7-Eleven Checks In


7-Eleven Inc., operator of more than 5,700 convenience stores in the United States and Canada, aims to take a big bite out of the billion-dollar check-cashing industry by making personal and payroll check-cashing as convenient as buying a Big Gulp.

After installing its proprietary check-cashing service in 58 Texas stores last summer, 7-Eleven said yesterday it would officially launch a pilot test of the new Vcom kiosk capabilities in the Austin and Temple/Killeen markets. An aggressive marketing effort and in-store greeters will promote customer awareness and trial of the service. Thirty-six stores in Fort Myers/Naples, Fla., are also part of the test.

Vcom is 7-Eleven stores? Web-enabled, integrated financial services kiosk that merges ATM capabilities with the flexibility of Internet-based applications and 24-hour, touchscreen convenience. The current capabilities of the kiosks include ATM transactions, Western Union money orders and money transfers and check cashing through Certegy Check Services SM, a division of Certegy Inc. Future services may include telecommunications products and services, bill payment, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps.

During the pilot, 7-Eleven is offering free check-cashing membership enrollment and promoting the new service through advertising, in-store signs and special events?all aimed at consumers who use a check-cashing service. Also during the test period, a new customer?s first two payroll checks will be cashed free.

?Self-service check cashing on Vcom is another innovation in 7-Eleven?s 75-year history of defining convenience,? said Otis Peaks, vice president of 7-Eleven stores? central division, which includes Texas. ?At the same convenient location where they stop for gasoline, milk or other convenience items, our customers can have immediate access to their cash, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a safe, secure neighborhood environment.
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