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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc., operator of 5,800 convenience stores in the United States and Canada, reached a five-year strategic alliance with Public Access Insurance for Public Access to offer a variety of automobile-related insurance services via 7-Eleven stores' Vcom kiosks. The auto insurance service is expected to be available on 7-Eleven's Vcom machines in the second quarter of 2003.
Under the agreement, Public Access will be the exclusive retailer of Instant Auto Agency automobile insurance-related products and services to be offered through Vcom. At the kiosks, 7-Eleven customers will have direct access to Public's centralized service center, where they can obtain automobile quotes, purchase their policy, pay their monthly bill and talk to a customer service representative.
"7-Eleven is developing Vcom to provide consumers with around-the-clock access to products and services not traditionally found in convenient locations," said Jay Giesen, 7-Eleven's vice president and general manager of Vcom. "Public Access Insurance's products and services is a welcome addition to this innovative mix."
Vcom is 7-Eleven's integrated financial kiosk that merges ATM capabilities with other services and provides the flexibility of 24-hour, touch-screen convenience and a variety of payment methods on a single device. Currently, customers can conduct American Express ATM transactions, purchase Western Union money orders and money transfers, pay bills through Western Union's Quick Collect? payment service and cash checks through Certegy Check Services.
7-Eleven plans to expand the services of Vcom by offering online shopping where customers will be able to pay for specific products at the kiosk with cash through Cyphermint Inc. starting in 2003. Also next year, Vcom will give customers access to Verizon Communications Inc.'s e-commerce platform where they can order Verizon Long Distance, add a phone line, request repair or services like Caller ID, view or pay their bills. Additional Vcom services could include walk-in bill payment, online banking, pre-approved lines of credit, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps.
Currently, Vcom is operating in approximately 185 7-Eleven stores in Texas, Florida, Colorado and Virginia. 7-Eleven also plans to have Vcom kiosks in 1,000 of its stores around the country in the second quarter of 2003. Based upon their performance, the company would move forward with installing an additional 2,500 starting late next year.