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Consistent growth rates, merging of major players highlight 2009 campus card bank partner survey

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   May 18, 2010  ||   ,

The recent years have not been easy for financial institutions. Bad loans, stock price declines and scandals have been almost daily headlines. Yet despite the tough environment, the number of campus card program and bank partnerships continued to grow in 2009.

Each year the editorial team at CR80News surveys financial institutions that actively work with higher education institutions to offer banking services as a part of the campus card program. While our respondents and other financial institutions offer a host of diverse services to campuses and their students, only relationships that integrate the official university-issued ID card as a banking tool are considered for the survey.

Since the inaugural CR80News survey was conducted in 2003, the number of partnerships has grown nearly threefold. A small number of financial institutions have come and gone from the survey but the core group of providers has remained consistent. From the beginning, five institutions have been active providers of services via campus cards. PNC Bank, TCF Bank, US Bank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo have consistently accounted for more than 80% of the partnerships identified via the survey.

Campus card bank partnerships: ‘08–‘09 comparison

Bank ‘08 total ‘09 total % change
U.S. Bank 37 46 24%
Wells Fargo 41 42 2%
PNC Bank 10 15 50%
TCF Bank 11 8 -27%
Commerce 4 4 0%
Heartland/CNB 9 17 89%
SunTrust 2 2 0%
Total 114 134 18%

This year the acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo was completed and thus for the first time the two providers are combined in our tabulations.

In years past we have identified trends and measured growth by evaluating the entire list of submissions. This year we took a different approach and analyzed the numbers for this core group of consistent providers. In this way we are better able to examine the results through time.

Evaluating results for the core group of active bank partners

Examining the data for this core group of five providers we can accurately track trends in the market.

In seven years of data, there has been an average annual growth rate of 15.4% for this core group. 2009 held consistent with an increase of 13.2%. This year’s addition of 13 relationships outpaces the 10-relationship average for the seven-year period for the group.

The big winners for 2009 were U.S. Bank and PNC Bank. Both experienced double-digit growth rates as U.S. Bank added 9 campuses for a 24% increase from the prior year and PNC Bank added 5 clients for an impressive 50% rate of growth.

Only one provider, TCF Bank, experienced a decline in banking partnerships during 2009. The Minnesota-based institution dropped from 11 partnerships to 8 as three clients transitioned to other providers. Interesting, each of three selected a different financial institution from the core group to provide the new service. Minnesota State University Mankato is now working with Wells Fargo, DePaul University with PNC Bank, and Milwaukee Area Technical College selected U.S. Bank.

Results from the total pool of respondents

When we view the entire group of respondents–the core group plus Central National Bank & Trust Company (CNB)/Heartland Payment Systems, Commerce Bank and SunTrust–this year they collectively account for 135 relationships. This is an 18% increase from last year and an aggregate gain of 21.

SunTrust and Commerce Bank have maintained their clients, two and four respectively, for many years with no additions. Last year Heartland Payment Systems joined the list by offering campus card banking services by partnering with CNB. The pair almost doubled the number of relationships jumping from nine to 17 in 2009.

Footprints changes could lead to greater competition

As you will read in another article in this issue, Florida State University is in the process of selecting a new banking partner. It is an interesting example of how a banks footprint impacts the opportunities for campuses seeking providers.

Because the Florida State program has been very successful over the years, one could safely assume that it would be of interest to any financial institutions actively seeking campus card business. Maybe, but many are unable to do so because only banks that already have branches in that state will be able to compete for the business.

Thus it is likely that the incumbent provider SunTrust and Wells Fargo will be the only two that have submitted proposals. Prior to the acquisition of Wachovia, Wells Fargo would not have been able to do so as they had no presence in Florida. Similarly, U.S. Bank, PNC and TCF have no footprint so they could not apply.

Today the combined Wells Fargo and Wachovia footprint crosses 39 states. U.S. Bank can serve campus card clients in 24 states. TCF and PNC each cover eight states while Commerce Bank serves five states.

The relevance, of course, is that if a campus is looking for a bank partner they need to find an institution that can work in the state.

Campuses with bank partnerships by institution (2009)

PNC Bank (15)
Allegheny College, PA
Arcadia University, PA
Carnegie Mellon University, PA
DePaul University, IL
Duquesne University, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, PA
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA
Marymount University, VA
Mercyhurst College, PA
Mount St. Mary’s University, MD
Penn State University–18 campuses, PA
St. Joseph’s University, PA
University of Delaware, DE
University of Pennsylvania, PA
University of Pittsburgh, PA

TCF Bank (8)
Eastern Michigan University, MI
Northern Illinois University, IL
Northern Michigan University, MI
St. Cloud State University, MN
St. Xavier University, IL
University of Illinois, IL
University of Michigan, MI
University of Minnesota, MN

Heartland/CNB (17)
Clearwater Christian College, FL
Colorado Christian University, CO
Concordia University of Wisconsin, WI
Harrisburg University, PA
Hillsborough Community College, FL
Florida Coastal School of Law, FL
John Carroll University, OH
Lebanon Valley College, PA
Mount Holyoke College, MA
North Central Missouri College, MO
Palm Beach Atlantic University, FL
Pittsburgh Technical Institute, PA
Reinhardt College, GA
Slippery Rock University, PA
Tompkins Cortland Community College, NY
University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA
Waukesha County Technical College, WI

SunTrust (2)
Florida State University, FL
University of Central Florida, FL

Commerce (4)
Fort Hays State University, KS
Pittsburg State University, KS
The University of Kansas, KS
Wichita State University, KS

Wells Fargo (42)
Baylor University TX
California State University–East Bay, CA
California State University–Los Angeles, CA
California State University–Sacramento, CA
California State University–San Francisco, CA
California State University–Stanislaus, CA
Clark Atlanta University, GA
El Paso Community College, TX
Elon University, NC
Fayetteville State University, NC
Florida A&M University, FL
Front Range Community College, CO
Georgia Perimeter College, GA
Guilford College, NC
Mercer University, GA
Mesa State College, CO
Midwestern State University, TX
Minnesota State University–Mankato, MN
New Mexico State University, NM
NC State University, NC
North Carolina A&T State University, NC
North Carolina Central University, NC
Riverside Community College District, CA
Texas A&M University–College Station, TX
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christie, TX
Texas State University–San Marcos, TX
University of Arizona, AZ
University of Florida, FL
University of Nebraska–Kearney, NE
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, NE
University of Nevada–Las Vegas, NV
University of Nevada–Reno, NV
University of N.C.–Chapel Hill, NC
University of N.C.–Greensboro, NC
University of North Texas, TX
University of Northern Colorado, CO
University of Texas–Arlington, TX
University of Texas–Brownsville, TX
University of Texas–Dallas, TX
University of Texas–El Paso, TX
Villanova University, VA
Virginia Commonwealth University, TX

U.S. Bank (46)
Austin Peay State University, TN
Bellevue College, WA
Benedictine University, IL
California State University–Fullerton, CA
Capital University, OH
Carroll University, WI
Case Western Reserve University, OH
Central Washington Reserve University, WA
Chicago State University, IL
College of Mt. St. Joseph, OH
Creighton University, NE
Drury University, MO
Gonzaga University, WA
Henderson State University, AR
Iowa State University, IA
John Carroll University, OH
Johnson County Community College, KS
Kirkwood Community College, IA
Metopolitan State College of Denver, CO
Milwaukee Area Technical College, WI
Minnesota State University–Moorhead, MN
Missouri Baptist University, MO
Missouri Western State University, MO
Morehead State University, KY
North Dakota State University, ND
Northern Kentucky University, KY
Northwest Missouri State University, MO
Northwestern University, WI
Ouachita Baptist University, AR
Pacific University, OR
Saint Louis University, MO
San Diego State University, CA
Southwestern College, CA
St. Cloud Technical College, MN
Thomas More College, KY
Truman State University, MO
University of California Davis, CA
University of Central Missouri, MO
University of San Diego, CA
University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, WI
University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, WI
University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, WI
Washington State University, WA
Waukesha County Technical College, WI
Wisconsin Lutheran College, WI
Xavier University, OH

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