Magazine article American Banker

Citibank Signs Deal to Put ATMs in 3,000 Blockbuster Video Stores

Magazine article American Banker

Citibank Signs Deal to Put ATMs in 3,000 Blockbuster Video Stores

Article excerpt

Embarking on a new ATM course, Citibank announced an agreement Wednesday to install machines in up to 3,000 Blockbuster Video stores in 39 states.

The Citicorp unit, though long a leader in automated teller machine innovation and deployment, did not previously place the devices in states where it lacked retail branches. Virtually all the machines, called Citicard Banking Centers, have been on bank premises.

On top of an agreement an-nounced last week to test ATMs and other banking facilities in an initial eight Kinko's business service locations, the Blockbuster deal indicates a new direction in Citibank's convenience strategy.

Five Blockbuster Video ATMs are already installed, and the rest are to be in place by mid-1999.

"We teamed up with Blockbuster because of its strong national presence," said Steve Liguori, head of Citibank's U.S. branch banking business. "By placing Citibank machines in Blockbuster locations across the United States, we're making it much more convenient for our customers to do all of their financial business with us."

Blockbuster Entertainment chief executive officer John Antioco said he sees the Citibank arrangement as "the first in a series of strategic marketing partnerships ... to provide additional services for our members."

In going off-premises, Citibank joins a trend led by Banc One Corp., which has announced 2,000-machine deals with both the Rite-Aid drug store chain and Mail Boxes etc.

Citibank is playing catch-up in ATMs owned-with 2,002 at midyear 1997 it ranked ninth among U.S. banks-but it set a record with the one-shot deal for 3,000 Blockbuster locations. The collaboration between the companies began in Peru and Colombia last year and is also spreading to other Latin American countries.

Unlike the banks that deploy ATMs primarily to generate transaction fees and surcharges, Citibank says it mainly wants to reach customers where bricks and mortar do not. It has not imposed surcharges on customers of other banks and does not plan to charge at the Blockbuster sites.

Through technology the New York bank serves consumers in every state, but its ATMs are limited to nine states and the District of Columbia. …

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