RealTime IT News

7-Eleven, Verizon Offer Online Bill Payment

7-Eleven , the nationwide chain of convenience stores best known for slinging Slurpees and Slim Jims, has a new offering: online bill payment.

Under a new deal with Verizon customers can settle their phone charges, order services like Caller ID and voicemail and request repairs via kiosks in 7-Eleven stores.

Users must register at a kiosk using account information from their Verizon bill to establish a user name and password. Customers already registered at Verizon's Web site can use their existing user name and password at the kiosks.

7-Eleven charges a 50-cents to process Verizon bills. There is no charge for the other Verizon kiosk services.

The touchscreen will offer instructions in English and Spanish. The New York phone giant said this is its first online, interactive application in Spanish. And each machine has a 24-hour help-line phone.

"(The kiosks) are an extension of Verizon.com," Verizon spokeswoman Lacy Yeatts told internetnews.com. "It's really for convenience -- for those customers who don't have access at home and for people who travel a lot."

Yeatts said the first Verizon applications were loaded onto kiosks last month. Its too soon to measure traffic from the kiosks, she said.

The Vcom (short for virtual commerce) kiosks, are in 400 stores in 12 states and the District of Columbia. But 7-Eleven may deploy an additional 2,500 machines if the initial deployment succeeds. In all, 7-Eleven has 5,300 corporate and franchised stores in the United States.

The Dallas company will also seek other partners for bill payments. The machines are already able to serve as automatic tells where customers can cash check, purchase money orders, transfer funds and make withdrawals.

Jay Giesen, managing director of 7-Eleven's Vcom, project said the Verizon deal "puts us another step closer to our vision for Vcom, which is to offer a vast array of financial and online shopping services conveniently, round the clock."

The Vcom kiosk agreement is the latest between the two companies. Earlier pacts include pay phone and calling card deals.