Alternative to credit cards comes to 7-Eleven stores

Alternative to credit cards comes to 7-Eleven stores. Many consumers across the country take on credit card debt to pay for monthly expenses and other purchases, but there are some who are locked out of the financial system for one reason or another.

For this reason, national chain 7-Eleven has introduced a new payment system that allows consumers to pay for everything from online purchases to loans without taking on credit card debt, according to a report from industry site Convenience Store News. The new program, called PayNearMe, will allow customers to pay for purchases on big-name web sites like Amazon.com and Facebook, among others, with cash.

"7-Eleven views this as an opportunity to provide even more convenience for shoppers because consumers can now easily purchase online products without the need of a debit or credit card," Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, the company's senior vice president for merchandising and logistics, told the site. "We want 7-Eleven to be the neighborhood destination for people who prefer or need to pay in cash and to provide all consumers with the same shopping choices no matter how they wish to pay for goods and services."

Convenience Store News noted that close to 25 percent of all households in the country are considered un- or underbanked by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and about the same percentage don't have access to a credit or debit card. However, the PayNearMe system is designed to help those who can't take on credit card debt pay bills without the use of costly prepaid cards or money orders.

Consumers can also use the PayNearMe system to reload prepaid online accounts with cash, the report said. All transactions are set up by the merchant, then completed in real time when the customer pays with cash.

Many 7-Eleven stores across the country will be outfitted with PayNearMe point of sale terminals in the near future, and more additions to the program are on the way, the site added. Among the coming features are the ability to buy passes for public transportation, complete money transfers or even buy insurance products.

Another reason some consumers may prefer to use PayNearMe's system to complete transactions is because they are wary of taking on credit card debt thanks to their employment status or fears about the economy.
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