Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cash America to Offer Check-Cashing Services

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cash America to Offer Check-Cashing Services

Article excerpt

FORT WORTH _ Cash America International Inc. has purchased a large interest in an Amarillo-based check-cashing firm and will soon begin offering check-cashing services in some of its pawn shops.

Cash America, based in Fort Worth, operates the nation's largest chain of pawn shops. It has 306 stores: 277 are in 13 U.S. states and another 29 are in Great Britain. The company also has 17 Oklahoma locations, including 10 in Oklahoma City.

The company's joint venture is with Mr. Payroll Corp., which operates 106 franchised kiosk units in seven states, including five locations in Oklahoma. The kiosks are primarily in convenience and grocery stores and in gasoline food marts.

Cash America President Daniel Feehan said the company paid $2 million for a 49 percent ownership stake in Mr. Payroll. He said his company has not yet determined how many check-cashing kiosks it will install in Cash America stores or at which locations. He said the first kiosks, or free-standing units, will probably be installed within 30 days.

Feehan said some of the kiosks will be operated by Mr. Payroll franchisees, although Cash America will retain an option to become a franchisee itself.

Feehan said the pawn shop company does not expect the check-cashing kiosks to generate significant profits for Cash America.

"We will benefit from increased traffic and customer goodwill," Feehan said.

Tom Bessant, vice president of finance for Cash America, said the check-cashing business is one that requires large volumes for profitability.

"We are a company with revenues of $250 million (a year). We would have to cash a lot of checks to make a significant impact on our numbers, but the added traffic it will bring into our stores has the ability to add incrementally to our bottom line."

Cash America reported net income of $3 million for the second quarter which ended in June, an increase of 20. …

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