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Ryugin to install teller machines to convenience stores

Date Posted: 2003-11-14

New automatic teller machines are now online at more than two dozen 24-hour convenience stores on Okinawa. The President of the Bank of the Ryukyus, Isao Oshiro, announced Monday that the bank had installed the machines at 30 Family Mart convenience stores. The ATMs went on line Tuesday.

"This is really aimed at helping our younger customers who frequent these convenience stores. Installation of the ATMs brings the number of ATMs in convenience stores to more than those we have in bank offices. The best part, Oshiro says, is that “the stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so people can use them whenever they choose."

For their part, officials at Family Mart said they see the ATMs as a means of bringing in more customers to their stores. “We have had a pilot program going on for some time and had ATMs in six of our stores. Most of the customers seem to be young people between 20 and 30,” a spokesman for Family Mart said.

The cost of the machines is reportedly Y570,000 each. There are 159 Family Mart stores within Okinawa, but the ATMs will be available only at busiest stores at first. Although the stores are open 24 hours a day, the ATMs close for maintenance from 2 to 7 a.m.

Officials at the Bank of the Ryukyus say convenience store ATMs should be especially popular in Okinawa. “Okinawan people love to go shopping late at night. According to surveys, they use convenience store ATMs more than twice as much as people in mainland on average, so we think that this service will be very popular,” a Bank of the Ryukyus spokesman said.

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