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   from the issue of February 26, 2004

  If deal with Wells Fargo is approved, ID card can be used for off-campus shopping

NCard may gain financial features

An agreement with Wells Fargo Bank to provide an enhanced “NCard” will make available a broader range of financial services to UNL students, staff and faculty, pending plan approval by the NU Board of Regents at its Feb. 28 meeting.

Current NCards are used as on-campus identification and may be used for deferred payment of purchases only at on-campus vendors. The new NCards, to be issued this summer, will be used the same way but also give cardholders the option of linking the NCard to an active Wells Fargo checking account for more purchasing options. UNL students, faculty and staff will be able to use the NCard for purchases at off-campus merchants and will gain free access to 6,700 Wells Fargo automated teller machines across the country. Wells Fargo will also offer card holders additional financial benefits at no cost such as online banking, online bill pay and direct deposit.

“This program provides members of the university community free online bill payment and access to a nationwide network of merchants for purchase or cash-back transactions,” said Steve Navin, president of Wells Fargo Bank in Lincoln. “We are excited to join UNL in this new partnership to bring an enhanced level of financial services to the UNL community.”

The partnership comes in response to both UNL students and off-campus merchants who have been seeking a more versatile NCard.

“Working with Wells Fargo, we’ve developed a package of financial services that promises to simplify life for merchants and UNL faculty, staff and students,” said Kim Phelps, UNL assistant vice chancellor for business and finance.

Wells Fargo was chosen through a competitive bidding process. For the licensing rights, Wells Fargo will reimburse UNL for the materials cost of reissuing NCards, pay royalties of $250,000 upfront plus $300,000 per year for the eight-year term of the contract, and provide a future payment of $15 yearly per account if the number of accounts reaches 15,000. Under a separate lease agreement, Wells Fargo will continue to operate a branch bank in the Nebraska Union and five ATM machines on campus.

All together, the package will pay UNL more than $3.7 million over eight years.

“The use of these funds has not been finally determined,” said UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman. “We will be looking for some special project that will benefit the campus. Although the payments extend over the eight years of the contract, they are not permanent funds that can be used to support ongoing academic programs.”

Other actions

Other UNL items on the Regents agenda for the Feb. 28 meeting:

• Regents are expected to approve the establishment of the Nebraska Center on Research for Children, Youth, Families and Schools at UNL;

• Regents are expected to approve the new Doctor of Audiology Degree at UNL.



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