7-Eleven to Offer Financial Services

FRAMINGHAM (04/07/2000) - 7-Eleven Inc.'s customers will soon be able to cash checks, purchase money orders and even buy tickets and shop online via automated teller machines (ATM) in the company's ubiquitous convenience stores.

Initially, the financial kiosks will be rolled out at more than 200 7-Eleven stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in June or July, the company said.

Dayton, Ohio-based NCR Corp. will provide the ATM kiosks, and New York-based American Express Co. will provide the initial set of financial services, including check cashing, money orders and wire transfers.

Starting in the fourth quarter, 7-Eleven customers in the Dallas area will be able to buy books and CDs, download movies and get directions from the ATMs, said Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based 7-Eleven. But the ATMs won't be general-purpose Web browsers, she added.

People can buy some very specific things over the Internet that lend themselves to being delivered to the 7-Eleven store, she said.

The service could be particularly convenient for customers who don't want to wait at home for a delivery, Chabris said. There will be fees for all of the services.

Expanded Offerings

Some 40 7-Eleven stores in Austin, Texas, already use NCR ATMs for services such as check cashing, said NCR spokesman Rob Evans.

He said the process works as follows: First, a store clerk checks a customer's driver's license. Then the ATM's camera matches the customer's face against a database of facial scans. Finally, the check is scanned and the ATM verifies the amount. As a backup, a person at a central help desk is notified when problems arise.

Evans said the facial scans are fairly accurate and can even distinguish between twins, but help desk personnel will be available in case there are multiple matches.

Eventually, he said, NCR will move toward an iris identification system, which is even more accurate.

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