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U-M and First of America to join forces

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan has signed an agreement with First of America Bank-Ann Arbor to add financial transaction services to the University's identification card. The new program, announced last summer, is slated to begin in fall 1995.

Under the program, the University will continue to provide students, faculty and staff with I.D. cards containing the cardholder's picture on one side and two magnetic stripes on the other.

At the option of the cardholder, one magnetic stripe may be linked to a checking account at First of America Bank and used to purchase products and services at University and off-campus stores and restaurants by deducting funds directly from the cardholder's checking account. A personal identification number entered at the point of sale will be required for security.

Cardholders also may choose to make purchases by using the second magnetic stripe on the card for small-dollar transactions, which would require no bank account. These purchases would be deducted from a pre-encoded dollar value, which could be added to the card in advance by using special on-campus cash-to-card machines.

"We're delighted to be working with the University of Michigan family to develop this innovative service," says Douglas D. Freeth, president of First of America Bank-Ann Arbor. " The agreement reaffirms our partnership with the University and our long-standing commitment to serving the needs of its students, faculty and staff. "

According to Robert E. Russell, U-M assistant director of financial operations, cardholders may also use their cards at automated teller machines (ATMs) and for long- distance telephone service at reduced rates. Additional enhancements will include electronic capabilities for parents to transfer funds to student accounts, and direct deposit of University paychecks to cardholders' checking accounts at First of America.

"The University is committed to improving the quality of life for students, faculty, staff and others affiliated with us," Russell says. " Convenience and accessibility of services will increase and provide greater benefit to those we serve. "

A pilot program will take place early next year, with full implementation slated for fall 1995.

First of America Bank-Ann Arbor is an affiliate of First of America Bank Corp., which is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich. First of America Bank Corp. is one of the largest bank holding companies in the Midwest with over $23 billion in assets and 622 banking offices in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Florida that serve more than 350 communities.