DALLAS - 7-Eleven Inc. (NYSE: SE) and Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) announced that Equifax will provide automated check-cashing through 7-Eleven's Vcom kiosks. In return for an exclusive, eight-year license, Equifax will pay a per-kiosk licensing fee.
Vcom is 7-Eleven stores' Web-enabled financial services kiosk that merges ATM capabilities with Internet-based applications. Vcom provides financial services including ATM transactions, money orders, money transfers and check cashing.
7-Eleven customers will have touchscreen access to services such as bill payment, prepaid long-distance and wireless phone cards, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps. Also, Vcom's Windows NT platform was designed to eventually allow customers online shopping and fulfillment options using 7-Eleven stores' distribution infrastructure.
7-Eleven is conducting a pilot test and studying customer acceptance of the kiosks with 94 Vcom units in Texas and Florida. 7-Eleven anticipates beginning a national rollout in its remaining stores starting in late 2001 or early 2002, according to the press release.
Earlier this year, 7-Eleven announced national Vcom alliances with American Express for ATM transactions and Western Union for money order and money transfer services.
According to recent industry publications, 30 million consumers cash 180 million checks valued in excess of $55 billion at check-cashing establishments each year.
To set up check cashing, consumers enter their personal information, allowing Equifax to verify their identities in real-time. Once the consumer is authenticated, a Vcom membership card and PIN are issued for use in future automated check-cashing transactions at 7-Eleven stores.
To cash a check, customers insert the card and check, then enter their PIN and pertinent information about the check via touchscreen access at the Vcom kiosk. Equifax validates the information, performs an online check authorization and issues an approval or decline back to the consumer. Equifax will provide 24/7 customer assistance for situations such as lost or stolen cards and security PIN resets.
7-Eleven Inc. operates 21,000 convenience stores worldwide, including more than 5,700 7-Eleven and other convenience stores in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, licensees and affiliates operate more than 15,300 7-Eleven stores in the U.S., its territories and in 17 other countries.
Atlanta-based Equifax serves the financial services, retail, credit card, transportation, telecommunications/utilities, information technology and healthcare industries and government. The company ranked in the top five in return on equity among Business Week's Best Performers for 2001. Equifax has $2 billion in revenue.