SAN FRANCISCO — Innoventry Corp., which makes face-recognizing check-cashing machines for the unbanked, announced that it has made $1 billion of cash disbursements to customers.

The joint venture of Wells Fargo & Co. and the pawnshop chain Cash America was launched in August 1999. It has more than 850 cash management machines in major retail stores in 20 states. More than one million customers have enrolled to use the machines, and these customers have cashed more than 3.5 million checks.

The Rapid Pay machines use technology originally developed to control access at the Pentagon.

“We’re gratified to reach this milestone so quickly, but we’ve just begun to tap” a large market said Frank Petro, Innoventry’s chairman and chief executive officer. “There are approximately 40 million Americans who either do not have a bank account or who choose not to rely on banks for routine financial transactions,” he said.

“We continue to aggressively expand our network and improve the efficiency and range of our services to attract this large market segment.”

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