MIAMI–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–December 11, 2002–Where can you go at 10 p.m. to cash a check, send money out of state or pay a bill while filling your gas tank and buying a few munchies? Now customers can head to select 7-Eleven stores in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale to conduct financial transactions at their convenience using a new machine developed by the world’s largest convenience retailer.
7-Eleven, Inc. (NYSE: SE) has installed its Vcom(TM) kiosk in more than 40 7-Eleven® stores in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area and 10 Tampa/St. Petersburg stores. Vcom was installed last month at 49 Orlando-area stores to kick off the company’s national launch of its one-of-a-kind, self-service machine. Just last week, the service was activated in 75 Colorado stores. The unit offers ATM capabilities and 24-hour, touch-screen convenience to provide customers with financial and other services.
Vcom is unique in the world of kiosks because of the variety of offerings on a single device. Currently, customers can conduct American Express ATM transactions, purchase Western Union money orders and money transfers, pay bills through Western Union’s Quick Collect(TM) payment service and cash checks through Certegy Check Services(SM), a division of Certegy, Inc. Vcom has a bunch note acceptor that can handle up to 30 bills inserted at one time.
“We selected the first 1,000 store locations for the national rollout based upon our research and demographics study of the stores with the highest predicted check-cashing volume, ” said Sean Gavin, 7-Eleven market manager in Florida. “The stores in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale fit this criteria.”
“Our research tells us that customers want to do multiple financial and personal tasks at one time, have 24-hour access to cash and a choice of convenient locations,” he said. “Vcom adds a new dimension of convenience for our customers, and we believe they will like this innovative way of cashing checks, purchasing money orders, transferring money and paying bills.”
7-Eleven anticipates that Vcom will offer additional services, such as touch-screen access to online shopping and telecommunications by early 2003. E-commerce services will be provided by Cyphermint, Inc. through its patented Pay Cash System™ that allows customers to pay at the kiosk with cash, as well as with a check, money order, or credit card. Telecommunications services will be available through Verizon Communications Inc. Public Access Insurance will offer Instant Auto vehicle insurance.
“While Vcom services will appeal especially to the under- and unbanked population, past experience has taught us that a broad range of individuals who already have bank accounts like the convenience of 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year access,” said Gavin.
Customers can use a simple, menu-driven series of options available in English and Spanish to perform their transactions. Those who need personal attention or have questions can speak with a bilingual customer service representative through the Vcom phone attached to the kiosk.
7-Eleven recognized several years ago that it was in the financial services business because its U.S. stores sell $4.3 billion worth of money orders, and their customers conduct 105 million ATM transactions annually. The company wanted to make these and other financial transactions more customer-friendly, convenient and fast.
In 1998, 7-Eleven introduced Financial Services Centers in 37 Austin, Texas, stores in a “proof of concept” program to test customer receptivity. Customers responded well to the non-staffed, touch-screen technology that allowed money order purchases, money transfer, bill payment and check-cashing services in addition to traditional ATM transactions.
7-Eleven did a pilot test of its next generation of the kiosk, called Vcom, in both the Austin, Texas, and Ft. Myers, Fla., areas last year to determine what marketing methods most appealed to consumers. In addition, the company enhanced customer communications at the Vcom kiosk screens. Based on performance, Vcom units could be installed in 3,500 7-Eleven stores by the end of 2003.
7-Eleven is negotiating with other premier companies in their respective industries to secure national contracts for services consumers will want. The company anticipates Vcom will later offer loan and credit services, deposit capability, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps.
About 7-Eleven, Inc:
7-Eleven, Inc. is the largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. More than 21,000 7-Elevens are located in the United States and Canada and 18 other countries and U.S. territories throughout the world. Sales at 7-Eleven stores around the world totaled $31.0 billion in 2001. Approximately 5,700 of these 7-Elevens are operated or franchised in the United States and Canada by 7-Eleven, Inc. IYG Holding Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd., and Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd., has owned a majority interest in 7-Eleven, Inc. since 1991. Seven-Eleven Japan operates more than 8,500 7-Eleven stores under an area license agreement. For more information about 7-Eleven, the company’s Web site address is http://www.7-eleven.com.
Additional Note: Some of the matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements regarding the Company’s future business prospects, which are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including competitive pressures, adverse economic conditions and governmental regulations. These issues, and other factors, which may be identified from time to time in the Company’s reports filed with the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.
Margaret Chabris, (214) 828-7345
Susan Hamburg PR
Susan Hamburg, (407) 898-7825