AdChoiceTV News — Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC), the exclusive licensor of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in the Philippines, has started installing cash recycling ATMs, which accept cash deposits via high-speed bill readers and then dispense those same bills for withdrawals, in select outlets in Metro Manila.
The ATM rollout is being undertaken with Pito AxM Platform, Inc. (PAPI), the local unit of Japan’s Seven Bank Ltd. This partnership constitutes the largest cash-recycling ATM network in the country.
More than 30 ATMs are now operational and a total of 320 units are targeted to go online by June.
“Cash-recycling ATMs are standard in Japan, because it reduces the need to deliver cash and provides a reliable and convenient experience for receiving deposits. There are few of them in the Philippines, because they are considerably more expensive than withdrawal-only ATMs.
Seven Bank’s model of allowing several banks to share the ATMs so that more customers could use them without fees, and then installing them in a safe and convenient location like our stores made tremendous sense for us, which is why we have been wooing them for several years now.
We also have several stores in small towns without bank branches or even ATMs, so this would both reduce our cash handling costs, which have increased as our payments business has grown, and reduce the need for the community to travel to access an ATM at the same time.
If the model proves financially viable for both ourselves and Seven Bank, we would like to see these machines in all stores very soon,” said PSC CEO Jose Victor Paterno.
PAPI has also partnered with BDO Unibank to enable BDO account holders to withdraw and perform balance inquiries free of charge from the ATMs in 7-Eleven stores and will soon be able to use the deposit function that is currently limited to 7-Eleven store cash only.
Other bank account holders through BancNet can also do withdrawal and balance inquiry transactions subject to the ATM fees charged by their issuing banks.
PAPI plans to expand the number of partner banks to allow more convenient and cost-efficient banking services to more customers, with the customer interface screen adapting to that of the partner bank and thus providing a familiar interface.
“We have seen the increased demand for ATM access in the Philippines, especially under the current environment. By installing ATMs in 7-Eleven stores, we hope to make access to cash more convenient for numerous Filipinos and play our part in increasing financial inclusion,” said Tsuneo Nagashima, president and director of PAPI.
Seven Bank, which operates more than 25,000 ATMs in Japan, established PAPI in April 2019 to promote its ATM business in the country. In February 2020, PAPI struck a business alliance with PSC, intending to install, operate and maintain ATMs at 7-Eleven stores in the Philippines.
PSC operates the largest convenience store network in the country. It has 2,978 stores in the Philippines as of end-2020.
Reporting by Marynor Caraig