FSCC Inks Shared Branching Kiosks Deal With 7-Eleven

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Financial Services Centers Cooperative signed an agreement with Dallas-based 7-Eleven that eventually will allow members of FSCC-network credit unions to use shared branching kiosks at 2,250 7-Eleven locations across the United States.

CEO Sarah Canepa Bang announced the deal during FSCC's recent annual conference here.

She said beginning approximately fourth quarter this year, CU members will be able to perform a variety of functions on 7-Eleven's "Vcom" kiosks, including deposits, withdrawals, transfers and loan payments. The initial rollout is scheduled for 1,052 of the stores that currently have the Vcom machines, with close to 1,200 locations being added as soon as possible.

"This gives us instant mass. It puts us on a level playing field with the biggest banks in the country," Bang said. "No one is beating us to the punch on this. It is an opportunity for credit unions to increase their depository capability. We are keeping the credit union movement up to date on the latest technology."

Members of the other shared-branching networks also will be able to use the Vcom kiosks, she added. "We, as credit unions, cooperate all the time."

John Dyer, director of financial services for 7-Eleven, said the company has been looking to "revolutionize delivery of services" since 1991. He said Vcom stands for virtual commerce and is 7-Eleven's brand for financial services.

As for the kiosks: "The machine is an ATM on steroids. It does a variety of functions, including transfers, cashing checks and Western Union money transfer capability. We have 1,700 right now. When all is said and done, we will have 2,250 and growing." Bang said FSCC first approached 7-Eleven about shared branching in March 2004. Dyer said the deal with FSCC is a continuation of other collaborations with financial services companies announced in recent months, including surcharge-free ATM agreements with Citibank and CO-OP Network.

"7-Eleven is No. 2 in total terminal count behind Bank of America," he said. "We think of ourselves as offering convenience. We are the corner market where people pick things up on the way home. Now, instead of driving another mile to a branch, people can save a stop by depositing a check at our store. These FSCC members are already our customers; we'll be able to serve them better. And, we're open 24/7."

According to Bang, FSCC's technology partner, San Mateo, Calif.-based Ensenta, provided the critical component to finalize the 7-Eleven partnership.

"The Ensenta interface is allowing us to do this," she said. "Is there a bank that can do this today? No! We were ready and able to take advantage of kiosk technology because we've done yeoman's work on shared branching."

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