Putting A Little Giddy'Up Into An ATM Installation

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It was like a scene from Back to the Future Part III, folks young and old in Western regalia hooting and a' hollering as a horse-drawn wagon strolled into town carrying the very latest in technology.

The curious walked alongside the wagon, which was carrying a brand-new ATM to be installed in the student union building at Western Washington University.

The attention-grabbing promotion was the work of Whatcom Educational Credit Union to announce the arrival of its third no-fee ATM on the campus.

"It was fun,'' said Joan Martin, VP of marketing for WECU, adding that she was surprised upon arrival to find that campus officials and students had joined in the celebration, including a roll-back by the cafeteria in the price of coffee to 25 cents.

"College staff also handed out Payday candy bars to students who wore Western clothing,'' Martin said.

Martin said the idea came from President/CEO Wayne Langei after using the same theme in three community parades to draw attention to the $300-million financial institution.

She said while it took some wrangling to organize the event, the process was simple and smooth.

"We had to coordinate the event with the city and with Diebold because they were the installers,'' she said. "They delivered the ATM on a big truck with a hydraulic elevator to put the machine into the wagon. I don't think Diebold ever delivered an ATM like that before.''

Martin said once a staging location was arranged, zoning laws were checked and key staff synchronized their roles, CU staff and their borrowed team of horses were off and trotting to the college, which is located several blocks from WECU's main office.

Langei and his grandson, Blake, had the honor of riding in the front seat of the wagon that was driven by an employee of the Whatcom Transit Authority.

The local newspaper gave the event front-page coverage.

"It was just one of those opportunities that presented itself,'' Martin said. "We're not a western theme CU, but it turned out very well.''

She said WECU landed the rights to install a third ATM on campus- No. 12 throughout its FOM- when contract renewal time came up for the previous provider.

"They were ready to take bids for the machine in the student union,'' she said. "I think we got it because the students really liked that we have no surcharges-even for non-members there.''

Martin said the event that took about two months to plan lasted for about two hours.

"And it certainly drew attention to the fact the campus has another no-surcharge ATM,'' she said.

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