7-Eleven Inc. has signed seven-year deals with two First Data Corp. subsidiaries to take money orders and money transfers at the convenience store chain's Web-enabled V.com kiosks and also handle some automated teller machine functions.
Dallas-based 7-Eleven already works with the subsidiaries, Western Union Financial Services Inc. and Integrated Payment Systems Inc., to provide money orders and transfers at its stores. The new agreements, announced Tuesday, extend those services to another channel the V.coms.
These devices merge the capabilities of an ATM with the functionality of the Internet. The companies have been testing the Western Union hardware and software in the five stores in Dallas that already have the V.com, the heart of 7-Eleven's plan to provide more financial services in its 5,300 stores. The kiosks are to be installed in 89 stores in Texas and Florida this spring and summer, and if those prove successful, the chain will install them in outlets from coast to coast.
7-Eleven says the V.coms will provide services beyond those of conventional ATMs, including money orders, money transfers, and check cashing. It expects that customers eventually will get touch-screen access to things like bill payment, deposit capability, event ticketing, travel directions, and road maps. People may also be able to do a limited amount of Internet shopping through the machines.
"The strength of Western Union's brand and service offerings combined with 7-Eleven's V.com strategy will provide a revolutionary way for customers to conveniently access financial services around the clock," Jim Keyes, 7-Eleven's president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. "These agreements expand our longstanding relationship with Western Union and provide additional services to our customers who currently purchase over $4 billion worth of money orders each year."
7-Eleven initially will offer Western Union Money Transfer services through its V.com units and continue to sell Western Union Money Order services. Additionally, Western Union will make its ATM-based money-transfer service available in 7-Eleven stores nationwide.
Ric Duques, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based First Data, said in a release, "These agreements create value for both of our companies, but more significantly, they create value for our mutual customers who need a reliable and fast means of transferring money any time of day or night."
Diverting these transactions to the V.com is expected to free up 7-Eleven cashiers, who now must cash customers' checks, said Margaret Chabris, a 7-Eleven spokeswoman.