Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC) said it is targeting to install 320 cash-recycling ATMs in its 7-Eleven stores around the country within the first half of 2021.

PSC, the exclusive licensor of 7-Eleven in the Philippines, told the stock exchange it has already installed more than 30 cash-recycling ATMs in select convenience stores in Metro Manila last month.

Cash-recycling ATMs can accept cash deposits via high-speed bill readers and then dispense those same bills for withdrawals.

“There are few (cash-recycling ATMs) 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,” PSC Chief Executive Officer Jose Victor P. Paterno said in a statement.

Once the 320 ATMs are installed, PSC said this would become part of the “largest cash-recycling ATM network” in the country.

The company said it is working with Pito AxM Platform, Inc. (PAPI), a Philippine subsidiary of Seven Bank, Ltd. of Japan (Seven Bank), on the roll-out of the ATMs.

PAPI has currently partnered with BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) for the project.

“BDO account holders can 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,” PSC said.

“Other bank account holders through BancNet can also do withdrawal and balance inquiry transactions subject to the ATM fees charged by their issuing banks,” the listed firm added.

Philippine Seven said PAPI is planning to expand the number of its partner banks.

“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,” PAPI president and director Tsuneo Nagashima was quoted as saying in a statement.

PSC operates 2,978 convenience stores in the Philippines as of Dec. 31, 2020.

PSC shares were unchanged at P98.55 apiece on Friday. — Angelica Y. Yang