There are new cash machines at U of T, but there are "out of order" signs posted beside them even though they work just fine -- that is, for the operators and the U of T administration, which gets a big cut every time a student withdraws cash.
The new hardware replaces TD Green Machines that were pulled from the Athletic Centre and Hart House. Students who use the new ones pay an additional dollar over whatever Interac fees their bank applies. With an average total charge of $2 per transaction, student leaders are crying foul, especially because the U of T takes 40 cents.
"You get dinged a buck by the bank and then you get dinged again by the university. That's not right," says student council president Adam Bretholz.
Students already pay high fees for campus services, including pay-per-use services like photocopying, from which the university profits. Jorge Sousa, Graduate Students Union president, calls the introduction of ABMs, or white-label machines, immoral.
U of T's Eric Fleming insists efforts were made to find alternatives, but changes in the market have caused banks to reverse the wide proliferation of cash machine kiosks. "We asked every bank going, but they're all pulling out. White-label machines are everywhere," explains Fleming.