, whose parents wire him funds would not be charged a fee if they sent only one payment a month.
  • Students, staff and faculty who hold or apply for a PNC Visa debit card will receive a co-branded bankcard that “highlights an iconic image of the university,” PNC said.
  • PNC will offer YSU students its Virtual Wallet product. Among other features, Virtual Wallet allows users to view their account balances on their smartphones and better track and monitor their spending. It safeguards students from spending money they don’t have in their accounts by denying them use of their debit cards. “My daughter uses it,” Schmidt said. “It tells you your ‘safe zone’ and ‘not safe zone’ so you avoid bouncing checks.”
  • PNC will install two ATMs on campus, one in Meshel Hall, the other in Kilcawley Student Center. Schmidt describes the ATMs as “more robust and advanced” because they allow students (and faculty) to withdraw currency in denominations as small as $1, cash checks, and deposit cash and checks directly into their accounts.

While the Home Savings and Loan Co. closed its office and shut down its ATM in Kilcawley at the end of last year, PNC has made no determination where to locate its ATM there, Schmidt said.

A university spokesman, Ron Cole, said the bank office on the first floor, which opened in the 1980s as a branch of the former Dollar Savings & Trust Co., will likely be converted to another use.

When the university sent out RFPs – requests for proposals – for the space, no bank was interested in operating the branch, McNally said. The popularity of online banking and banking apps on smartphones has greatly reduced the need for small offices like the one Home Savings ran at YSU.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.