The New York Times: ATMs have long been a staple in convenience stores, but now several major chains, including 7-Eleven, are installing transactional kiosks able to do a lot more. 7-Eleven is introducing its second wave of custom-made terminals called Vcoms this year. The chain’s more than 1,000 Vcoms dispense cash, sell Verizon services, and handle bill payments and money transfers. They can also cash checks to the penny and print digital check images on receipts. Aiming to keep up with 7-Eleven, Exxon Mobil and Circle K have introduced Info Touch’s bill-payment kiosks in some regions, with plans to take the programs national. Sunoco also just set up a pilot involving the same kiosks.
“What most companies are looking at it for is to drive new customer traffic as opposed to driving revenues from the specific kiosks,” said Jeff Lenart, spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores. The goal of the Vcom program is to make 7-Eleven a major financial services brand, said Rick Updyke, vice president for corporate business development. Plans call for the installation of Vcoms in all 5,400 domestic 7-Eleven stores and for the imminent addition of a feature that will let customers make deposits to any bank account.