NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Spurk ATM

New fee-free ATM to help NECC access cash


On Tuesday morning September 25th, students entered the Spurk building to the welcomed surprise of free coffee and breakfast bars, provided by Align credit Union.

Senior Vice president, Joanne McCarthy stood in the front entry way to welcome students and point them in the direction of free coffee, located on a table next to the Align Credit Union ATM, machine located in the lounge area just outside Lucky’s Cafe.

Before the renovation of the Spurk building which reopened in the fall semester of 2017, Students and faculty of NECC had access to cash from an ATM provided by Pentucket bank. One complaint among its users was the transaction charge, rumored to be an exorbitant fee.

Another issue noticed was the limited flexibility in choice of cash requests. The Pentucket Bank ATM only could dispense cash by increments of $20.00 which for some students was too high of an amount.

These observations were noted by just the right people and when word was brought to the attention of Ken Del Rossi, a NECC Foundation Inc. board member and President/ CEO of Align Credit Union. He suggested a change.

The New ATM, provided by Align Credit Union allows students to choose cash by increments as low as $5.00 and charges no transaction fee at the machine.

McCarthy explains that it is actually not an ATM, but rather, a Cash Dispensing machine, as it only dispenses money and allows users to check balances but does not have features for deposits that traditional ATM’s have.                       

  All of the vending machines at NECC are equipped to pay by card transactions, yet students may be hesitant to use their bank/credit cards because warning stickers have been placed on all of the vending machines to inform users about possible complications.

“Your bank will place a hold on your account greater than the amount to purchase one or multiple items in a single vending transaction.” the sticker reads.

In more simple terms, depending on a person’s bank, that single purchase will be “held” at a higher amount until it clears from the bank.

According to Melissa Merrill, cafe associate of Lucky’s Cafe  the CDM is useful at NECC,  “When the credit card machine goes down they [students and faculty] can hit the ATM for cash.”

Staff of the cafe confirmed that the credit card machine did go offline recently and students were able to purchase food because of the availability and flexibility that the CDM provides.

McCarthy was accompanied by Ian Barrett and Felicia Anderson, member service representatives for Align Credit Union. They were ready to answer questions about the CDM and introduce users to its benefits.

“That’s the third person to use it this morning.” Anderson said about the frequency of use of the CDM by students and faculty.

McCarthy hinted that they may be back again in the future.