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FORT WORTH, Tex. – Citing its national track record in operating airport ATM facilities, American Airlines Federal Credit Union, joined by a small minority CU in Dallas, has landed the ATM concession at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The airline CU called the five-year contract a coup since it allows the CU to broaden its service reach locally and also because it replaces Bank of America, which previously held the ATM concession. Under the agreement, effective next month, the logo of American Airlines FCU partnered in the deal by New Mount Zion Baptist Church CU of Dallas will appear on the 21 ATMs spread across five different DFW airport terminals and other facilities. The ATMs will serve more than 20 million airline passengers who pass through the airport each year. “We are very excited to add the DFW ATMs to our ever-growing network across the country,” said John Tippets, AA FCU president/ CEO. “We have extensive airport ATM experience operating directly or in partnerships with other financial institutions – 93 ATMs at 18 different U.S. airports – and feel we were the perfect fit” to meet needs of DFW needs and CU members. Like it has in the past at its other ATM installations from Honolulu to Chicago, AAFCU said it realizes the facilities are not moneymakers and yet the exposure and transaction activity warrant the outlay. “We realize that concession rental incomes are critical to the airport and to the airlines that guarantee the airport bonds, pay the rents and landing fees,” said a CU summary report. “With 70% of surcharge revenues required to be paid to the airport, there is very little margin in our pro forma projections, but transaction activity should be sufficient to justify the guaranteed rents over the five years of the contract.” In its sales pitch to the airport, AAFCU said it was able to be “aggressive” on the rent offer because “our greatest advantage was to expect a smaller percentage of the concession’s ATM transactions to be on-us (our members) surcharge free.” In partnering with the $700,000 New Mount CU, AAFCU said it was joining up with a CU that is Dallas based – apparently a requirement of city officials -and one “with substantial African-American ownership.” AAFCU did not disclose the number of bidders and how many were banks but said, “We had been working with a major bank on preparing to respond to the DFW ATM RFP until at a last moment when they told us we were not needed and they would bid without us.” The name of that bank was not revealed in AAFCU releases, but the $4 billion Fort Worth CU in 2004-after prolonged negotiations with the city, the airport authority and federal agencies – did manage to partner with one of Chicago’s largest, the $62 billion Dutch-owned LaSalle Bank, on ATMs at O’Hare and Midway airports. Also in that deal was Seaway National, a minority bank. In its formal proposal to the DFW Airport Board, AAFCU CEO Tippets emphasized the CU’s role in the airport community. “Approximately 75% of the DFW Airport’s airline employees are already its members and the health, prosperity and national reputation of this airport is critical to their personal and collective interest,” said AAFCU. Moreover, the CU has been a “lead sponsor in raising funds for the airport’s United Way campaign,” has supported various charitable activities like Special Olympics and “Give Kids the World” flights, and it has funded “the commemorative piece for DFW’s 30-year anniversary.” Tippets has been chair of the DFW United Way campaign and another staffer has been co-chair. The CU noted also that for years it has maintained its own proprietary ATMs in the DFW Airport in a car rental facility and thus “the airport staff knows us and our capabilities.” But with respect to the “bank ATM concession operator,” which it did not name in its proposal bid, it said that institution-an apparent reference to Bank of America – “declined the airport’s requests for additional ATM deployments.” AAFCU “stepped in and provided those services” at the car rental facility, in an American Eagle satellite terminal and in a facility which was the former hub of Delta Airlines. As for New Mount CU, it said its 3,000 congregant church sponsor and its leadership “are engaged in all forms of out-reach, educational initiatives and human services for the African-American community” in the Hamilton Park area of Dallas. New Mount’s financial participation in the concession contract amounts to 5%. However, “the new learning and experience benefits” to the CU “will be substantial,” forecast AAFCU. The CU’s proposal to the Airport Board concluded that airport ATM operations “are a world which AACU knows well and which we are dedicated to serving.” [email protected]

 

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