PHILIPPINE Seven Corp. has reached its goal of installing its “cash-recycler” automated teller machines (ATMs) to a thousand 7-Eleven stores and has consolidated its customer support system into one platform.

In an e-mailed statement on Thursday, the listed operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores said the ATMs are now available in Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna.

“Installing ATMs in more stores is one of the key pillars of our Convenience Plus strategy. Convenience Plus has been our approach to meeting more customer needs since the start of this pandemic,” said Jose Victor P. Paterno, president and chief executive officer of Philippine Seven.

The company said the installment of ATMs is a solution to the convenience stores’ cash management requirements.

“The sales are deposited by our store operators and the ATMs ‘recycle’ the cash to fund withdrawals of the customers of the different banks. This also creates a lot of value to the individual bank account owners because of hav-ing ATMs available 24/7 in a safe and secured location,” Philippine Seven Head of Finance Lawrence M. de Leon said.

Philippine Seven said it aims to have 1,200 ATMs activated in 7-Eleven stores in Metro Manila and in “major markets in Luzon” by the end of the year.

The company aims to achieve the number through the help of Pito AxM Platform, Inc. (PAPI), a fully owned subsidiary of Seven Bank Ltd. Of Japan.

“Our stores now offer not only a wider assortment of merchandise, but we are also leveraging our store network to offer bills payments, e-wallet cash-ins, and other financial services to serve our communities better,” Mr. Pat-erno said.

According to a separate e-mailed statement by software firm Freshworks, Inc., 7-Eleven was able to digitalize and consolidate its customer support system by using Freshworks’ automated platforms.

7-Eleven uses Freshdesk and Freshdesk Contact Center, both of which “quickly resolves queries to deliver the same in-store conveniences to their regular customers and online shoppers.”

“We got Freshdesk up and running in minutes and it helped us automate over 100,000 requests last year with easy-to-use automations on a platform that’s intuitive for our guests,” 7-Eleven Customer Care Specialist Aeruh Di-malanta said.

Requests are to be resolved automatically with a service-level agreement (SLA) rate of 95%. Freshworks said it was able to help the convenience store chain retain its consumer base through the improved shopping expe-rience.

The Freshdesk platform addresses general store queries and questions about payment.

Meanwhile, the CLiQQ group also handles issues related to 7-Eleven Loyalty program through the Freshdesk platform. The 7-Eleven CLiQQ application has since logged an increase in downloads, Freshworks said.

“Freshdesk and its contact center are built to scale for consumer brands like 7-Eleven. We pride ourselves with the ease of use of Freshdesk for support agents and are thrilled to see the business benefits that result from a bet-ter customer experience,” said Prakash Ramamurthy, chief product officer at Freshworks.

On Thursday, Philippine Seven shares at the local bourse closed lower by 0.56% or 50 centavos to end at P88.50 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte